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Fri, Sep 25, 2020
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Soutzoukakia Smyrneika (Σουτζουκάκια Σμυρνέικα)

Cretan Cuisine (Κρητική κουζίνα)-Soutzoukakia Smyrneika (Σουτζουκάκια Σμυρνέικα)

Soutzoukakia (smyrneika/politika) (Greek: σουτζουκάκια (σμυρνέικα/πολίτικα)) or İzmir köfte is a Greek and Turkish dish of spicy oblong kofte with cumin, cinnamon, and garlic served in tomato sauce. This dish is not a Cretan dish, but is popular in the tavernas, with the Brits, Irish and other ex-pats. This recipe was brought to Greece by refugees from Asia Minor.

Soutzoukakia is traditionally served with pilaf or mashed potatoes. 

The meatballs are made with minced meat (usually beef, or a mixture of beef and pork), bread crumbs, egg, garlic, and parsley, and generously spiced with cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. They are floured before being fried in olive oil. The tomato sauce has tomato, wine, onion, garlic, a bayleaf, salt and pepper, and olive oil.

Serves 4Soutzoukakia smyrneika



  • 2 slices thick bread (crusts removed)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine 
  • 500 grams ground lean meat (beef or veal)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp grated kefalograviera cheese 
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • flour (for dredging)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 kilo fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


  1. Soak the bread in the wine for about 5 minutes, or until thoroughly softened.
  2. Then, squeeze out and reserve the excess wine.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat with the wine soaked bread, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, grated cheese, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly blended.
  5. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Dampen your hands, pinch off small portions of meat mixture, about the quantity of a teaspoon or just over, and shape into approximately 20 oval rolls (looks sort of like an elongated, slightly flattened, meatball).
  7. Dredge them in flour.
  8. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan.
  9. Add the meatballs and fry until browned all over, turning occasionally and allowing time for the meat to cook thoroughly. 
  10. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  11. Strain the oil you fried the meatballs in through a fine sieve into a cooking pan.
  12. Add all the sauce ingredients, and the reserved wine.
  13. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce is thick.
  14. Drop in the meatballs, stir to cover all over with the sauce, and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  15. Serve hot with rice, french fries, or mashed potatoes.

Enjoy your meal of Soutzoukakia (Καλή όρεξη)

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