Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)

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Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)

Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)

Stop gagging! Some people actually love liver!  Not us necessarily, but some people. Mind you, we’ve never actually met these people, but we’re sure they exist.  Even our parents, who used to force us to eat liver at least once a month as we were growing up, aren’t huge fans.  In fact we realized that as soon as our parents became empty-nesters, they cook liver, like never!  We can’t recall calling or popping in on our folks, and hearing them say “Oh, we’re just frying up some nice liver for dinner. Why don’t you join us?”.  In fact, during a recent Mia Kouppa session, when we surprised our parents with a piece of liver and asked them to show us how to prepare it, we are pretty sure that our mom sighed and our dad cringed.

Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)
But still, we are trying to keep this real.  If you grew up in a traditional, typical Greek family as we did, you were probably forced to eat liver, at least occasionally. Not entirely surprising when you think about it.  Liver is relatively inexpensive, and quite good for you.  It is very high in protein, iron,  folate and vitamins B-6 and B-12.  Liver is also an incredible source of vitamin A; in fact you must eat liver in moderation so that you don’t ingest toxic amounts of vitamin A (like really, this is an issue??).  And finally, knowing how hard many immigrant parents worked, and the fact that liver could be cooked and served (with a little pre-planning) in well under 10 minutes…it’s a wonder we weren’t forced to eat it more often!  Maybe our parents knew about vitamin A toxicity!?
All these reasons, and the fact that we have fond memories of eating liver as children, meant that we couldn’t skip over this recipe, just because we’re pretty sure it won’t be very popular.  In actual fact, after having a taste, we realized that although not a favourite meal, liver actually isn’t so bad.  The trick is to serve it with a lot (like, a LOT) of fresh lemon.  So here you go!  A recipe from our childhood, which is possibly also from your childhood, available so that we can now introduce into the next generation’s childhood.
Helpful hints
Although you can choose to make this recipe with either calf or beef liver, the calf liver does have a milder taste; it may be a bit more expensive than beef liver, but is still quite reasonably priced.
Liver cooks quickly.  We prefer it to have a slight pink center, which means that the total cooking time is only a few minutes per side.  If the liver cooks for much longer it can get quite tough and chewy.  When done right, fried liver actually has a very mild texture and full but not overpowering taste.
According to our parents, soaking the liver in milk and vinegar helps to remove some of the “liver” taste (whatever that means) and the bacteria.  The “liver” taste, maybe…but the part about the bacteria doesn’t really make any sense.  In any case, we did as they said and the liver was…if not delicious (it IS liver after all)…still very, very good.
Liver isn’t really something that makes for great leftovers.  So, cook up only what you will be eating for a given meal.
Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)
Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)
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Mia Kouppa: Fried liver

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 slices of calf or beef liver (about 0.2 kilograms or approximately 1/2 pound)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil for frying
  • lemon wedges


  • Combine the milk and red wine vinegar.  Place your liver in a shallow plate and pour the milk mixture over it to cover completely.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  • In a bowl whisk together the flour, oregano, pepper and salt.
  • Remove the liver from the milk mixture and coat it thoroughly in the flour.
  • Pour the olive oil into a frying pan so that it is 1/2 inch deep.  Heat over medium heat and add the liver slices to the hot oil.  Fry for 2 – 3 minutes per side, depending upon the thickness of the liver.
  • Remove from the pan and serve with fresh lemon wedges.
  • Enjoy.

21 responses to “Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)”

  1. Joanne Jamis Cain Avatar

    I love liver! I grew up eating it but now I rarely make it. Thanks for the nudge! Joanne

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      You’re welcome Joanne!! It had been years for us too, and we realized that it wasn’t actually as bad as we remembered 🙂 Have a great day!

  2. Katerina Avatar

    We only ever had chicken livers (floured and pan-fried) – I remember loving those as a kid. Now, since I rarely, rarely eat meat (cue the gasps and dropped dishes!), liver is even more rare, and usually comes in the form of paté…! PS – I had always thought I needed to do EXACTLY what you’re doing with the family recipes. I’m so glad I found your blog! (Now I don’t have to!) 🙂 But, thank you!

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      LOL…we’re glad you found us too Katerina 🙂 Chicken livers are actually a favourite around here…but we realize we haven’t had them in a while! Must get to that! Thanks so much for being part of Mia Kouppa. We are in the process of reworking our recipe list, to make it easier to find recipes. We have lots of vegetarian / vegan options 🙂 🙂 Have a great day!

  3. Mary Avatar

    Enjoy reading all your posts. And I too love liver.
    Keep up the fabulous work 😁
    Mary from Montreal

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      Thank you so much Mary! That means so much 🙂 Thank you for being part of Mia Kouppa, and for your support and encouragement 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  4. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso Avatar

    This looks delicious! I love liver, but found out many people don’t. I’ve posted a recipe for chicken liver last week, and it turned out to be the least popular post I’ve had in a long time! Live and learn… 🙂

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      Actually…we LOVE chicken liver 🙂 We will definitely check out your recipe! But yeah…we knew this wasn’t going to be a favourite. Lol

  5. indianeskitchen Avatar

    Oh my did you bring back memories of my childhood! My mom use to make this a lot! Thank you!

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      🙂 🙂 You’re welcome. We love when our posts bring back memories!

  6. Nickie Courey Avatar
    Nickie Courey

    Yes, a good reminder of childhood. However, my Yiayia and Mother only cooked lamb’s liver. It Is milder in taste and doesn’t have that “texture” that calf liver has, but still not my favorite. When I was pregnant I needed more iron (according to my doctor) and had morning sickness (not unusual). My Father-in-law (bless him – he was a sweetie) brought me a package one evening containing 5 pounds of raw lamb liver to help me boost my iron level! One look and I thought I would lose my entire stomach!!! But it helped. Thanks for bringing back good memories.

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      You’re not the first person to write about lamb’s liver. We don’t think that our parents ever made this (outside of Easter time). We are intrigued and are definitely going to give it a try! And yes, very high in iron! Your father-in-law was a very smart man 🙂

  7. Gary Avatar

    I grew up eating lamb liver and I like it.

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      Actually, I’m not sure we ever had lamb liver…but many people have commented that this is what they had growing up. We’ll have to give it a try 🙂

  8. Nancy Ann Avatar
    Nancy Ann

    Thank you for your
    Fried Liver recipe. I have a favorite restaurant in North Tonawanda, NY that serves amazing tender liver, sauteed onions, crisp bacon, with mash potato and onion gravy!
    Mia, I greatly appreciate your diverse recipes, pleased I found your site.
    I look forward to expanding my culinary passion with your amazing recipes. Thank You
    Nancy Ann

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      Wow! Thank you so much Nancy Ann, for your kind message and words of support! 🙂 Let us know if you try any of our recipes, and how you like them! Have a great evening!

  9. A_Boleyn Avatar

    I love chicken liver but beef liver is a bit strong for me and veal liver is hard to source/expensive when you do. (I can’t eat liver that’s still pink in the middle, either.) 🙂

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      We actually love chicken liver too! Can’t wait to share a few recipes we have using this ingredient 🙂

      1. A_Boleyn Avatar

        I flashed back to my pre-blog posts on my LJ. The crispy fried chicken livers were very tasty though a mess to cook. The moister version served over mashed potatoes, polenta or alongside spinach rice is what I’m more used to making and eating.

      2. miakouppa Avatar

        Yum!!! Sounds so delicious! We are really craving chicken livers now…it’s been a while! 🙂

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