Turkish Sigara Borek Rolls are savory, cheesy and crunchy. They make great appetizers, snacks, lunch and finger food for a party! This cheese rolls recipe with phyllo is a life saver and super easy to make!
Borek is the general name in Turkish cuisine we use for savory pastries made with phyllo sheets and various fillings such as cheese, meat, chicken, potatoes, spinach or eggplants. Sky is the limit when making borek fillings. This Sigara Borek is just another Turkish borek recipe.
Unlike our Turkish Borek With Cheese and Herbs, which is layered and then baked, this one is rolled-up and fried in a pan on the stove. These cheese rolls are called “sigara böreği” in Turkish which literally means cigarette borek. Well, I have no idea why we don’t call them cigars, they look more like cigars. Don’t you think so?
Turkish phyllo cigars are one of the most common mezes or appetizers served in a restaurant before a main dish arrives. They are also quite popular at Turkish households as a snack to go with delicious Turkish Tea or beer.
Sigara Borek Ingredients
We need only four ingredients to make a classic fried burek recipe:
- crumbled cheese
- chopped parsley
- phyllo sheets
- oil for deep frying
Although these are the basic ingredients for this borek recipe, you can always make your own creations for the filling. Just keep in mind that you should use tiny pieces of what you are using.
Oh and the cheese I use in this recipe contains nigella seeds. That’s how it is sold at the market. If you like those tiny black seeds, you can add it to your cheese mixture too. But it is completely optional.
How To Make Turkish Fried Burek Rolls
The recipe has four easy parts: Making the filling, cutting the phyllo sheets, rolling them up with the filling and frying.
First, prepare the filling. It’s a super easy step. Just combine cheese with parsley in a bowl.
Second, cut the phyllo sheets into triangles. Place a phyllo sheet on the counter. Cut it into triangles using a knife. Do it just like slicing a pizza. First, cut it into two. Then into four and then into eight.
Third, make the rolls. Grab a triangle and put about 1 tablespoon filling on the wide end of the triangle. Remember to leave some room at each side. Fold in both edges first and then fold the wide end.
And the most fun part is here! Roll the phyllo almost until the top of the triangle. Brush the top edge of the triangle with water so that it sticks when rolled. Roll it up and put it aside. Repeat these steps for the remaining phyllo dough triangles. No rocket science here!
Finally, fry the rolls. You’re almost there. Heat oil in a pan and fry the phyllo cheese rolls in batches until they get golden on all sides. It takes about 5-7 minutes. Make sure you transfer them on paper towel because it will absorb the oil and your cheese rolls will be lighter. Now serve them warm. Yummy!
FAQs About Sigara Borek
Can I change the borek filling?
Sure, you can. You can go experimental and play about with the filling to have your own version of this traditional Turkish cigarette borek recipe. You can have fresh dill instead of parsley or little peas and finely grated carrots or/and onions. Just make sure the size of the filling doesn’t hinder the rolling.
If you are one of those folks who HAS To eat meat, try putting chopped salami, sausage or sujuk and cheese on the phyllo triangle and roll them up!
What Type Of Cheese?
You can use whatever cheese you like. Some of my favorites are Turkish cheeses such as feta, tulum cheese, kasar cheese. Make sure the cheese you are using is not watery or creamy. Cream cheese is likely to get watery and leak out when frying the rolls.
How to Serve Cigarette Borek
I resort to this Turkish cheese rolls recipe quite often since it caters us in many occasions. They make an easy and tasty appetizers, especially when served with Yogurt Cucumber Dip Cacik. It makes a fresh and healthy company to the rolls at lunch too. Sometimes we even have them as a delicious breakfast treat.
My little one loves them, too so I often make some for him as a healthy after school snack to munch on. And they work perfectly as crunchy finger food when you have a crowd coming over for a party or get together. Everyone gobbles them up before long. They are so irresistible! Take a crunchy bite from your warm sigara borek ( they’re way better when they are served warm) and wash it down with a beer. DE-LI-CI-OUS!
Can I Make Sigara Borek Recipe With Puff Pastry?
Turkish people traditionally use phyllo pastry for this recipe and fry the rolls in a pan. If you prefer, you can use puff pastry and bake them in oven instead. Of course, the texture and the taste will be different but it can be just another alternative to regular ones.
Or you may still go with the phyllo pastry but bake them in the oven if you want them lighter. This works very well too. If you bake them in the oven, just make sure you brush their top with beaten egg yolk no matter you use phyllo or puffy pastry.
Are They Freezer Friendly?
YES! The best part of Turkish cheese rolls is that you can roll up a good batch to freeze while listening to your favorite radio programme.
These boreks are perfect to freeze raw. Place them on a baking sheet so that they don’t touch one another and wait in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Then put them in freezer bags and store for 6-8 months.
You can also freeze the leftovers and heat them up days later but with these delicious cheese rolls, I do not see it happening. They will all disappear in no time.
You can make borek rolls ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for a week. It’s really time saving when you have a party at home. Fry them when your guests are about to arrive and serve them warm. Make sure you keep the uncooked phyllo rolls in an airtight container in the fridge though.
Want more phyllo dough recipes? Check the following recipes out!
This post was originally published in 2009 and has been updated but we wanted to leave the following picture from the original post. Obviously, we didn’t know much about food styling or photography then.Print
Turkish Sigara Borek Recipe
Crispy phyllo filled with cheese and parsley. Incredibly tasty snack both for kids and adults.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 14 minutes
- Total Time: 34 minutes
- Yield: 16 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: Turkish
For The Filling:
- 1 and ½ cup crumbled cheese (like feta)
- ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
For the phyllo rolls:
- 2 phyllo sheets
- ½ cup oil for frying
For the filling:
Combine cheese with parsley in a bowl.
To make the phyllo rolls:
- Place a phyllo sheet on the counter. Cut it into triangles using a sharp knife. Just like slicing a pizza. First, cut it into two. Then into four and then into eight.
- Grab a triangle and place it on the counter. Put about 1 tablespoon filling on the wide end of the triangle. Leave some room at each side.
- Fold in both edges first and then fold the wide end. Roll the phyllo until the top edge of the triangle.
- Brush the top part of the triangle with water so that it sticks when rolled.
- Repeat these for the remaining phyllo dough triangles.
Heat oil in a pan. Fry the cheese rolls in batches until golden. Transfer them on paper towel and serve warm.
Keywords: turkish snack, phyllo recipe, phyllo dough, borek, turkish borek