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Daily Slice: Lahmacun in Istanbul

Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.

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[Photo: Carey Jones]

While I prefer the puffy, chewy dough of pide, Turkey's other pizzalike foodstuff, I'm also quite fond of lahmacun. Popular in Istanbul, as it is in much of the Middle East, it's a thin, thin crust topped with minced meat, ground peppers, and herbs, and often spritzed with lemon juice.

At Halil Lahmacun in Kadıköy (one stop on an awesome tour by Istanbul Eats), the food menu is just two items long: lahmacun, and a parsley-cheese stuffed pide, both fired off in the same brick oven.

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Hot as the oven is, this guy cooks in under a minute, with the oven master sliding them out several at a time with the same paddle. The crust is best eaten piping hot, the slices folded over NY-style. The topping is sparingly applied, a thin layer proportionate to the thin crust, but its flavor plenty pronounced, with the slight heat of the peppers against the lamb. The little bit of char around the edges spoke to a lahmacun cooked with care and precision, neither burnt nor pale, and as crisp as you'd want it.

Halil Lahmacun

Guneslibahce Sokak 26, Kadıköy, Istanbul (map)
+90 216-337-0123

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