Einat Admony

Einat Admony's Fried Beef Kibbeh

A recipe from the ultimate balaboosta

Balaboosta's Einat Admony visited ICE's NY campus and shared her recipe for fried beef kibbeh. 

In Yiddish, the term balaboosta means "perfect housewife." Einat Admony, chef and owner of fine dining Middle Eastern restaurant Balaboosta in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood, champions this phrase in the spirit of welcoming and connecting with people over food. Chef Einat is also the owner of the falafel chain Taim and New York's first couscous bar, Kish-Kash. In keeping with the flavors found at her restaurants, Chef Einat chose to demonstrate a Middle Eastern staple during her visit to ICE's campus: fried beef kibbeh.

"This is what my Mom would make for us when she was nice," she says, laughing, of the inspiration behind her kibbeh. "My mom was born in Iran and came to Israel when she was 11, and ended in an Iraqi foster home. And my dad was [a] Yemenite, so we grew up with a lot of Persian food, a lot of Moroccan food — a lot of different cultures in one house."

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One thing these cuisines all rely on heavily are spices, and Chef Einat stresses that she never purchases ground spices. At the start of every week, the Balaboosta team will toast and ground all spices needed for the entirety of the week. "Middle Eastern food depends so much on spices," she says. "It makes a huge difference." 

Try your hand at Chef Einat's fried beef kibbeh with her recipe below. 




Fried Beef Kibbeh


For the Kibbeh Dough:
  • 3 cup fine bulgar wheat 
  • ½ cup (100 grams) flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
For the Kibbeh Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 pounds ground beef
  • 2 white onions, cut into small dice
  • 3 jalapeños, de-seeded and cut into small dice (optional) 
  • 50 grams parsley, chopped 
  • 5 grams black pepper 
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Baharat 
  • 1 tablespoon paprika 
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin 
  • 2 tablespoon salt 
  • 25 grams currants 
  • 20 grams pine nuts, toasted 
For the Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce:
  • 8 wedges preserved lemon*
  • 1 jalapeño, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) whole-milk Greek yogurt


For the Kibbeh Dough:
  1. Wash the bulgar wheat well, strain, and remove to a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat up a pot of water until boiling and add the water to the bowl, covering the bulgar with 1” of the water.
  3. Let sit for 40 minutes and strain again well, squeezing additional moisture from the bulgar by hand.
  4. Remove bulgar to new mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Mix well and form into a dough.
For the Kibbeh Filling:
  1. Heat oil in a large pan and brown meat. Drain and set aside in a bowl. 
  2. With remaining oil, sweat onions and jalapeños.
  3. Add parsley, spices, currants and pine nuts and stir until well combined.
  4. Remove from heat and place contents in with the meat.
  5. Mix, cover, and place in fridge to set (will facilitate shell making).
For the Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce
  1. Rinse the preserved lemon wedges and remove the seeds.
  2. Combine the preserved lemon, jalapeño, lemon juice, water, honey, turmeric, salt and extra-virgin olive oil in a food processor and purée until you have a completely smooth mixture.
  3. Add the yogurt and pulse a few times until the sauce is smooth. Reserve.
For Assembly:
  1. Bring a deep fryer or a pot of neutral oil to 325˚F.
  2. Fill a bowl with some warm water and dampen hands.
  3. Take 2 tablespoons of the kibbeh dough in hand and flatten into a cupped palm.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of kibbeh filling in the well of the dough and close the dough around the filling to form an outer shell.
  5. Working in batches, fry kibbeh until golden-brown and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. 
  6. Plate with preserved lemon yogurt sauce and serve immediately.

*Preserved lemons can be found at most major grocery stores.

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