Kibe, the Perfect Game Day Food




Introduction: Kibe, the Perfect Game Day Food

Available at any lunch counter or bar in Brazil Kibe, kibbeh, kibbe, kubbeh, kebbah, kubbi, or even quibe however you spell it this Arabic meatball is always delicious.  While several versions of this dish exist this instructable will show you how to make a Brazilian style kibe (pronounced 'Key - Bee' by my Brazilian friends)

Why is this the perfect game day food? Here are some reasons
1. Beef is the first ingredient (there's a reason the veggie plate is the last item touched at the Superbowl party)
2. Your significant other can't give you grief about eating them (Whole Grain wheat is the second ingredient)
3. It's Fried (it can also be baked)
4. It's shaped like a football
5.All your friends are tired of the dish you have brought to every party since the turn of the century. So bring something new and become more popular

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Step 1: Ingredients

Here is my basic ingredient list:
2 Lbs Ground Beef, I find ultra-lean beef doesn't seem to stick together as well when forming and don't go leaner than 90/10
2 cups Bulgar Wheat, or cracked wheat if your grocery store is out of bulgar (not as good but it works in a pinch)
2 Tbs chopped fresh mint the finer the chop the better
4 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbs chopped parsley, or 2 tsp of dried if your grocery store doesn't have fresh (I know my grocery store sucks)
1/2 cup minced onion (Not pictured but this time it wasn't my grocery stores fault)
2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
Black Pepper to taste

I do play with my recipe from batch to batch but I never omit the first three ingredients

Step 2: Prep Work

In a large bowl combine the bulgar with an equal amount of water, 2 cups, and some salt then let it sit at room temp for at least 45 minutes.  If your not sure the bulgar is ready take a small sample and chew if its not crunchy its ready.  Place in a sieve, or a colander with small holes, and press out any extra water (if you don't have either take a fistful and squeeze out the excess water)

While the bulgar is soaking you have time to weigh the most important question of the day. Baked or fried? Personally I usually go baked since I don't have a good fryer and it is less work but frying is more traditional and gives the kibe a nice crisp outer crust.  I have found that I can mimic the fried kibe crust in the oven by using a fattier beef 80/20 that will essentially fry itself when baked

A full sized kibe is too big to cook completely in a fryer so you need to think ravioli with a fully cooked stuffing and raw shell

Combine HALF (not all) the beef, garlic, onion, parsley and mint
Brown in a skillet over medium heat and drain off any grease

Take the remaining ingredients and combine in a large bowl and mix by hand for 2-3 minutes until the mass is uniform and able to hold its shape.

A full sized kibe can cook completely in the oven so its not necessary to create a stuffing (unless you want to reduce baking time

Add everything together in a large bowl and mix by hand for 3-4 minutes until the mass is uniform and able to hold its shape.

Step 3: Assembly


Take the beef/wheat 'dough' and roll into golfball sized balls.
Create a hollow by pressing over your finger creating a long narrow pouch (the pictures should help)
Fill the hollow with the cooked mixture then press the rim of the pouch together to seal
Press into a final oblong, football, shape


Seperate the mass into balls 2x larger than a golfball
Press into a final oblong, football, shape

Step 4: Cooking

Fill a small pot with about an inch or two of oil and place under medium heat
When the oil is good and hot (I don't use thermometer so I don't know a temperature) gently lower a kibe into the oil
When the bottom is nicely browned flip over and place a second kibe in the oil so your cooking two at a time
When the entire shell is nicely browned remove from the oil and place on a wire rack or paper towels to drain any excess grease

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place the kibe on a cookie sheet and place onto preheated oven
Bake for 35-40 minutes  depending on you oven and the size of your kibe
To reduce guess work place a thermometer into a kibe in the middle of the pan and bake untill the middle reaches 160 degrees

Step 5: Enjoy

After two years in Brazil and eating kibe's in dozens of different lunch counters the only topping I've seen placed on a kibe is ketchup.  Brazilian ketchup is sweeter and less vinegary then american ketchup but I wouldn't use anything else but feel free to use whatever you want and enjoy

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    4 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Good, I make mine with a bit of garlic too but everyone tells me kibe is not supposed to have garlic.