Kibbeh is one of the most traditional foods in many Middle Eastern countries. These egg-shaped, medium-sized meatballs (made of beef or lamb, rice, and spices) are so delicious that you will definitely want to try them.
My family came to Mexico from Syria and Lebanon, so making kibbeh is one way we have maintained our Mizrahi identity through food. My childhood smelled and tasted like the Middle East and I hope this recipe helps you bring Middle Eastern cuisine into your kitchen.
If you are Sephardic or eat rice during Passover, kibbeh is ideal as an appetizer during the holiday, since all of the ingredients in this recipe are allowed. Of course, you can and should make it all year round.
Here is my delicious and super-easy recipe for kibbeh. You can either boil the kibbeh (this is the low-fat version) or fry them in vegetable oil (the tastier version).
Easy and delicious kibbeh
PrintYield4 -6 people
- 1 food processor
- 1 ⅓ pounds ground beef or ground lamb
- 4 cups rice
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp chicken broth powder
- ½ tbsp ground cumin
- ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- Soak the rice in hot water for 30 minutes. After that, rinse and drain very well.
- Mix 1 pound of meat and the rice. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of salt and the rest of the spices until fully integrated.
- Process the mix into the food processor until you have a light-pink dough. By this point, you shouldn’t be able to see any single grain of rice or portion of meat. The dough should integrate everything (see the picture below).
- Heat the oil on a skillet and fry the rest of the meat with ½ tablespoon of salt, over medium heat, until it is cooked. As an option, you can also add ground cumin and/or ground cinnamon. Put it on the side.
- Now, make the meatballs. Take a portion of dough with your hands and make a medium-sized ball. Try to make it in the shape of an egg.
- Carefully and slowly, make a small hole in the middle of the ball and go deeper toward the center. Moving your finger in a circular way can be helpful, as can adding water or oil on your finger to make the small hole. Make the thin hole the deepest you can without piercing through to the other side.
- Then, stuff with the meat you fried before, and close with the same portion of dough, as if it were a meatball. From the outside, you should only see one medium-sized ball of dough, but it will be stuffed with meat.
- Repeat these steps with the rest of the dough and the meat.
To boil the kibbeh:
- In a large pot, add water up to half the pot. Wait until the water starts to boil. Add the kibbeh and wait for 15 minutes until it is ready.
To fry the kibbeh:
- Add oil to your frying pan. Make sure the oil is hot before you add them to avoid disintegration.
- Wait for 5 minutes and turn them over onto the other side to make sure it is completely done from different angles. When the kibbeh balls start to have a light-brown color, it means they are ready (the color should look similar to fried meat).
- Be sure to serve your kibbeh with tahini sauce or Israeli salad. Sahten! Bete’avon!