Fish Kibbeh

Fish kibbe kcal

This is one of our favorite (though not the quickest) ways of preparing fish.  We grew up eating meat kibbeh, which is a very popular authentic Levantine dish mainly consisting of minced meat, crushed bulgur, and some spices. But over 10 years ago, the tradition of Kibbeh had ceased in our household, and were replaced by other non-meat kibbeh versions—hence the fish kibbeh on our dining table, a healthier and yummier alternative to the previous “carni-version”!

The chewy texture of the interior, in combination with the subtle crunch of the outer crunch of the toasted bulgur, the nuttiness of pineseeds, and herbal freshness of cilantro and parsley render it an instant favorite and a top-listed craving item! Considered a delicacy, fish kibbeh is a traditional food in the coastal villages and cities of Lebanon, where the fishing culture makes fish (naturally) more abundant than meat (hence, meat kibbe is more of a traditional dish in the mountain and more pastoral countryside areas). Our favorite sauce with fish kibbe is pomegranate molasses, with a few drizzles enhancing the crunch and flavor with a mild burst of tanginess. Absolutely sublime!

Like other kibbeh dishes, fish kibbeh can be stretched out onto a deep oven pan into two layers and a filling in between (like Shepherd’s pie); alternatively, it can also be formed into patties (without a filling) or oblong balls filled with the onion/pine nut mix.

Usually, we have fish kibbeh with Hummus and a salad (our favorite pairing is with the brown rice salad or tabbouli).

What we love about fish kibbeh besides its taste and versatility (it is a great finger food, and can easily be packed in an office lunchbox), is its nutritional value. Brimming with vitamin K (providing about 130 % RDA from all the cilantro and parsley), it is a mineral mine of phosphorus, selenium, and manganese—not to mention our fatty friends, the MUFAS and PUFAS. And that is all at 150 calories per slice!


Toss in a fresh leafy salad, and a spoonful of Hummus next to 1-2 slices of the kibbeh, and it’s a complete meal: Vegetables, protein, whole grains, and healthy fats!

Trust us, this fish kibbeh is way more than a pretty face.

To prepare Fish kibbeh:

Blend the following ingredients in a food processor, until they form a thick, greenish paste:

  • 1 kg boneless white fish fillet (preferably sole or flatfish)
  • 3 cups fine bulgur
  • zest  of 1 full orange
  • zest of 1 full lemon
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper and salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)

You will also need (not as an ingredient):

  • ¼ cup water to wet your hands while kneading the mixture

To prepare filling:

Sautee the following ingredients together in 2 tablespoons canola oil:

  • 4 onions cut into thin wings
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • pinch of cumin and pinch of saffron or turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper and salt

1.  Preheat the oven to 180˚ C

2. Grease a round baking pan with 1 tablespoon canola oil

3.  Pat and spread half of the prepared kibbeh mixture evenly on the pan.

4.  Spread the filling on the kibbeh and then finally spread the remaining half of the kibbeh paste on top.

5.  Make 3 or 4 diagonal lines from 2 sides across the pan, until you get some diamond shapes.

6.  Spray or drizzle around 2-3 teaspoons of canola oil all around the surface.

7.  Bake at medium heat for 40 to 45 minutes until puffy and cooked through.

fish kibbe 3

Fish kibbe 2


Categories: Fish Dish

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