I was only 17 or so when I first tried Kibbeh (Prounounced ” Kee-bee” in French and Creole) . Every time I eat it, it reminds me of a dear friend of mine who used to be a big fan of it. He unfortunately passed away in the earthquake in 2010. Today, I cooked this appetizer that he loved so much in honor of him.
Kibbeh is an Arab dish that was left with us as a traditional dish in Haiti. They are served in parties as appetizers and are usually very spicy while filled with ground meat (mostly beef or lamb). Some Haitians do serve it with smoked herring (for the pescatarians) . Of course I had to make some research about the recipe and I found a pretty good one here
The only problem I’ve encountered while cooking/preparing this, was with keeping the shell mixture closed. I guessed that it was due to the coarseness (not fine in texture) of the Bulgar wheat. So I strongly advise to use a fine one.
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp of cumin
- 2 tbsps of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
- 2 medium onions (1 coarsely chopped and the other one finely minced)
- 5 dried or smoked herring fillet, cut in small pieces or 2 lbs finely ground beef
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of pepper
- 1 tsp of salt for the filling
- 1tsp of pepper for the filling
- 1/2 lb. (1 cup) Bulgar cracked wheat (make sure it’s finely crushed and not coarse)
- slices of lemon
- Soak the Bulgar wheat in cold water for 1/2 hour minimum
- Remove your Bulgar wheat from water. Dry by removing excess water. Then add to the 1 lb of meat, coarsely chopped onions, pepper and salt.
- KIBBEH STUFFING PREPARATION In a medium frying pan, saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil. Add ground beef and chop well with wooden spoon. Add allspice, salt, pepper, and cumin. Once beef is light brown, remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. ( You’re also allowed to add any other ingredients of your will. I personally thought that it needed some more. Be Haitian, Be bold and allow your taste buds to be part of the decision making)
- Take an egg sized amount of shell mixture and form into a ball. With your finger, poke a hole in the ball, making a space for filling. Add filling and pinch the top to seal the ball. You can then shape it into a point, or football shape, or leave as a ball.
- Fry in 350 degree oil on stove top or in deep fryer for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with slices of lemon.