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Kabab koobideh(Persian Kabab)

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 6 servings


1½ pounds fresh ground beef
1 large onion
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper


Peel and grate the onion using a metal grater; drain in a sieve to separate the onion pulps from the juice. Discard the juice. The juice from the onion can make the meat mixture too wet making it hard to hold its shape on the skewer.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, knead for about 5 minutes or until well combined. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

To shape the kabab, take a handful of the meat mixture, wrap around the skewer like a hot dog. Using the palm of your hand, gently press the meat around the skewer forming an evenly long and flat shape. The meat has to be evenly balanced on the skewer to keep its shape on the grill. Gently pinch the meat into sections using your thumb and forefinger.  To avoid the meat from sticking to your hands, dip your hands in warm water before handling the meat.

Preheat the grill. Remove the grate if using long flat skewers.

Place the skewers over the grill. To prevent the meat from falling off the skewers, keep turning the skewers over during the first few minutes of cooking to let the meat cook evenly on both sides. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.

If grilling the kababs without the flat skewers, keep the grate on the grill. Take a handful of the meat mixture; form into 5-inch oblong shapes. Grill 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until the meat is cooked through.

Grill some onions and tomatoes to serve with the kababs (optional). Sprinkle kababs with sumac to add tart and lemony kick (optional).

Serve with chelo-polo (plain rice).