Fried Kibbe

From Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. Copyright ©2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Used by permission of...
Fried Kibbe

Michael Persico

From Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. Copyright ©2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


For the Filling:

  • 1  Tablespoon  canola oil
  • 1/2  onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  Pound  ground lamb
  • 1/2  Cup  pine nuts
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  ground allspice
  • 1  Teaspoon  kosher salt

For the Shells:

  • 1 1/2  Cup  bulgur wheat
  • 1  Pound  ground lamb
  • Kosher salt
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Basic Tehina Sauce
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


For the Filling:

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onion has begun to soften but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add the lamb and continue cooking, stirring to break up the meat, until it begins to brown, about 8 more minutes. Add the pine nuts, allspice, and salt and continue to cook, stirring, until the meat is well browned and the nuts begin to toast, about 3 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate and refrigerate until cool.

For the Shells:

Soak the bulgur in cold water for 1 hour. Drain, squeeze out the excess water, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Combine the soaked bulgur and lamb in a large bowl, season well with salt, and stir until well blended.

To form the kibbe: Shape about ¼ cup of the shell mixture around your thumb. Fill the cavity with about 2 teaspoons of the filling, press the open end closed, and shape into a little football. Repeat until all the kibbe are formed. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

To cook the kibbe: Heat about 2 inches oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. (You can tell when the oil is hot enough to fry by sticking the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil; if bubbles form around it, it’s ready. Or heat until the oil reaches 375 degrees F on a candy thermometer.) Fry the kibbe, working in batches if needed to avoid crowding the pot, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve with the tehina sauce and lemon wedges.