Kibbeh (Kibi)


I was only 17 or so when I first tried Kibbeh (Prounounced ” Kee-bee”  in French and Creole) .  Every time I eat it, it reminds me of a dear friend of mine who used to be a big fan of it. He unfortunately passed away in the earthquake in 2010. Today, I cooked this appetizer that he loved so much in honor of him.

Kibbeh is an Arab dish that was left with us as a traditional dish in Haiti. They are served in parties as appetizers and are usually very spicy while filled with ground meat (mostly beef or lamb). Some Haitians do serve it with  smoked herring (for the pescatarians) . Of course I had to make some research about the recipe and I found a pretty good one here
The only problem I’ve encountered while cooking/preparing this, was with keeping the shell mixture closed. I guessed that it was due to the coarseness (not fine in texture) of the Bulgar wheat. So I strongly advise to use a fine one.


  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 2 medium onions (1 coarsely chopped and the other one finely minced)
  • 5 dried or smoked herring fillet, cut in small pieces or 2 lbs finely ground beef
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt for the filling
  • 1tsp of pepper for the filling
  • 1/2 lb. (1 cup)  Bulgar cracked wheat (make sure it’s finely crushed and not coarse)
  • slices of lemon

  1. Soak the Bulgar wheat in cold water for 1/2 hour minimum
  2. Remove your Bulgar wheat from water. Dry by removing excess water. Then add to the 1 lb of meat, coarsely chopped onions, pepper and salt.44a
  3. KIBBEH STUFFING  PREPARATION In a medium frying pan, saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil. Add ground beef and chop well with wooden spoon. Add allspice, salt, pepper, and cumin. Once beef is light brown, remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. ( You’re also allowed to add any other ingredients of your will. I personally thought that it needed some more. Be Haitian, Be bold and allow your taste buds to be part of the decision making)4546 47 
  4. Take an egg sized amount of shell mixture and form into a ball. With your finger, poke a hole in the ball, making a space for filling. Add filling and pinch the top to seal the ball. You can then shape it into a point, or football shape, or leave as a ball.
  5. Fry in 350 degree oil on stove top or in deep fryer for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Serve with slices of lemon.49

Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

7 thoughts on “Kibbeh (Kibi)

  1. I’ve always wanted to know how to make kibbeh!! Thanks for taking the initiative and making it easy for me to find a recipe for it. I think with the recipe a portée de main, it will be easier for me to ACTUALLY make it, lol.
    I have to admit the whole process of poking a hole in the shell seem a bit of a tedious task. Do you have any idea if we cover the meet with the shell and mold it onto the shape we want, if it will be easier?
    Anywho, I always enjoy readj g your recipes love. Now all I have to do us gather the courage to make them 🙂

    1. I’m glad that I could contribute to your will to make it! lol
      Actually it wasn’t hard at all. Another way you could do it is like when you do pate kode. You take a large portion. Flatten it , put enough filling and close it by folding it and two like a book . But it’s much easier to poke the hole.

  2. Oooh, it looks too good! It’s been so long since I have had kibbeh, I miss it soo much. Funny how I have all of the ingredients except for the ground beef. Or any meat/fish for the filling anyways. Thanks so much for this recipe, my mom has been so stubborn and she won’t make it for me. Now I can at least TRY to make it instead of reminiscing on the memories. LOL

    1. That is the very purpose of this blog. To help you get educated about how to cook Haitian food. Mom’s cooking is always the best.
      But let us also be the future moms whose food our children look forward to.
      Gotta keep our culinary traditions alive!

  3. Good evening,
    I am an American whom lived in Haiti back in 1973 for a short time with my family, as a treat we would go to a restaurant in Petitionville. There was a food that we ate that contained rice, onions and ground beef and it was wrapped in lettuce or cabbage. I have always wondered what it was called or how to make it. I understand this is very vague but I was fairly young and do not remember much more about the dish.
    If you have any idea what I may have been eating would you please respond.
    Thank you very much for your assistance.
    By the way I have always admired the Haitians’ value and appreciation of family.

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