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Seafood Kibbeh

The term “kibbeh” is derived from the Arabic word “ball” and refers to the unusual shape of these delicious deep fried filled parcels of bulgur wheat. There are many different versions, including ones filled with lamb and beef. This version uses shrimp, but if you have a shellfish allergy, you can also use a firm white fish.

A plate of Seafood Kibbeh and garnished with parsley, pomegranate seeds and yogurt by Simon Majumdar

Seafood Kibbeh Recipe

(Serves About 6)


For the Kibbeh:

  • 1 Cup Bulgur Wheat

  • 1 Large White Onion (Roughly Chopped)

  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Roughly Chopped)

  • 10 Raw Shrimp (15-20 Count – Peeled)

  • ¼ Cup Warm Water

  • ¼ Cup Chopped Parsley

  • ¼ Cup Cilantro Leaves

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  • ½ Lemon (Juice and Zest)

  • Cooking Oil (Enough for Deep Frying)


For the Filling:

  • 15 Raw Shrimp (15-20 Count – Peeled)

  • 1 Shallot (Minced)

  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Minced)

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Paprika

  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne

  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


For the Garnish:

  • ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley (Roughly Chopped)

  • ¼ Cup Pomegranate Seeds

  • 3 Tablespoons Yogurt (Loosened with a tablespoon water)


For the Kibbeh:

  1. Sprinkle the warm water on top of the bulgur wheat and allow to stand for ten minutes.

  2. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend together until they form a smooth paste.

  3. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.


For the Filling:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan to a gentle heat.

  2. Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add all of the dry spices including the salt and pepper.

  5. Finely chop the shrimp and add to the mix.

  6. Toss until the shrimp begin to turn pink. Try not to overcook them as they will cook once more when the kibbeh are deep fried.

  7. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

To Cook the Kibbeh:

  1. Take a palm sized amount of the kibbeh paste and form into a ball in your hands.

  2. Make an indentation in the ball and place a teaspoon or a little more of filling.

  3. Enclose the filling with a little more kibbeh paste and roll to form the classic shape. This may take a bit of practice, but you will soon get the hang of it.

  4. Lay all the kibbeh on parchment paper on a baking tray and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set.

  5. When ready to cook, heat cooking oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and fry each kibbeh for 3-5 minutes or until the outside is golden brown.

  6. When cooked, drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

To Finish the Dish:

  1. Lay the kibbeh on a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley and pomegranate seeds.

  2. Drizzle with yogurt just before serving.

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