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Fried kibbeh Raas with peppermint
Course Meze or mezze
Region or state Levant (the Middle East)
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Finely ground meat, cracked wheat, and Middle Eastern spices
Cookbook: Kibbeh 

Kibbeh, kibbe, kebbah (also kubbeh, kubbah, kubbi) (pronunciation varies with region) (Arabic: كبة‎) is a Levantine dish[1] made of bulgur (cracked wheat), minced onions, and finely ground lean beef, lamb, goat or camel meat with Middle-Eastern spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice). The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with cooked minced beef or lamb with onion and sautéed pine nuts.

Other types of kibbeh may be shaped into balls or patties, and baked, cooked in broth, or served raw.[2] Kibbeh is considered to be the national dish of many Middle Eastern countries.[3]

Kibbeh is a popular dish in Levantine, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisine.[4] It is also found in Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia (ltsonvats kololak), Egypt (kubbeh, kebbah, or koubeiba), Cyprus (koupa, plural koupes), the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey (içli köfte), and several Latin American countries which received Levantine immigrants during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras and Mexico.[5](see Lebanese diaspora, Syrian diaspora, and Palestinian diaspora)

Brazilian quibe/kibe, stuffed with requeijão, the Portuguese-origined in-between of ricotta and cream cheese. Most Brazilian kibbeh, unlike the traditional recipe, uses carne moída (literally ground [red] meat, though specifically beef in this sense). Other unusual versions include tahini, carne de soja (texturized soy protein), seitan (Japanese wheat gluten-based meat substitute) or tofu (soybean curd) as stuffing.


  • Etymology 1
  • Variations 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The word is derived from the Arabic kubbah or kibbeh, which means "ball".[6] Various transliterations of the name are used in different countries: in English, kibbe and kibbeh and in Latin America, quibe, kibe, or quipe (Argentina). Other names for the dish come either from the Persian word کوفته kofteh (see kofta), or from such as the Turkish içli köfte.


"Kibbeh Raas" One variety of kibbeh is a 7-to-15-cm oblong bulghur shell shaped like an American football, stuffed with a filling of spiced, minced beef or lamb and fried until brown. British soldiers in the Middle East during the Second World War used to call these kibbeh "Syrian torpedoes".[7] It is similar in concept to the Sicilian arancini.

In Levantine cuisine, a variety of dishes made with bulghur (cracked wheat) and minced lamb are called kibbeh. The northern Syrian city of Aleppo (Halab) is famous for having more than 17 different types.[8] These include kibbeh prepared with sumac (kibbe sumāqiyye), yogurt (kibbe labaniyye), quince (kibbe safarjaliyye), lemon juice (kibbe ḥāmḍa), pomegranate sauce, cherry sauce, and other varieties, such as the "disk" kibbeh (kibbe arāṣ), the "plate" kibbeh (kibbe biṣfīḥa or kibbe bṣēniyye) and the raw kibbeh (kibbeh nayyeh).

Fried, torpedo-shaped kibbe have become popular in Haiti, the Dominican Republic[9][10] and South America – where they are known as quipe or quibe – after they were introduced by Levantine immigrants.

Kibbeh nayyeh

Kibbeh Nayyeh is a raw dish made from a mixture of bulghur (cracked wheat), very finely minced lamb or beef similar to Steak tartare, and Middle-Eastern spices, served on a platter, frequently as part of a meze in Syria and Lebanon, garnished with mint leaves and olive oil, and served with green onions or scallions, green hot peppers, and pita/pocket bread or markouk bread.

Kibbeh b'Sinniyeh with lemon garnish

Kibbeh b'Sinniyeh or Kibbeh bil Sinieh (meaning Kibbeh in a pan) (Arabic: كبّة بالصينيّة ‎) is commonly made of a mixture of finely ground meat (lamb or beef), bulghur (cracked wheat), onion, mint and Middle-Eastern spices pressed into a flat baking pan. Normally, this dish consists of two layers (top and bottom) of the meat/cracked wheat mixture baked with a ground meat/onion/pine nut mix (hushwi) in between. Then it is scored with a knife into diamond shapes about one or two inches in length, topped with lightly sauteed pine nuts (snobar) or almond slivers and butter or olive oil, then baked in the oven until done. Extra butter/olive oil is then drained off and ready to serve.

Kubbat Halab is an Iraqi version of kibbeh created with a rice crust and named after the largest city in Syria "Aleppo". Kubbat Mosul, also Iraqi, is flat and round like a disc. Kubbat Shorba is an Iraqi-Kurdish version prepared as a stew, commonly made with tomato sauce and spices.[11] It is often served with arak and various salads. Kibbeh is sometimes served with a tahini dip. Brazilians, though, tend to add shoyu (Japanese fermented soy sauce), sometimes in addition to raw garlic, or Worcestershire or red chili pepper sauce, directly from the bottle. In Mexico it is commonly found by the name kibis and sold by street merchants in the Yucatan Peninsula. This variation is commonly served with a sour tomato sauce, pickled cabbage and red onions, or occasionally habanero peppers.

In Israel, Kubba matfuniya, kubba hamusta, kubba shwandar and kubba bamia are soups with sauces and vegetables, or stews, served on rice. Kubba soup, served in many oriental restaurants in Israel and commonly at home, is described as a rich broth with vegetables and dumplings stuffed with meat.

Kubbeh matfuniya

A Syrian soup known as kubbi kishk consists of kubbi "torpedoes" or "footballs" in a yogurt (kishk) and butter broth with stewed cabbage leaves.

See also


  1. ^ Annia Ciezadlo (2012). Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War. p. 361.  
  2. ^ Contemporary kubbeh
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Middle Eastern Recipes
  5. ^ "Kibbeh Recipe". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Maan Z. Madina, Arabic-English Dictionary of the Modern Literary Language, 1973
  7. ^ Kibbe, Pesach
  8. ^ "NPR web: Food Lovers Discover The Joys Of Aleppo". 
  9. ^ "Kibbeh - Arabic Comfort Food". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Kibbeh". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Raw kibbeh
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