Kibbeh: Lebanese Fried Kibbeh Balls

Kibbeh: Lebanese Fried Kibbeh Balls
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Adjust Servings:
For the Kibbeh stuffing
250g Ground beef (or lamb)
1 Chopped onion
a handful Toasted pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
For the Crust
250ml (one cup) Fine bulgur
250g Ground beef (or lamb)
1 Chopped onion
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Clove
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Powdered ginger
Salt & Pepper
  • 20min
  • Serves 5
  • Medium


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    For the Kibbeh stuffing

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    For the Crust


Votes: 1

Kibbeh, the treasure of Mediterranean gastronomy

When it comes to Mediterranean cuisine, we often think of a mosaic of flavours, both delicate and robust, that capture the essence of sun-drenched lands. Kibbeh, known by different names such as ‘kebbeh’, or ‘kebbé’, is one of those culinary nuggets that immediately transports our palates to the shores of the Middle East. It’s an essential part of Lebanese mezzes.

The origins of kibbeh : a blend of history and culture

The roots of kibbeh go deep into the rich culinary history of the Levantine region. The dish is thought to have existed since ancient times. Ancient writings mention similar dishes that were enjoyed by the Assyrians and even by Egyptian pharaohs.

A journey through times

The name “kibbeh” comes from classical Arabic and means “ball”, which gives a clue to its most traditional form. Over time, and as the recipe travelled, kibbeh took on many forms and flavours, adapting to local cultures while retaining its essence.

The benefits of kibbeh ingredients

In addition to its rich history, what makes kibbeh balls exceptional is the combination of ingredients that provide not only flavour but also health benefits.

Bulgur: the heart and soul of these Fried Balls

Bulgur is a wholemeal cereal made from durum wheat grains that are partially steamed, then dried and crushed. It has a number of benefits:

  • Rich in fiber: It aids digestion and can help prevent constipation.
  • Source of protein: Essential for repairing body tissue.
  • Minerals: Contains manganese, magnesium and iron, essential for the body to function properly.

The meat: power and flavour

Whether it’s lamb or beef, the meat in kibbeh is a source of energy:

  • High-quality proteins: For muscle growth and repair.
  • B vitamins: For metabolism and energy production.
    Iron: Essential for transporting oxygen in the blood.
  • Onions and spices are the silent stars. They don’t only add flavour but also antioxidants and very good source of Vitamin C for a healthy skin and immune system.

As for the spices, they add an extra dimension, both in terms of taste and health benefits, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and digestive properties.

Preparing kibbeh Balls: A celebration of tradition

Preparing kibbeh is almost a ritual. Each stage, from grinding the meat to forming the dumplings, is a testament to respect for tradition.

How to eat kibbeh?

In Lebanon, where kibbeh originated, it is often served with fresh vegetables, a Fattoush salad, tahini-based sauces, yoghurt or pita bread. In other parts of the world, it blends harmoniously with local flavours, from the salsa sauces of South America to the rice pilafs of Turkey.

Lebanese Fried kibbeh Balls, a universal dish

Kibbeh, with its rich history and incomparable flavours, is truly a gift from the Middle East to the world. Whether served at large celebrations or a quiet family dinner, it brings a touch of tradition to the table.

So whether you’re discovering kibbeh for the first time or a long-time lover of the dish, every bite is a celebration of cuisine, history and culture. Embark on a culinary journey and let this delicious lebanese mezze transport you to the heart of Lebanon!



Cooking Boulghour

In a bowl, add your fine Boulghour. Bring the water to the boil and add it to the bulghur. Cover the bowl with a plate for about 30 minutes while the Boulghour cooks and absorbs the water.


Preparing the Kibbeh stuffing

While your Boulghour is gently absorbing the water, prepare your Kibbeh stuffing. In a frying pan, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil, your pine nuts and a chopped onion. Brown everything well. Then add your minced meat (250g) and the spices: salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Brown the meat for about 5 minutes. The stuffing is ready!


Preparing the dough for Lebanese Kibbeh

Once your fine Boughour has absorbed the water, separate the grains with a fork and leave to cool for around 15 minutes (this is important so that you don't start cooking the meat while preparing the pastry). Meanwhile, take out a blender and add an onion, 250g of minced meat and, if necessary, 10g of maizena. Blend everything together, then add salt and pepper. Add the same spices as for the stuffing. Add the cooked Boulghour and mix well, loosening the edges from time to time.


Transfer your dough to a salad bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 1 hour.


Shape your Kibbeh

Once your dough has rested, shape your Kibbeh! Wet your hands and take about 50g of dough for each Kibbeh. Form a ball by rolling the dough between your hands, then press your thumb into the centre to hollow out the dough as you rotate the ball. The dough should not be too thick. Add a little filling to the hole and gently press it down. Press the filling into the hole, bringing the edges of the pastry together and making two small points at either end to give the Kibbeh its characteristic shape! Repeat the operation until you have finished your pastry and filling.


To cook your Kibbeh, heat 1.5 litres of frying oil. As soon as the oil reaches 160 degrees, plunge in your home-made Kibbeh and leave them to cook for around ten minutes.
Once your Kibbeh are a lovely golden colour, place them on absorbent paper to remove any excess fat.


Your homemade Lebanese Kibbeh are cooked!

You've made delicious Lebanese Kibbeh at home! Serve them hot or warm with a yoghurt sauce such as tzatziki or Turkish cacik.

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