New Food Friday – Kibe or Kibeh or Kibbeh

30 Nov

It’s New Food Friday and you will never guess how I came up with today’s food dish. I was watching the PBS show, Globe Trekker. The travel host was sitting on a beach in Brazil and a man carrying a cooler strapped to his shoulder was selling food. Renato Trizolio – Sao-Paulo-Brazil

The travel host flagged him down and was presented with an over-sized meatball-looking “street food.” These tasty morsels come in many shapes. Some people shape them in the form of a football as you can see in this photo. 

Basel15 at wikipedia – Kibbeh

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the name that she called it. She said it was her favorite street food and that it was very popular among Brazilians. After some investigating, I learned that these neatly contained meat dishes were called, Kibe (pronounced Keebee).

Some people prepare them into a pie shape.

Ehedaya at wikipedia – Kibbeh_pie

Sometimes Kibe are eaten raw! Sometimes you can find a recipe where Kibe is stuffed! As it turns out, this popular dish didn’t originate in Brazil. It’s Middle Eastern. It’s usually made with either lamb or minced beef, onion, mint, and Bulgur wheat. There are many variations that you can find online. I used a recipe from where you can automatically adjust the ingredients for however many servings you want. 

I chose to make my  Kibe with lamb. If you know me, you know I love lamb. Of course I would never eat these cute little guys in the photo. Andrew Petrie – Lamb

Usually, Kibe are fried. However, they can also be baked to be more healthful. The Bulgar wheat is a high fiber whole grain and very good for you. You can buy it parboiled, just like rice, but I couldn’t find it that way at Meijer. So, instead they had Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Bulgur Wheat. Funny, it’s the same thing as parboiled! This package was on sale for $2.99 ($1.00 off).

Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Bulgur Wheat

I’ve bought Bob’s Red Mill products before and they are very high quality. Here are the nutritional facts.

Nutritional Facts for Bulgur Wheat

My Bulgar wheat is soaking as we “speak.”

Bulgur Wheat Soaking with Mint

I made the Kibe both ways to see which one I preferred, fried or baked. Here are my lamb Kibe.

My fried Kibe are on the left. My baked Kibe are on top of the fried Kibe, photo on the right.

Kibe baked

Kibe baked

Kibe fried

I thought all food tasted better fried but in this case, I preferred the baked Kibe. The flavors were more pronounced.  You can’t tell the difference by looking at them.  I thought they would need to drain so I put them on paper towels but they weren’t greasy at all.  I also made the last batch spicier. I added more allspice and some cayenne pepper. I liked them all.

I love the bulgur! It is chewy and nutty. I liked it much better than bread crumbs added to a meat mixture and it holds the meat together very well. In fact, I tasted it with all the spices minus the lamb ingredients and it was delicious! Most of the ingredients I used can make Tabbouleh (or Tabouleh) – the recipe is on the back of the Bulgur wheat bag which you can get right off the photo on this post.

 I will take some of these Kibe and put them in a tomato sauce and serve them with pasta. And I will definitely be making these again.



13 Responses to “New Food Friday – Kibe or Kibeh or Kibbeh”

  1. prettyeasylife December 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Loved your post. Of course being Brazilian I can relate to these yummy “kibes”. I actually make my oven baked version – always trying to be healthy – but the fried ones are to die for and so filling too. Anything with bulgur for my family actually, like the other popular salad in Brazil called Tabbouleh. Loved your pictures and sense of trying different recipes. Yes, you go to a beach in Brazil and the vendors come to ou with all sort of super yummy snacks. Thanks for sharing!


    • Marcella Rousseau December 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Thank you ; – ) Being Brazilian you must have some tasty dishes to share. I will check out your blog further. Thank you for commenting!


  2. soulofspice December 1, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    I’ve never used bulgur other than to make cereal. Great new idea you’ve given me….thanks for the tip…


    • Marcella Rousseau December 1, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Thanks for letting me know that I’ve given you a new way to try bulgur. I appreciate it ; – )


    • Marcella Rousseau December 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

      How do you make it in cereal? Do you cook it in milk or do you cook it in water? I’m not a big cereal eater but I think I would like this for breakfast. I have been eating it every night! I can’t get enough of it! I love the chewiness. Tonight I made a spicy version, maybe too spicy. I’m going to save some and mix it with veal and pork and make meatballs.


      • soulofspice December 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

        Yum! I also don’t care for sweet cereal but like it savoury with water in a spice Oil. That would be my kinda breakfast. I’ve made it with cream of wheat, cracked wheat but bulgur is new to me…I’ll have to get some to try it out…


  3. SR Dryja December 1, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    This looks like something I could get excited about in the vegetarian version. I do believe that when it comes to food, you are far more adventurous than I, but oh how much I learn from you! 🙂 Can’t wait to see what will pique your curiosity next.


    • Marcella Rousseau December 1, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      I’ve got a couple of ideas in the pipeline. The thing is, I never know what readers have tried or not tried. Like the sardines for example. I was completely caught off guard on that one! So, it’s a gamble but one I’m willing to take! lol. I’m pretty adventurous in the food department but I don’t know if I would ever try crickets, or eyeballs, etc.! However, I have had pig’s brains and that was surprisingly good! It’s the first bite that is the hardest to swallow! LOL! You have to get your own brain past the idea!


      • SR Dryja December 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

        I’m not sure I could ever get my brain past that idea! I can’t even get my brain past the idea of eating meat, much less brains! Ha ha!


  4. Marcella Rousseau November 30, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    Thank you! I enjoyed them in a tomato sauce over spaghetti this evening with some beer bread : – )


  5. camparigirl November 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Wow! You surprised me. Never heard of it before. Really interesting (even if I am trying to give up meat). Love the bulgur though – I also buy Bob’s Red Mills and make tons of tabbouleh with it. Good find girl!


    • Marcella Rousseau November 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

      Thank you! That means a lot to me coming from you. The program was excellent. Keep your eyes peeled for it: Globe Trekker Food Hour – Brazil. I’m a big fan of the Globe Trekker series. It’s not your usual travel show by any means. Yes, bulgur! Where has it been all my life! It just goes to show you, you have to experiment with new foods! By the way, they have vegetarian Kibe too! Google it!



  1. New Food Friday – Tomatillo | For Your Good Health - September 23, 2014

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