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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
The Meat Filling
½ Kg Ground Beef Sirloin
2 Yellow Onions, Chopped
⅔ Cup Pine Nuts
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Ground Sumac
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Paprika
The Outer Crust
3 Cups Bulgur Wheat You could also replace some of it with semolina.
2 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Egg
Frying Amount Oil Canola oil or other cooking oil

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Kibbeh: Classic Middle Eastern Bulgur Wheat Meatballs Recipe

Kibbeh can be a great snack, side dish, or even main dish.

Kibbeh is a small, simple dish that is an ubiquitous staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, especially around Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq.

Ingredients

  • The Meat Filling

  • The Outer Crust

Directions

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Kibbeh, sometimes spelled (as its Latin transliteration) kibbe and other variations (see notes below), is a great snack, side dish, or even main dish. Its main ingredients are the bulgur wheat and the minced (ground) meat that is used, though the meats may vary: beef, lamb, goat, and even camel meats are popular. Our kibbeh recipe here will just be a basic beef one, though you could replace it with lamb, I suppose. Enjoy!

* The name for kibbeh has yet to become truly standardized in English and some other Latin-script languages, so it can also be spelled: kebbah, kubbeh, kubbah, and kubbi.

* Mix up the bulgur wheat, if you can: use both thin and thick versions, if you can find it. You could also replace some of it with semolina.

Steps

1
Done

Preparations

Before starting, allow the bulgur wheat, in a large bowl, to be submerged in water.
The bulgur wheat should ideally sit in water for about an hour.

2
Done

The Meat Filling

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add about ¾ of our chopped onion to the oil; we'll use the rest in the crust. Cook for around 7-8 minutes.

3
Done

The Meat Filling

Add ground beef, salt, and paprika, and cook for another 10 or 11 minutes, until it is no longer pink. Make sure to break up the chunks of beef during this time as it cooks.

4
Done

The Meat Filling

When the meat starts to brown, turn off the heat and add the pine nuts and ground sumac and let it sit there as it cools (perhaps transfer to a bowl to allow it to cool faster).
Keep the oil; we'll use some of this to flavor the bulgur.

5
Done

The Outer Crust

Finely chop the remaining onions.
Drain the water from the bulgur wheat (that first step) and squeeze dry.

6
Done

The Outer Crust

In a large bowl, throw in the bulgur wheat and add the salt, pepper, egg, the remaining onions, and about ¼ cup of the leftover oil from the cooked meat filling.
Knead all of this together, until it becomes a pasty mixture.

7
Done

Now to Combine

Heat the cooking oil in a large pot to about 200° C (390° F), covering the bottom by about 5 cm (2 in).
Take an egg-sized amount of the bulgur mixture and, well, shape it like an egg.

8
Done

With your finger, press into this kibbeh dough and pinch all around to firm the shell.
Fill your hole (not your mouth, not yet!) with 2 tbs or so of the meat filling.
Seal each kibbeh by pinching shut, using a bit of water to moisten, if needed.
Repeat these steps until you've used up all your ingredients or your hands become sore.

9
Done

Place just the kibbeh into our heated cooking oil as can sit on the pot's bottom (none on top of any others). Cook until brown on the outside, or about 3.5 to 4 minutes.
Take the kibbeh out and allow to dry on paper towels before serving.
Enjoy!

Christian E.

Christian started as a travel writer over at Everywhere Fare's sister site, Dauntless Jaunter. He is a xenophile who loves documenting cultures through their history, legends, stories, and, as it is here, their cuisines.

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