Potato Kibbeh Recipe

Make these fried, potato croquettes made with bulgur wheat, beef, and herbs.

article image
Penny De Los Santos
Potato Kibbeh


  • 4 russet potatoes (about 2-½ pounds), peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for deep-frying
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1 pound ground beef (80 percent lean)
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 5 teaspoons seven spices
  • 5 teaspoons ground cumin


  • Place potatoes in a large pot. Add water to cover potatoes by 1 inch, and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, and then return to pot. Add cornstarch, breadcrumbs, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Mash potatoes, and stir to incorporate all ingredients. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Then, add ground beef, remaining 3 teaspoons salt, and pepper, and cook until meat is brown and cooked through, another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat, and let beef mixture cool slightly. If there’s any excess oil in skillet, drain beef mixture in a colander to remove fat, and then add parsley, seven spices, and cumin, and stir to combine.
  • To assemble kibbeh, take about 2 tablespoons potato mixture, and form into a flat disc in your hand. Place about 1 tablespoon meat filling in the center. Carefully envelop filling within potato shell, sealing filling inside. Once sealed, gently flatten the sphere into a small disc. Set aside. Kibbeh can be made ahead and frozen, uncooked, for up to 1 week.
  • To fry kibbeh, pour remaining vegetable oil to a depth of at least 2 inches into a large stockpot or Dutch oven, and clip a candy thermometer to the side, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom. Heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit over high heat, and then lower heat to medium to maintain that temperature during frying. While oil is heating, line a large plate with paper towels.
  • Working in batches and taking care not to overcrowd the pot, slowly lower 3 or 4 kibbeh into oil using a slotted spoon. Fry kibbeh until deep golden-brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove with a mesh strainer, and place on towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Allow oil to return to 375 degrees in between batches, if necessary.
  • Let kibbeh cool for about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Chef Dhuha • Iraq

Although kibbeh (pronounced “kib-uh”) — hand-shaped potato croquettes stuffed with beef and herbs — is often made with bulgur (a type of wheat), Dhuha omits it and uses breadcrumbs in a potato shell. When forming the kibbeh, try to create a flat disc around the filling. Yield: about 16 kibbeh.

Excerpted from The Kitchen Without Borders: Recipes and Stories from Refugee and Immigrant Chefs by The Eat Offbeat Chefs. Workman Publishing © 2021.