Kebab – The Middle Eastern Hamburger

Bored with hamburgers? Try kebab! You make it just like hamburgers, just in a different shape. Here is a recipe for lamb kebabs that anyone can follow. You can also make it with beef.

Recipe: Easy Lamb Kebabs Two Ways

Kebab with Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

Ground lamb meat (or beef) – if low fat, add 1 egg to mix

Cilantro (chopped)

Salt, Pepper

Instructions:

Mix together the herbs, spices and meat in a large bowl. Roll out the meat into long spheres (see picture below) and place on parchment paper or other non-stick surface.

Kebabs

There are three ways to cook the kebabs – on a grill pan (greased first of course), on a grill or in the oven. Your choice!  Grilling kebab on a cinnamon stick is also a fun way to mix things up. Here they are grilling on a pan:

Pan Grilled Kebab

And here they are baking in the oven:

Baking Kebabs

Yum! The kebabs are baked, now how to serve them? I suggest two different ways: with fresh tomato sauce, mashed potatoes and garnished with cilantro (as pictured on the top of the blog) or propped up on some fresh labane or thick plain yogurt.

Kebab with Yogurt

KEBAB TIP: While you can eat kebab with lower fat meat, it’s just tastier with fatty meat! If you can’t get fresh lamb meat, try mixing in lamb fat with beef.

Cinnamon Stick Kebab

Kebab is the burger and hot dog all-in-one of the Middle East.  It’s made from meat, fish or veggies (type varies based on tradition) mixed with herbs and spices, and then grilled or baked on a stick.  Take any kebab recipe or just make up your own and try something new: cinnamon stick kebab!  The cinnamon stick adds a wonderful flavor and a bit of fun to a classic dish.

Cinnamon Stick Kebab

Doner Kebab TIP: There are more kinds of kebabs than you would ever think.  Each country, region and ethnic groups has its own traditions.  One thing to know, however, is that the doner kebab is much different.  In many places it’s called a shwarama.  If you order a doner kebab, expect sliced up meat, not a stick of meat (pictured below).

Doner Kebab

Kebab TIP: You can put anything on a stick and call it a kebab. In our house, we like to eat a lot of different organ meats. Organ meats are inexpensive, healthy, holistic and ecological. We try to eat all parts of the animals, here is a more “exotic” selection of items we have used on kebab: chicken hearts, chicken liver, chicken kidneys, turkey testicles.

Vegetables are also great, just be sure to coat in a bit of olive oil or fat. Brain, sweetbreads and tripe are not good candidates for kebab! Read more on organ meat here.