Deep Fried Potato and Beef Kibbeh

Created by chef Dhuha from Eat Offbeat, the New York catering company that employs refugees who’ve resettled in the city, this Iraqi recipe uses potatoes and breadcrumbs to create kibbeh, a kind of deep-fried croquette.

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Potato Kibbeh

Makes: 16


  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for deep-frying
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 454g ground beef (80 per cent lean)
  • 11/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 150g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 5 teaspoons seven spices
  • 5 teaspoons ground cumin


Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters, and place them in a large pot. Add water to cover the potatoes by one inch and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Add the corn starch, breadcrumbs, and one teaspoon of the salt. Mash the potatoes and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Set aside.

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Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Then add the ground beef, the remaining three teaspoons of salt, and the pepper, and cook until the meat is brown and cooked through, another five to 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the beef mixture cool slightly. If there’s any excess oil in the pan, drain the beef mixture in a colander to remove the fat, then add the parsley, seven spices, and cumin and stir to combine.

Assemble the kibbeh: take about two tablespoons of the potato mixture and form it into a flat disk in your hand. Place about one tablespoon of the meat filling in the centre. Carefully envelop the filling within the potato shell, sealing the filling inside. Once sealed, gently flatten the sphere into a small disk. Set aside. Kibbeh can be made ahead and frozen, uncooked, for up to a week.

To fry the kibbeh, pour the remaining vegetable oil to a depth of at least two inches into a large stockpot or Dutch oven and clip a candy thermometer to the side, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) over high heat, then lower the heat to medium to maintain that temperature during frying. While the oil is heating up, line a large plate with paper towels.

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Working in batches and taking care not to overcrowd the pot, slowly lower three or four kibbeh into the oil, using a slotted spoon. Fry the kibbeh until they are deep golden brown, seven to eight minutes. Remove with a mesh strainer and place them on the towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Allow the oil to return to 375 degrees F in between batches, if necessary.

Let the kibbeh cool for about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

The Kitchen Without Borders: Recipes And Stories From Refugee And Immigrant Chefs by The Eat Offbeat Chefs, photography by Penny De Los Santos, is published by Workman, available now.

Have you made kibbeh before? Do you deep fry food at home?

– With PA

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