View Full Version : Kibbe

Chris in Louisiana
02-18-2012, 09:25 PM
Kibbe (pics below) is loved by the Syrians, Lebanese, and others in the mid-East. It is spelled, pronounced, and cooked many different ways.

This is how we do it, based on an Emeril recipe that stays pretty close to tradition. We like it better than what we get in Greek and Lebanese restaurants. I like to add more of the spices, plus cayenne, to the basic recipe.

It's time consuming, and best done with two people working, but it's worth it.

Makes 15 to 20 kibbe

Outer Shells:

1 1/2 cups fine bulgur wheat
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped yellow onions
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper


1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cups finely chopped yellow onions
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Vegetable oil, for frying
Chopped parsley, garnish

Outer Shells: place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 20 minutes then drain in a strainer, pressing to extract the excess liquid.

In a large bowl, mix the beef, onions, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add the strained bulgur wheat and mix well. Process, in batches, in a food processor until smooth and pliable enough to work like a dough, adding a little ice water if needed.

Stuffing: In a large skillet, cook the meat, stirring, over medium-high heat until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, salt, allspice, pepper, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pine nuts. Let sit until cool enough to handle.

To make the final dish, with wet hands, shape the raw meat-bulgur mixture into egg-sized balls. Make a hole down the center of each ball with an index finger to make a deep cup with a pointed bottom. Stuff each ball with about 1 tablespoon of the stuffing. Press down on the sides and top to enclose the filling and reshape into a smooth egg with a pointed top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, wetting your hands frequently.

Preheat the oil to 360 degrees F.

In batches, add the kibbeh balls to the hot oil and cook until golden brown and the meat is cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on baking rack.

We slice them and wrap in pita or flat bread with tzatziki, tabouleh, and feta cheese.

Yogurt-Garlic Sauce (Tzatziki)

1 cup strained plain yogurt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.

The outer shell material, and the filling, with some raw finished "Syrian footballs" in the back.

One filled and about to be closed up.


Kibbe, tzatziki, tabouleh, and pita bread.

Our favorite way to eat kibbe.

Rita Y
02-19-2012, 07:16 AM
Chris, these sound delectable! And your photos are very helpful. I can almost taste them. These are on my Must Try list. Thanks for posting!


r benash
02-20-2012, 04:22 AM
Chris - thanks for this post, recipe, photos! Fantastic.