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When walking down İstiklal Caddesi, Istanbul’s famous shopping street, there is simply no escape from this popular Turkish street food. Along the three kilometer long pedestrian zone, street vendours can be found every couple of meters selling Midye Dolma – fresh, rice-stuffed mussels. Midye Dolma are not only popular in Istanbul, however. Especially along Turkey’s coasts, you’ll see street sellers wandering up and down with baskets full of the shiny black shells and lemons.

Midye Dolma is a must-try for sea food lovers but once you stop you are basically trapped as the street vendors open one mussel after another. Before you can eat the street snack, the sellers will break off the top shell for you and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the mussel and rice. You can then use the loose shell as a scoop to spoon the delicious mix straight into your mouth.

There Is No Way Around Midye Dolma!

Apart from the street stands, you may also find the mussels stuffed with rice and seasoned with pine nuts, currants, cinnamon and several other spices in many restaurants. Midye Dolma are a typical starter, or ‘meze’, that accompanies fish and seafood meals. Turkish people often enjoy the cheap snack together with Raki, the traditional Turkish aniseed spirit.

Although it requires some effort to prepare Midye Dolma, you should definitely give it a try. Unless there is a trip to Turkey in sight! Well, either way, here is our easy and authentic recipe:




Find more food and drinks from Turkey here.

Midye dolma….mmm YUMMY! by Ximena, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0