Çilbir (Turkish Eggs)

The food offered by Zaytinya at the home of Jose Andres is a contemporary tribute to Silber, an iconic Turkish traditional dish made of poached eggs, yogurt, and paprika butter. This variation simplifies the method using sunny-side-up eggs and retains the plate’s fantastic visual appeal. Harissa-inspired take on the cult Chile crisp condiment stands in for the paprika butter, giving it an additional lively variation. Utilize the versatile Chile Crisp from this recipe to add a punch to everything from fish to eggs as well as meat, vegetables, and even fish.


Harissa chile crips

  • Three tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four medium garlic cloves minced
  • One teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Marash chile (see Note)
  • 1 cup crispy fried onions (such as French)


  • 2 cups plain whole-milk strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • Three tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • One teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1 (6-inch) pita round, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • Two tablespoons unsalted butter divided.
  • Eight large eggs
  • Fresh Thyme leaves to garnish
  • One teaspoon of ground sumac (such as Spicewalla)


Create a crisp Harissa chile.

  1. Sesame seeds are heated in a small skillet on medium heat, continuously stirring until the seeds start to pop and change pale blonde, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and transfer to an individual bowl. Add cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds into the skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until fragrant, around 45 seconds. Grind spices finely using an abrasive or a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  2. The oil is heated in a small saucepan on medium. Add salt and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, until the oil is fragrant, around 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the paprika, Marash chilies, and ground spice. Add to it and stir by using your fingers to crush the onions in a saucepan lightly. Transfer the chile crisp into an oven-proof dish and cool to room temperature. Cover with a lid for about an hour.

Create the Cilbir

  1. Bake at 375°F until it is hot. Mix yogurt with the juice of a lemon, salt, white pepper, and salt in a tiny bowl.
  2. Place the pita in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven to golden and crisp for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce the temperature to 140degF to serve on plates that are warm for serving.
  3. While the plates are warm the leaves, melt one tablespoon of butter into a nonstick saucepan at medium-high. Put four eggs in the skillet and sprinkle with salt as desired. Cook until egg whites become firm and yolks runny, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer the eggs to warm plates. Repeat the cooking process using the remaining butter, one tablespoon of four eggs, and add salt as desired.
  4. Sprinkle yogurt evenly over four plates and then top each with two eggs. Sprinkle one tablespoon of harissa chile crisp or more, if desired, over the eggs in each dish, and reserve some of the chile crispy for later use. Add small pieces of toasted pita. Sprinkle each serving with fresh thyme leaves and freshly ground sumac.


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