Kibe: The Little Brazilian Beef Croquette That Packs a Punch

Are you a big fan of beef dishes? If so, kibe could be your next favorite snack. You might’ve encountered this dish in a Brazilian BBQ party or a Brazilian steakhouse.

Below, we have a quick history on kibe and then a simple deep-fry recipe for it.

1. A Brief History of Kibe

Although kibe has a long history with Brazilian cuisine, it roots all the way from the Middle East. It’s a popular Levantine dish that uses lamb meat by tradition. You can find kibe in countries like Jordan, Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon. You can even find it popular in countries like Egypt, Armenia, Cyprus, and Turkey.

Kibe reached Latin American countries during the late 19th and early 20th century. It was a time when a significant number of Levantine immigrants came to Brazil. It’s also popular in the Yucatan peninsula and Caribbean coastline of Colombia.

Other spelling variations of the dish include kibbeh and quibe among many others. Kibe means ball, having gotten derived from classical Arabic “kubbah”. The words receita de kibe or receita de quibe both mean kibe recipe.

Now, Brazilian-style steakhouses have reached American soil. The category for Brazilian steakhouses has grown and gathered more chain concepts like Texas de Brazil and Fogo de Chao. Even to Americans, these delicious beef croquettes are one of the popular dishes in many of these steakhouses.

2. Types of Kibe

It’s a fact that Brazilians love meat. Thus, it’s no surprise that Brazil is the world’s largest meat exporter. In 2017, Brazil imported over 7000 metric tons of fresh beef to the US.

Kibe Assado in a bowl with lime wedge and dipping sauce
Kibe Assado

One of the crucial ingredients of kibe is meat. Although the traditional Levantine recipe uses lamb meat, the Brazilian version uses beef. The cooking styles for kibe vary from baked to raw.

Kibe cru is the name of kibe eaten raw. Kibe assado is the name for baked kibe. Below, we’ll share the deep-fried recipe for kibe.

3. Kibe Recipe

The first step is to gather the ingredients for kibe, which include the following:

  • 1 cup of bulgur wheat
  • 1 1/2 cups of beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion, divided
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/3 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of packed mint leaves
  • 1-quart vegetable oil for frying (or more as needed)
  • Garnish: lime wedges + tahini sauce

After you gather your ingredients, take a small pot to bring the beef broth to boil with. Remove it from heat after it boils and pour the bulgur wheat over. Let the bulgur wheat rest for 30 minutes.

For the filling, sauté the garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and half of the onions. Add 1/3 of the ground beef when the onions are soft and fragrant. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Go back to your bulgur wheat and drain it in a colander. Put the wheat in a processor with the remaining ground beef, onions, and mint leaves. Add a 3/4 teaspoon of salt and sprinkle with ground black pepper.

Process the mixture until it’s smooth like dough. Chill both uncooked and cooked beef mixture for several hours. Start shaping the uncooked beef in golf ball-sized balls.

Press the ball flat in your palm and place 1 tbsp. of the cooked beef mixture in the middle. Close the dough around the filling. Seal the football-like ovals well and deep fry until very dark brown and crispy.

Drain on paper towels. Serve your kibe warm. Don’t forget the lime wedges and tahini sauce for dipping.

Learn Even More About Brazillian Foods!

That’s it for our guide on the delicious Brazilian beef croquettes called kibe.

Did you enjoy this recipe or find it helpful? Check out our other lists, like this one detailing 19 of the best Brazilian foods you have to try out now! Or 11 Brazilian Desserts You’ve Never Heard of-and Won’t Ever Forget.

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