Kibbeh Recipe

Kibbeh Recipe

Kibbeh or kibbe are crispy oriental meatballs, usually made from fine bulgur and stuffed with flavored meat. There are many ways to prepare kibbeh and bulgur can be replaced with rice or semolina, but the classic bulgur is still preferred (it's said to be the Syrian recipe for kibbeh). I will definitely try the rice version, which I tasted at our friends, Geea and Felah. The kibbeh crust in this recipe is finer and more tender, whereas with bulgur, it's a bit more crunchy, flavorful and slightly coarse.

We really like it. Kibbeh and Falafel convinced us that oriental cuisine is interesting and it's worth trying as many recipes as possible. Kibbeh can be frozen (uncooked), you can serve hot or cold, in addition to a salad and any yogurt you like.


Fine bulgur wheat
300 g
can be found in Arab stores or in specific departments in hypermarkets, see step 1
2 tsp
Vegetable oil
1 l
White flour
100 g
you might use a little more
Ground beef meat
250 g
1 piece
Ground black pepper
0.25 tsp
0.25 tsp
Baharat - arabic 7 spice mix
1 tsp
Ground coriander
1 tsp
Garlic powder
0.5 tsp
Sweet paprika
0.5 tsp
0.1 tsp
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, if you have - optional
Chopped parsley
2 tbsp
Pine nuts
2 tbsp

Step by step

Step 1

This is what the fine bulgur wheat looks like, it's between rough and powder.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 1
Step 2

Place 300g of bulgur in a deep bowl, pour enough cold water to cover it well and let soak for 1 hour.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 2
Step 3

Meanwhile, we will prepare the stuffing for kibbeh.

In a large skillet, heat a little oil, add the onions chopped in small cubes and stir periodically until it begins to brown slightly.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 3
Step 4

Add in the minced beef, fry and stir continuously until it spreads out into small pieces.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 4
Step 5

When the meat in the pan has run out of juice and starts to brown a little, add all the spices, in turn - black pepper, turmeric, baharat, coriander, paprika, garlic powder and ground nutmeg.

Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 5
Step 6

Finally, sprinkle over with the chopped parsley and pine nuts, stir and immediately remove the pan from the heat.

Allow to cool slightly at room temperature.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 6
Step 7

In the meantime, the bulgur is swelling, see the picture.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 7
Step 8

Drain well - you can place the bulgur in a sieve and press hard with your fingers or use a fine towel and squeeze.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 8
Step 9

Move the drained bulgur into a large bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of oil and 100g of white flour.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 9
Step 10

Knead and stir the mixture well. See if it has an easy-to-shape play-doh texture - squeeze a little in your palm and try to give it a shape.

If the dough spreads easily and won't hold its shape, add another 20-50g of flour, knead again and test until you get the desired result.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 10
Step 11

We start shaping the kibbeh or bulgur meatballs.

First of all, you must have a bowl of water next to you, to soak your hands in when you start shaping each kibbeh.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 11
Step 12

So, take some bulgur in your damp hands, as much as fits in your palm, press and shape into an oval.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 12
Step 13

Hold the bulgur meatball in your left hand and insert the index finger of the right hand to make a hole in the middle.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 13
Step 14

Lightly press the edges and widen it until you get a kind of small bowl made from bulgur.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 14
Step 15

Place 1 teaspoon of the meat filling in it.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 15
Step 16

Carefully seal the dough on top and close the filling inside the meatball. Wet your fingers if the dough is sticky.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 16
Step 17

Also, shape the stuffed meatball into an oval with pointed ends, this is one of the specific kibbeh shapes.

I cannot guarantee it will be perfect at first. Pay attention to all my recommendations in the recipe, study more on Youtube on how to shape kibbeh and you will surely succeed.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 17
Step 18

Continue to shape until you've finished all the dough. Arrange the stuffed kibbeh on a plate sprinkled with a little water. From these quantities, I made 20 meatballs. You can fry them but you can also freeze (uncooked) on a tray and use them whenever you need.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 18
Step 19

Heat about 1 liter of oil in a small, deep saucepan. I prefer to use peanut oil for this, but the classic sunflower oil also works.

Dip a meatball in the hot oil. If it starts to fry and make big bubbles, add more, as many as they fit.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 19
Step 20

Fry the kibbeh over high heat until well browned on all sides.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 20
Step 21

When they are done, carefully remove and put on a plate lined with paper towels, to absorb excess oil.

Place another batch of kibbeh in the pan and continue until you've fried all of them.

Kibbeh Recipe - Step 21
Step 22

They are wonderful, hot, cold or even reheated, served with a fresh vegetable salad, yogurt and maybe hummus.


Kibbeh Recipe - Step 22
Quantity: 20 pieces
Prep time: 30 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 120 min
Publish date:

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