Turkey Kibbe Kebabs

Post image for Turkey Kibbe Kebabs

By Nancy Buchanan

41 comments

3/3/2011

by Nancy Buchanan on March 3, 2011

This week I’ve been noshing on  the  perfect Herb Hummus which put me in the mood for middle eastern inspired food. I’ve had this recipe for  Turkey Kibbe Kebabs bookmarked for several years and decided that it was high time I tried it.

In case you aren’t familiar with it Kibbe (or Kibbeh) is a dish made of bulgur or rice and chopped meat that is common in the cuisines of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Jordan. The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped croquette with a bulgur crust that is stuffed with rice and minced beef or lamb and fried.  Other types of kibbe are shaped into balls or patties and can be baked or poached. It is the kind of dish that every family has their own recipe for and their own tradition regarding how it is made and flavored.

I adapted this recipe from “The Professional Chef’s Techniques of Healthy Cooking” by The Culinary Institute of America that I bought after a week stint at the St. Helena campus.  This version uses ground turkey and the Kibbe is grilled rather than fried. These kebabs are surprising light and are subtly  flavored with cilantro, mint, cumin and allspice. I served them with some freshly made pita bread and a romaine salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and dressed with a light lemon vinaigrette – oh and of course some of the Herb Hummus!!

Turkey Kibbe overhead11 Turkey Kibbe Kebabs

Turkey Kibbe Kebabs

The recipe calls for glazing the kebabs with a mixture of molasses, soy sauce and olive oil.  I substituted pomegranate molasses (which you can find in a middle eastern market) and I highly recommend it!

Glaze:

  • 1 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy  sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Kebabs

  • 1/2 cup fine grind bulgur
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 Tbsp. minced jalepeno
  • 2 Tbsp. non fat yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped mint
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. For the glaze, combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a large pan, soak 10 medium skewers in hot water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the bulgur with 2 cups of hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain in a strainer and set aside.
  4. Combine all of the kebab ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze any remaining liquid from the bulgur and add to the mixture in the food processor. Process until all the ingredients are combined.
  5. Divide mixture into 10 balls. Form each ball into a log and thread one of the soaked skewers through each  log.
  6. Heat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium high heat. Place kebabs on the grill pan and cook for about 3 minutes, brushing with the glaze.
  7. Turn the kebabs and continue to cook, brushing with the remaining glaze until the kebabs are cooked through.
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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Debi (Table Talk) March 3, 2011 at 7:32 am

I start to crave Middle Eastern food as soon as the springtime weather and blue skies appear. These would make fun little hors d’oeuvres too!

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Nancy March 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I agree Debi – I think they would be wonderful appetizers!!! Thanks for stopping by the Table!!

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heather March 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm

We love a good kibbeh. Anytime you pair beef/lamb with pomegranate molasses, mint, cumin and then serve it with pita and a bowl of veg — that’s a perfect supper! All that’s left is a chilled Rose, maybe a beer!

Cheers,

*Heather*

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Nancy March 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I couldn’t agree more Heather!!! The rose would be perfect with these – will have to remember to try it!!

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Renee Fontes March 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Hi Nancy! I finally set down to visit your blog and it’s great, I was just in time to catch this awesome dish Turkey Kebabs. Now I want them. Thanks for posting a great recipe. Renee

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:23 am

So glad you stopped by Renee – I can’t wait for the Melissa’s tour!!!

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Magic of Spice March 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Oh wow, I don’t eat meat but I bet my sons would love this :) I can help with the hummus though :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend…

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:23 am

Hope you enjoy your weekend as well. Hmmm… wonder if we could come up with a vegetarian version??

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Cheryl March 9, 2011 at 9:38 am

Gimmie Lean makes a really great (almost too convincing) ground beef/ sausage substitute. Most grocery stores sell it. It comes in a tube (looks like Jimmy Dean’s). I use it for everything- tacos, sausage patties, “meat”loaf, gravy, etc…

My mother, once a die-hard meat eater, swears by this stuff and even makes it when I’m not home. It keeps well and is really high in protein and fiber, but really low in fat.

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Louise March 4, 2011 at 6:21 am

mmmm I love middle eastern food- especially pomegranate molasses, I’ll have to pull out my recipe. Recipes like this that are packed with so much flavor are incredibly satisfying.

Have a great weekend,
Chef Louise

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:22 am

Hi Louise!! I love ME food too and love using pomegranate molasses. These kebabs were a nice change of pace !!!

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the urban baker March 4, 2011 at 7:48 am

I’m so into this! This not only looks delicious, but it would be fun for my kids to eat. I want this right now, for breakfast! Thanks, Nancy, for introducing something new to my repertoire!

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:21 am

My kids wolfed these down. Since you can assemble these ahead of time, I’m going to be making more for after school snacks – yeah, I’m at that point now – unbelievable how much teenage boys eat!!

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Mary Ann March 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

Looks fantastic!!! Be good with some Greek yogurt, too. Have to put my husband on the task of finding the pomegranate molasses.
Mary Ann

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hi Mary Ann!!

These would be awesome with a little Taziki – if you hadn’t been to Wholesome Choice, we should go – great selection of Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian ingredients!!!

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marla {family fresh cooking} March 4, 2011 at 9:36 am

Love how healthy & jam packed with protein these are! Gotta try these turkey kibbe kebabs.

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

I think you kids would like them Marla because even though there are jalepenos in them, they aren’t spicy. Next time, I’d probably add more jalapeno to mine and leave the kids as is!!

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Maria March 4, 2011 at 9:53 am

Looks like a very tasty meal!

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thanks Maria!!

It’s actually very light and the mix of spices is delicious!

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Allison [Haute Box] March 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I grew up on Middle Eastern food, so I find this post especially nostalgic!

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

Lucky you!!!

Growing up, my best friend was Middle Eastern and I always loved getting dinner invitations!!!

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My Man's Belly March 5, 2011 at 5:32 am

These look delicious and I love that they’re grilled instead of the usual fried. Great touch using the pomegranate molasses too.

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:17 am

Thanks Pamela!!

They are a bit tricky to grill since turkey isn’t as firm as beef but with a little TLC they come out just fine – I love pomegranate molasses!

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Brooke March 5, 2011 at 7:47 am

I haven’t had breakfast yet and these incredible Kibbe pictures are making me want to claw at my screen for access to these tasty bites. What a beautiful recipe. I can’t wait to make it. Thanks!

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Nancy March 5, 2011 at 10:16 am

Hi Brooke!!

I hope you like them! When I made them for dinner I set down my son’s plate, turned around to serve the other plates and when I turned around again, his were already all gone!!

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Kate March 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

These look delish !

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Nancy March 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Hi Kate!!

Thanks for stopping by the Table!! They were pretty tasty!

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Lucy Lean March 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

sounds like a winner – with the hummus and herbs x

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Nancy March 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Was happily surprised by these – they were delicious!

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Lana March 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

I walk to my local Persian store almost every day, and yesterday they had a grill going and some really aromatic kebabs were coming off it, served with grilled tomatoes in that thin, big sangak bread. The smell was incredible! Next time I hav e to ask for the recipe!
I’ve never had kibbe, but it looks like something the whole family would love. The girls would like taking it to school for lunch.
BTW, we have a ton of hummus in the fridge, and I made a bread similar to pita yesterday, as I was doing Souvlaki:) It’s the spring fever and, like you, I turn East:)

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Nancy March 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Kebabs, tomatoes and sangak bread – it really doesn’t get much better than that, does it!!

Our Persian market isn’t in walking distance, but I still manage to get there about once a month or so – always come back with more food than I need because it’s all so good!!

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Tom | Tall Clover Farm March 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

My Grandmother made a mean kibbe. And while the memory of her fine cooking lives on, I believe it’s high time I learned how to make kibbe for myself (and eager friends). Thanks for this delicious version.

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Nancy March 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Nothing is better than Grandmother’s recipes!!! If you can find hers I would encourage you to try it – I found it very easy to make and it is so darn tasty!!!
Thanks for stopping by the Table!!

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Priscilla - She's Cookin' March 7, 2011 at 10:18 am

I love your use of pomegranate molasses and grilling vs. frying. And they’re perfectly shaped, no small task when grilling turkey – you’re amazing, Nancy!

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Nancy March 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Have to admit these were a bit dicey but once I was in the groove they were easy!!!

These are going to be fun to make this summer as little appetizers!!

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sippitysup March 8, 2011 at 8:22 am

I am becoming quite a fan of Middle Easter food these days and this recipe is a perfect example of why! GREG

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baobabs March 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm

OMG this looks amazing!!!! I can’t wait to try making this!

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Damaris @Kitchen Corners March 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I love kibbes. In Brazil we have a lot of lebanese food. Kibbe is so good. I never had it with ground turkey, now I want t try it.

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sheila @ Elements April 3, 2011 at 6:53 am

I definitely have to try this!! It looks and sounds so delicious!! I’m out of both pomegranate molasses and regular molasses. Gonna have to make a stop at the Lebanese store these days to pick some up. Can’t wait to try this! :) Cheers! sheila

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Nancy April 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Hi Sheila,

I hope that you like it. I added very little pepper (since my one son doesn’t like it) so you might want to add a bit more!

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Marla {family fresh cooking} July 5, 2011 at 6:42 am

Hey Nancy! Hope you had a great 4th. Please submit these great looking kebabs & any 2 others you might have to this weeks Get Grillin’ if you wish :) xxoo

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