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Kibbeh, much more than just meatballs


Also known as Lebanese meatballs, kibbeh is a popular dish in different parts of Asia and Africa. Here is the recipe with beef and bulgur.

Tracking down the origin of kibbeh is a real feat. Considered a typical dish of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq , they are also widespread in many regions of North Africa . Wanting to describe them, we could say that they are a sort of meatballs and bulgur stuffed with meat and expertly spiced . They are served fried as an appetizer but there are also versions based on raw meat.

As for the shape and blend of spices, as it is easy to guess, it depends a lot on the areas. The preponderant flavour, together with that of lamb meat , is cumin , while for the shape the most common is undoubtedly the elongated one, like a rugby ball. You can also give it the classic round shape and replace the lamb with beef: they will still be excellent.


How to make kibbeh recipe

  1. First, finely chop the onion and brown it in a pan with extra virgin olive oil. Then add the cumin powder and cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add 100 g of minced meat and cook for 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Once ready, add the chopped pine nuts with a knife.
  3. In the meantime, let the bulgur rehydrate for 30 minutes in cold water, then drain it well and transfer it to a bowl.
  4. Mix it with the remaining minced meat and flavor everything with the mint chopped with a knife and a pinch of salt.
  5. Spread a 6-7 mm layer of this mixture on the lightly oiled palm of your hand, place a little cooked meat in the center and close, giving the classic elongated shape . As they are ready, arrange the meatballs and bulgur on a plate.
  6. Then fry them in abundant seed oil until they are golden and crunchy.

These Lebanese stuffed meatballs are excellent accompanied with a yogurt sauce or tahini, the famous sesame seed paste.


Kibbehs can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days . We advise you to heat them in a pan before consuming them.

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