Kibbes are our version of little meatballs, and are a staple in the Syrian household. We cook them with peas, cherries, sour soup and many other savory dishes. Let’s just say it’s not Friday night without a kibbe (or many) at the table. Now don’t confuse these little kibbe meatballs with the bulgur-shelled and meat-stuffed kibbe torpedoes. They’re completely different. If that made no sense to you, continue reading this blog, we’ll definitely explain more about these middle-eastern staples soon!
Anyway, kibbes. They’re tiny meat stuffed meatballs! The outer shell is a mixture of ground rice and chopped meat, and they’re stuffed with meat mixed with parsley and spices. Though they’re available at any butcher in my neighborhood, they’re a cinch to make. Shaping them takes a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can do it while watching TV, which is how we always do it. You make a whole bunch and freeze them. These I got from my freezer, but next time I make a batch, I’ll show you how to make them. (Here’s our recipe for kibbe!)
This kibbe mushroom recipe is adapted from a whole bunch of sources and years of making them at home. The garlic is not traditional, but adds a deeper flavor. Cooking this covered over low heat allows for all the juices to come out.
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, whole
- pound mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms), quartered if large, and halved if small.
- About 15 kibbes
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- Salt and pepper
1. Heat oil over medium heat over a medium pot or large skillet.
2. Add the onions and a pinch of salt until onions soften, about 5 minutes.
3. Turn the heat to high. When hot, brown the kibbe, turning every 2 minutes to make sure every side browns.
4. When the kibbes are brown and the onions are dark and caramelized, add the mushrooms. Mix everything together and add allspice, salt, and pepper. Mix again.
5. Turn the heat to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and the kibbes are cooked through.
6. Serve over rice.