Delicious kibbeh cups that are sure to please a crowd! Little kibbeh cups are filled with a traditional kibbeh meat & onion filling and are a fun little appetizer to your dinner table.
Kibbeh has always been one of my favourite foods. I love it because it can be served many ways. Kibbeh ‘footballs’ are a classic Lebanese appetizer that is always a fan fav. Kibbeh nayeh which is raw meat mixed with bulgur. I’ve made pumpkin kibbeh or potato kibbeh as well. All are delicious and have a unique flavour.
This time I wanted to try something different. The ‘football’ kibbeh balls are my all time favourite but they can be time consuming to make. These kibbeh cups have the same taste and texture as the footballs but take less than half the time to make! That’s a win in my books!
HOW DO I MAKE IT?
You’ll start by making the filling. You’ll sauté onion in olive oil then add the ground beef and spices. Once the beef is cooked through, you’ll add the pine nuts and heat for a couple of minutes before removing from the heat to cool.
Next you’ll add the bulgur to a bowl and add water. The water will absorb and soften the bulgur, this will take about 15-20 minutes.
You’ll then add the kibbeh meat, spices, shredded onion to the bulgur and mix using your hands. If you find the mixture is a little rough, simply add 1 tbsp of water and knead until you have a uniform dough.
You’ll place plastic wrap over a muffin tin. Next, you’ll take roughly 2 tbsp of the kibbeh dough and shape into a ball and press into a muffin cup ensuring to bring the dough up the sides. Continue pressing using your fingers until the dough has taken a ‘cup’ shape.
Continue with the rest of the dough until you’ve filled the muffin tin. Cover with plastic wrap then freeze for 30 minutes.
Next, you’ll heat up oil in a large pot and gently drop the semi-frozen kibbeh cups into the oil. Flip them a couple of times to ensure they’re cooked through then drain on a paper towel lined plate.
You’ll then spoon the filling into the cups until they are all filled.
TIPS TO MAKE IT:
1. Use extra lean ground beef or kibbeh meat for the outer shell.
2. Keep the meat refrigerated whenever you’re not using it to ensure freshness.
3. Use plastic wrap to line the muffin tin to ensure easy removal of the kibbeh cups.
4. Wet hands when shaping the kibbeh to ensure a smooth texture
5. Don’t overcrowd the pot when deep frying. This will ensure the oil stays at the right temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can I freeze the kibbeh?
Yes! You can shape the cups and freeze before filling them. Simply shape the cups according to the recipe and freeze for 1 hour. Then remove from the plastic wrap and place in an air tight container. When you’re ready to cook them, simply remove from the freezer and cook from frozen. Then fill as per the recipe instructions.
2. Can I fill them with anything else?
Absolutely! You can fill these with hummus or a tomato & cucumber salad.
3. Can I bake the cups instead of deep frying?
These cups are best deep fried but you can definitely bake them at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
For the shell:
1.5 cups fine bulgur
½ kg extra lean ground beef (kibbeh meat)
1 onion, shredded
1+ ½ cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp Lebanese 7 spices
1 tsp salt
1 tsp kibbeh spices or cumin
For the filling:
½ kg ground beef
2 onions, diced
⅓ cup pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Lebanese 7 spices
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
Start with the filling by sautéing onion in olive oil. Add ground beef & spices. Cook through then stir in pine nuts. Heat for 2-3 minutes and remove the skillet from heat. Set aside to cool.
Soak bulgur in hot water for 20 min (or until softened). Add kibbeh meat, shredded onion & spices. Mix. Continue to mix and mash between hands to really soften the mixture until you have a uniform dough.
Line a muffin tin with plastic wrap. Place a bowl of cold water next to you and wet your hands. Take 2 tbsp of the kibbeh dough and shape into a ball. Press into the muffin cup using your fingers to create a hollow cup. Continue until all muffin cups have been filled then cover with plastic wrap and place the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes.
In a large pot add the oil and heat to 300 degrees. Carefully remove kibbeh cups from the muffin tin and gently drop in the oil ensuring not to overcrowd the pot. Flip the kibbeh cups a couple times to ensure the kibbeh is cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cups and place on a paper towel lined dish to drain.
Once all kibbeh cups have been cooked, spoon the filling into the cups.
Serve warm with plain yogurt.
This recipe will make 25-30 cups.