Serbian Ćevapi

Serbian CevapiA very delicious breakfast I had in the Old Town, Baščaršija, Bosnia, few years ago (they were pan-fried on a huge greasy griddle not unlike teppanyaki style). Ćevapi or Ćevapčići is a grilled dish of minced meat eaten with Lepinja (sort of pita bread pronounced Lep-yee-na) served with minced onions and sometimes Kajmak (a homemade cream cheese pronounced Kah-yee-mak). Simply delicious!

Rumours had it that the Ćevapi probably originated from Turkey and was brought to Bosnia during Ottoman occupation in the Balkan. I am very happy to have found and now share this recipe with you. I am not sure if the one I had in Sarajevo contained pork but this Serbian version does. I guess you can replace the meat with more lamb if you do not eat pork. I have rounded up the measurements in metric as the original recipe uses US units. Also, as I like spicy food, I added ½ tsp Paprika to this recipe.

The original recipe is found here.

450g lean ground Beef
225g ground Lamb
225g ground Pork
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp Paprika, optional
5 cloves Garlic, finely minced
120ml Club Soda (½ cup or ½ tsp Baking Soda), to be added bit by bit
1 beaten Egg White, to be added last

Combine all 3 meats with the dry ingredients and the garlic. Using your hands, mix until the dry ingredients and garlic are evenly spread into the mixture. As you are mixing, slowly add the club soda (divide 3-4 times) and work the soda into mixture, repeat until all the soda is incorporated into the mixture. Lastly, add the beaten egg white and mix well.

The best way to shape the links is to line a ½ inch deep cookie sheet with baking wax paper and have some allowance for the paper to stick out of pan so you can pull the chilled meat out of the pan later. You may need to overlap the wax papers if your pan is too big. Then evenly spread the mixture over the inside of the pan and cover meat with an additional sheet of wax paper or cling wrap the pan. You can also shape them by hand (if you do not have a cookie sheet) into links of about finger length and ¾ of an inch thick. Let the meat mixture chill for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) in the refrigerator so the shape can hold during cooking.

Remove the pan from the fridge. Put a large cutting board on top of the pan and flip the pan over the top of the cutting board so the mixture falls out. Or just pull one end of the wax paper and slide the mixture out onto the board or working surface.

Next, cut them into sausages about finger length and ¾” thick (see picture above to approximate shape and size). You should yield about 45 links for this recipe.

These sausages can be cooked on a grill/hotplate for about 4 to 5 mins each side or baked in the oven at 180°C / 350°F for 30 minutes (turn every 15 mins).

Chef’s note: This recipe is for Serbian Cevapi or also known as Cevapcici. They are home made sausage links for lunch or dinner usually served over a bed of minced onions on a platter. They are also served in sandwiches with Pita or Home made Flatbread (Lepinja) with raw onions, tomato wedges and lettuce. Or a Serbian spread called Kajmak. This recipe makes about 45 links depending on how you cut them. I would suggest letting them sit in the fridge or cool place overnight to let the flavor set in.

You can find DIY Pita recipe here.

Happy cooking 🙂

4 Responses to “Serbian Ćevapi”
  1. Bianca says:

    I didn’t paprika to this recipe is absolutely atrocious notes. Please do not even suggest it has to be done. This recipe has to be clean to be this recipe otherwise it’s pretty much s*** . Jesus.

    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Bianca, I’m guessing you are the author/chef of the original recipe. I’m very sorry that the addition of paprika offends you. I have linked for the original recipe to your site in my post and that’s how you found me. However, I have also penned that paprika is my own addition and is an optional ingredient. I’m approving this comment so readers will know what you think of paprika in this dish. Thank you very much for correcting me and commenting here. Have a nice day 😀

  2. Mirjana says:

    my Grandfather owned a grill restaurant in the early 40’s in belgrade and his was the biggest restaurant in those times. I have his secret recipe and it does contain paprika

    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Mirjana, thank you for your visit to my blog kind verification. I’m sure your grandfather’s restaurant must be a popular place during the time he operated it. I really enjoyed this dish when I was visiting Bosnia. If one day you care to share his recipe, I would love to know it 😀 Have a nice week ahead.

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