Kibe (aka kibi, quibe, deep fried meat balls)

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This is a recipe for kibes, which are Arab/Lebonese meatballs. I first discovered them in Brazil where they are very popular in snack bars and delis. They are usually served on their own with some hot chilli sauce and a squeeze of lemon. They take more preparation than burgers due to the bulgar wheat. Adjust bulgar wheat to meat ratio as you see fit. You could even leave it out completely.

200g bulgar wheat
500g of minced beef
1 chopped onion
4 chopped cloves of garlic
fresh mint leaves (about 12 branches)
4 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper.

Soak the bulgur wheat for at least 3 hours, then drain and press in a colander or sieve to remove the water. Remember water and oil don’t mix, so be sure to remove as much water as possible to avoid an explosive situation in the kitchen !

Mix in a food processor the onion, garlic and mint to make a coarse paste, and pour this into a large mixing bowl. Add the bulgar, meat, spices, salt and pepper. Knead the mixture as if you are making bread to make one large mass. Then mould from that small rolls, approximately 5cm long, into rugby ball shapes.

Deep fry the meat balls at about 180 degrees C for about 10 minutes, or until they brown. Drain and serve with lemon and chilli sauce.

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