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Updated: Jun 24
KIBBEH, spelled in Arabic’s كبة This dish is made of bulgur, minced onions, and finely ground lean beef or lamb with Middle Eastern spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice.
For the Kibbeh shells
2 cups fine-medium bulgur
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Vegetable oil for frying
For the Meat Filling
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped o
1 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 tsp. Ground allspice
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Dried mint
1/2 tsp. Ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. pepper, to taste
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 small lemon
Cover a fine mesh strainer with a light cloth or cheesecloth. Add the bulgur in the cheesecloth and then place the strainer into a bowl filled with water. Let the bulgur soak in the water for at least 15 minutes. Pull the cloth, holding the bulgur, and carefully squeeze out all of the water. You may need to do this a couple of times. Set aside.
Place the onion, ground beef, spices, salt and pepper into the bowl of a large food processor. Process until the meat is very finely ground. Transfer the meat mixture into a large bowl and add the bulgur. Mix the bulgur and meat mixture thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until assembly.
Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion until they are lightly golden and then add the ground beef. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the meat is fully browned. Add the toasted pine nuts, spices, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Remove the kibbeh from the refrigerator.
To stuff the kibbeh, you will need to have damp hands. Make sure to have a small bowl of water next to you. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Dampen hands with some water, take a handful of the kibbeh dough and form into an oval shaped disc. Use your finger to make a well into middle of the disc, and gradually hallow the disc out to make a larger hole for the filling. Spoon in 1-2 tbsp. of the filling. Seal the dough on top and, using both hands, carefully shape it into an oval (football shape). Place the stuffed kibbeh on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until you run out, be sure to have damp hands throughout.
Chill the stuffed kibbeh for 1 hour in refrigerator.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan to 350 degrees F. (Once oil starts to gently bubble it will be ready to add the kibbeh. You don’t want oil too hot). Deep-fry the kibbeh in the oil in batches, being careful not to crowd them, until the kibbeh shells are browned, approx. 5-7 mins. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the kibbeh and place them on a pan lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat until you have fried all the stuffed kibbeh.
Serve with Lebanese bread.