How to Prepare Koobideh Kabab + video

Kabab Koobideh is an iconic Persian kebab that is known for its simple ingredients yet unparalleled flavor. Often enjoyed at family gatherings and celebrations, it holds a special place in the heart of Persian cuisine. This ground meat skewer is typically made with lamb or beef, seasoned with an array of spices and herbs. Served alongside rice and grilled tomatoes, it’s a complete meal that is both delicious and satisfying.



Ingredients Kabab Koobideh :

  • 500g (1 lb) ground lamb or beef, or a mix of both
  • 1 large onion, finely grated and juice squeezed out
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon sumac (optional, for a tangy flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • Flat metal skewers for grilling
  • Fresh tomatoes and bell peppers for serving (optional)
Kabab Koobideh
Kabab Koobideh

Method Kabab Koobideh :

  1. Preparation: Begin by preparing your meat. Ensure the meat is fresh and has some fat content. This ensures the kababs remain juicy. If using a mix of lamb and beef, combine them in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mixing the Meat: Add the grated onion (make sure you’ve squeezed out all the juice to avoid the mixture becoming too wet), minced garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric, sumac, parsley, and eggs to the meat. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and the mixture becomes smooth and sticky.
  3. Preheat the Grill: Whether you’re using a charcoal grill or a gas grill, ensure it’s hot and ready. You want a medium to high heat to ensure the kababs cook evenly and quickly.
  4. Shaping the Kababs: Take a portion of the meat mixture and mold it around a flat metal skewer. The meat should be evenly distributed in a long, sausage-like shape. If the meat doesn’t stick well, you can dampen your hands with a little water.
  5. Grilling: Place the skewers on the preheated grill. Allow each side to cook for about 4-5 minutes until it’s golden brown and slightly charred. Make sure to turn the skewers occasionally for even cooking. If you’re adding tomatoes or bell peppers, grill them as well until they are soft and slightly charred.
  6. Serving: Once cooked, remove the kababs from the skewers and serve them on a plate. They are traditionally served with Persian saffron rice, grilled tomatoes, and a side of fresh herbs and yogurt. Sprinkle some sumac on top for an added tangy flavor if desired.

Tips for Perfect Kabab Koobideh:

  1. Quality of Meat: The end result is largely dependent on the quality of meat you begin with. Opt for freshly ground meat rather than pre-packaged ones. The fat content should be around 15-20% to ensure the kababs are juicy.
  2. Onion Juice: When grating the onion, make sure to squeeze out as much juice as possible. Too much liquid can make the mixture soggy, causing it to fall off the skewer when grilling.
  3. Uniform Thickness: While molding the meat around the skewers, ensure they are of uniform thickness. This guarantees even cooking and prevents the thinner sections from overcooking.
  4. Direct Heat: Kabab Koobideh is best cooked over direct heat. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals become ash-covered for optimal heat. On a gas grill, medium to high heat is ideal.
  5. Avoid Overmixing: While you want a well-integrated mix of meat and spices, overmixing can make the meat tough. Mix until just combined.
  6. Marination Time: Some chefs believe in letting the meat mixture sit for an hour or two in the refrigerator. This can help the flavors meld together better. If you have time, you might want to try this.
  7. Flat Skewers: Using flat metal skewers, as opposed to round ones, helps the meat hold better. The flat surface ensures the meat doesn’t rotate or slide off when you’re trying to flip it.
  8. Accompaniments: While Kabab Koobideh is delightful on its own, complementing it with traditional sides like saffron rice, grilled vegetables, fresh herbs, and a dollop of yogurt can elevate the experience.
  9. Serving Style: Serve Kabab Koobideh immediately off the grill. It tastes best when hot and juicy.
  10. Spice Variations: While the traditional spices for Kabab Koobideh are fairly simple, don’t be afraid to experiment. Adding a bit of cayenne for heat or ground coriander for a deeper flavor profile can put a unique spin on the classic recipe.

By following these tips and staying true to the essence of Kabab Koobideh, you’ll find yourself producing flavorful, juicy kebabs that would make any Persian grandmother proud!