Homecookin’: Sheep’s Milk Cheese–Filled Phyllo Dough (Sigara Boregi)

Date March 31, 2010

NYC Food Guy is proud to present another great recipe from Homecookin’ contributor Spice Jonze’n. If you’d like to contribute your recipes to the site e-mail [email protected].  Take it away Spice…

With a little help from my Turkish friend this week we bring you Sigara böregi (cigar-ah bor-ek), a thin roll of phyllo dough wrapped around a mixture of sheep’s milk cheese, herbs and spices…oh yea.

Sigari Boreki - NYCFoodGuy.com

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

Notes Before We Begin

The phyllo dough I used was from the Turkish food store I frequent, but you can find phyllo dough in most stores. Make sure that you buy the thinnest dough you can find.  Paper-thin is about right.  I really like the sheep’s milk cheese that I use in this recipe, but a Greek Feta works great as well.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com


  • Pre-cut Phyllo dough sheets (if the dough is not pre-cut into a wedge shape, cut a flat sheet into pizza slice shapes)
  • Sheeps Milk Cheese (I am using a Turkish brand that crumbles easily)
  • Parsley
  • Crushed red pepper spice
  • 1 egg white
  • Olive Oil

Preparing the Filling

Take a medium size bowl and add about 1 ½ cups of the sheep’s milk cheese (crumbled), a handful of chopped parsley and the Turkish red pepper.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

Mix these ingredients together thoroughly with your hands to combine all of those great flavors. The cheese I am using is salty so no extra salt is needed. If the cheese you use needs a little extra flavor add a little salt to your liking.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

Rolling The Dough

Now it is time for the fun part, lay out your phyllo sheet and add a small amount of the cheese mixture as seen in the picture below. Make sure not to add too much or you will have a mess later on…cheese blowout!

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

Begin rolling the dough over the cheese mixture, and over onto itself one time. Be careful, the dough is very thin and delicate, so take extra care not to cause a tear.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

At this point, take the extra dough sticking off of the sides and fold into the center. Continue rolling the dough over itself one or two times.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

Now, take your egg white and brush some onto the remaining dough and then finish rolling it up all the way to the end.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com


Take a large pan and heat up enough olive oil to coat the pan until it is crackling hot.  Place the rolls into the pan. They will cook quickly so keep an eye on them.  Be careful with heating the olive oil, it will start to smoke if it gets too hot.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

Once they brown on one side, flip them over and finish cooking on the other side. Your total cook time in the pan will be less than 10 minutes.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

After they’re done, take them out of the pan and let cool for a few minutes on a cooking rack. I would not recommend biting into one until it has sat for a few minutes or your burnt tongue will have trouble tasting the rest of your borek.

Sigara Boregi - NYCFoodGuy.com

Bon appétit,
Spice Jonze’n

17 Responses to “Homecookin’: Sheep’s Milk Cheese–Filled Phyllo Dough (Sigara Boregi)”

  1. MOE said:

    thank you

  2. Boy George said:

    You know that he steals these receipes…

  3. Dizzle said:

    @Boy George: So did your mom when she made meatloaf and oatmeal cookies but…..
    I can dig it Food Guy, looks like it would make a good ordurve(spelling?) if people are over.

  4. Anonymous said:

    actually he stole this one from me! those are my little hands diligently workin. rollin those lil guys. hahaha. its a great breakfast food. actually i was told that you eat this at kahvalti (breakfast in turkish 😉

  5. Boy George said:

    Dizzle, how about we get off of Moms…cause I just got off on yours?


  6. The Marchesa of Mustard said:

    Spice Jonze’n–nice boregi! You seem to be tapped into the Turkish grocery circuit. Any suggestions on where to find fresh (refrigerated, but not frozen) pre-made phyllo, as opposed to the everyday frozen phyllo from the supermarket? It’s easy to find in Turkey, but hard to come by over here.

  7. RWordplay said:

    Delightful Lawrence. Thank you. Now the hard question. What is the best Turkish restaurant in the City?

  8. RWordplay said:

    Ahh, forgot to add. I agree with the sheep’s milk. I also prefer it to Feta, which increasingly I find course and tasteless.

  9. spice jonz'n said:

    Found this link on chowhound for a bunch of sources around the city for phyllo dough, I like to go to Sunny Grocery in Queens.


  10. Anonymous said:

    Enough with the Homecookin and contributors…I think this site has officially jumped the shark!

  11. Betty Broccoli said:

    Don’t think so anonymous, these fried phyllo cheese things look great. keep em coming food guy

  12. spice jonz'n said:

    Hmmm favorite Turkish restaurant… Ali Baba is great and so is A la Turka on the UES.

  13. Francine said:

    SJ–Pls Pls Pls bring home some of the Turkish spice and phyllo dough from the Turkish store next time you are home. It is for ME! Debbie

  14. Francine said:

    PS Of course I will reimburse you. PPS I will try the Sigara böregi next week. Grazie mille!

  15. Suzee said:

    wow – looks absolutely delish!!! Thanks!!

  16. PR press releases said:

    impossible to stick to carrots and celery when you see something like this. got to try, for sure.

  17. Jo said:

    I need these immediately. It’s ok to eat them alone right? with booze? ok.

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