An easy bulgur salad recipe that's made with bulgur wheat, herbs and olive oil. This Turkish bulgur salad is a great addition to any table.
Turkish cuisine is one of my favorite Mediterranean cuisines. It contains many fresh and healthy ingredients and is always bursting with so much flavor. This Turkish bulgur salad, just like Turkish potato salad, Turkish tomato salad and white bean salad is made with fresh ingredients and is so delicious, everyone will be coming back for seconds.
What is kisir?
Turkish bulgur salad, also known as kisir is a popular Turkish salad recipe made mainly with bulgur. It's popular all around Turkey and you can find it in every Turkish household. Like many other traditional recipes, families have their own specific kisir recipe that would probably be different from other. Whether it's the addition of a particular herb or vegetable, or a special spice, kisir can vary region to region. However, the base of kisir is bulgur, tomato paste and herbs.
Is bulgur healthy?
If you don't know much about bulgur, here is a small introduction. Bulgur is made from whole wheat kernels that are parboiled, dried and crackled. Bulgur is very healthy and is packed with fiber, and protein. It's a good substitute for white rice and you can use it in different Mediterranean recipes such as Turkish bulgur pilaf and vegan lentil meatballs.
Turkish bulgur wheat salad ingredients
To make this delicious Turkish salad, you need the following ingredients:
- Fine bulgur wheat
- Tomato paste
- Pepper paste (optional)
- Pomegranate molasses
- Green onions
- Olive oi
Fresh herbs play an important role in this recipe so please don't skip them. You can use other fresh herbs such as dill or basil if you like but make sure to use at least three types of herbs. Pepper paste is a common ingredient to use in Turkish cuisine. It's made from sweet pepper but there is also a hot version. We have used the sweet version in this recipe. If you cannot find pepper paste, please use tomato paste.
What kind of bulgur to use
Bulgur comes in different sizes and for salads, we usually use fine bulgur. Fine bulgur is easy to prepare and mix with other salad ingredients whereas coarse bulgur is usually used to make pilaf.
How to make Turkish kisir
To make this simple kisir recipe, you should know how to cook bulgur for salad. To do so, Place the bulgur in a large bowl and pour boiling water on it. Give it a stir and cover it with a towel or a plate. Let it sit for 20 to 25 minutes until it absorbs the water and cooks. As you can see, you don't need to cook fine bulgur on stove top since it's partially cooked and has been crackled into fine grains.
While the bulgur is being cooked, chop all the herbs and set the aside. When the bulgur is ready, mix it with tomato paste, pepper paste and pomegranate molasses. Mix it well to make sure it's completely incorporated.
Next, add in the chopped herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and then cover with plastic wrap. refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Additional ingredients to use
The recipe we have here is the basic simple kisir recipe. However, as I mentioned, there are other ingredients that can be added to this healthy bulgur salad. Some of the common additions are red onion, white onion, fresh dill, dill pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.
What to serve Turkish bulgur salad with
Kisir or Turkish bulgur salad is considered a mezze or an appetizer on a table. You can serve it with some fresh lettuce alongside other mezze dishes such as vegan red lentil meatballs, hummus and cacik. I also love having kisir just as a main dish for dinner or a light lunch.
Can I make kisir in advance?
Yes, it's best to make kisir a few hours before serving, especially if you're making the basic version without onion, tomatoes and cucumbers. The longer kisir stays in the fridge, the better the flavors combine together. If you would like to add vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers to kisir, please add them just a few minutes before serving so the don't release their juice while chilling in the fridge.
How to store bulgur salad
To store this healthy bulgur wheat salad, please put it in an airtight glass container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. I don't suggest you freezing this salad because it might lose flavor and texture, especially if you've added fresh vegetables and herbs to the recipe.
Notes and tips to make kisir
- Make sure you're using fine bulgur and not coarse bulgur for this salad recipe. Fine bulgur cooks faster and you don't need to cook it in a pot over heat.
- It's best to use fresh herbs to make this recipe. However, if fresh herbs are not available, use dried herbs.
- If you cannot find pomegranate molasses, please use 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Taste the salad and add more lemon juice if you like it tangier.
- You can find pepper paste at Mediterranean and Turkish shops. Make sure it's sweet and not hot. Pepper paste adds a nice color and flavor to this bulgur wheat salad.
Looking for more salad recipes?
- Mediterranean salad
- Mediterranean couscous salad
- Fattoush salad
- Traditional Greek salad
- Mediterranean Potato salad
Ingredients and tools used to make this recipe:
Turkish Bulgur Salad (Kisir) with Video
- 1 ½ cup fine bulgur
- 2 ½ cup boiling water
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp sweet pepper paste see notes
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 cup green onions chopped
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- 1 cup fresh mint chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Place bulgur in a large bowl and pour the boiling water on it. Stir well. Cover with a lid or a plate and let it sit for about 25 to 30 minutes until cooked.
- Once the bulgur is cooked and cooled, fluff it using a fork.
- To the bulgur, add tomato paste, pepper paste and pomegranate molasses. Stir well so all bulgur grains are combined.
- Add in chopped green onion, parsley and mint to the bulgur. Mix well.
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.
- You can use tomato paste instead of sweet pepper paste. Find sweet pepper paste at Middle Eastern, Mediterranean or Turkish shops.
- Make sure the bulgur you're using for this recipe is fine and not coarse.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 6 days.