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stuffed kibbeH

The Recipe Hunters in Lebanon

Makes: 18-22  |    prep time: 1 hr   |    fry time: 10 min

Kibbeh is the mix of "something" with bulgur (cracked wheat) that 'something' is typically minced meat and spices. This version of kibbeh is called Kibbeh Mahshieh or "stuffed kibbeh." It is made of a meat base (either goat, sheep, or cow) The meat is mixed with bulgur and formed into hollow, egg-shaped balls. The balls are stuffed with meat & onions and then deep fried until they are crisp and delicious. 

Kibbeh base ingredients
  • 1 kg ground meat (2.2 pounds)

  • 800 g of fine bulgur (1.75 pounds)

  • 1.5 Tbsp Sea salt on hand

  • 1.5 Tbsp seven spices

  • 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil

  • water on hand

stuffing ingredients
  • 1 kg ground meat (2.2 pounds)

  • 1 kg white onions (2.2 pounds)

  • 1 Tbsp Sea salt on hand

  • 1 Tbsp seven spices

  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Special Equipment Considerations:

  • deep fry pan

  • vegetable oil for frying

Kibbeh bil sanieh Recipe

  • Wash the bulgur under cold water twice, soak it in cold water for about 15 minutes, and then rinse it. 

  • Combine the ground meat, bulgur, salt, and seven spice together in a large mixing bowl using your hand. Mix.

  • Knead the ingredients, adding a few teaspoons of water until you get the consistency seen in the film. The perfect consistency is not sticky-wet, but not too dry. Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator while you fry the meat and onions.

  • Dice the onions and fry them in the olive oil in a large deep pan over medium heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the ground meat. Brown the meat. Add the salt and seven spices. Stir and set aside.

  • Keep the bowl of water to your side. Dab one of your hands in the water and rub your hands together so that your hands become slightly wet. Take an egg-sized ball of kibbeh and form it into a smooth oval egg shape by rolling it around in your hands. Once, you have the oval shape you can form the shell of the kibbeh. Cupping the oval of kibbeh in the left hand, dab the pointer finger of your right hand in the water. Now press your right pointer finger into one of the ends of the kibbeh egg and gently rotate the kibbeh around the pointer finger, using your left hand to hold the shape of the oval. Every time you rotate the kibbeh, squeeze the kibbeh slightly in your cupped hand so that the shell of the kibbeh eventually becomes a thin smooth layer (if you're a lefty, reverse hands). Whenever I make kibbeh I think of a heart beating in my cupped hand, this helps me form a rhythm. Do not be discouraged if it takes you several times before you achieve a smooth egg-shaped kibbeh. Back in the day, a young woman took pride in making the thinnest, smoothest kibbeh.

  • Once you have formed the hollow egg-shaped shell, take a scoop of stuffing and gently place it into the kibbeh. Dab your hands in the water and gently close the kibbeh by twisting it together into a little pinch, like the top of a Hershey kiss. You can dab your fingers in the water and smooth the kibbeh out around the edges. 

  • Once all of your kibbeh are formed, add enough vegetable oil to a deep frying pan so that the level of oil is taller than the kibbeh (the kibbeh should be fully submerged in oil). Heat over medium-high flame. The temperature of the flame might vary depending on your stove, but know that the oil should not be so high that is spits and splatters.

  • Make sure that the oil is very hot, before adding the kibbeh. When the kibbeh is dropped into the oil it should sizzle and the oil should bubble around it. If the oil is not hot enough, then the kibbeh will absorb too much oil and your kibbeh will be greasy.

  • The kibbeh should be fully submerged and should be moved around occasionally so that all sides are browned (approximately 6-7 minutes frying). When the kibbeh is reddish-brown, remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. 

  • Let cool and enjoy!

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