One of the most popular dishes ordered in Persian restaurants, these Persian ground beef kabobs, known as koobideh (or kubideh), are grilled to juicy perfection, and you only need 5 ingredients to make them. You can also make them with ground lamb.
This recipe is quintessential to Persian cuisine, and is an incredibly tasty kabob seasoned with saffron and lemon. Master this recipe and follow my top koobideh tips to keep the meat stuck on those skewers, and I promise you'll have perfect Koobideh every time!
🌟Why you'll love this recipe
🧾Ingredients in this recipe
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
👩🍳How to make beef koobideh
Refrigerate and marinate
Preparing to cook
Grill and Serve
Kabob Cooking Tips
- Make sure your grill fire is very hot.
- Remember that we don't follow the burger flipping rule in this recipe (where you only flip it once when cooking). The kabob get flipped when you first put them on the grill, and you cook them for a short 30 seconds on the first side, until it just starts to brown. Then, you flip it to get the other side to get it brown and continue flipping as you cook.
- Lay the flat skewers across the grill instead of on the grill, which is more similar to the traditional way they are cooked.
- Baste the kabobs with the basting liquid when you have about 1 minute of cooking left.
Read more about two-zone grilling set-up here.
Serve your Koobideh with Persian steamed saffron rice and roasted tomatoes from the grill.
If it's not already ground, grind your saffron using a mortar and pestle. Steep the saffron in hot water prior to adding it to the dish you are making.
My top tips to help make sure your meat sticks are to knead the meat for 10 minutes and then also keep it cold, with your hands cold and wet as well. This will greatly help you with the skewering process.
Traditionally, you would slide your Koobideh off the skewers and serve on a large platter with plenty of Persian steamed basmati rice, and tomatoes that were also cooked on a skewer on the grill. A piece of Sangak is a lovely touch. And add a touch of sumac to season the kabob or rice if you like!
Yes, you can use an oven broiler to cook Koobideh. Place your oven rack close enough to the broiler so the top of your broiling pan with the Koobideh will be less than 3 inches away from the heat source, and make sure to line the broiler pan with foil. Flip every 30 seconds, just as you would on the grill.
Koobideh means 'slammed', referring to the way the meat is flattened and molded around the skewers before cooking.
Feast your eyes and lips on more Persian recipes packed with unique flavor! If you like this recipe, you'll love one of these similar recipes and recipes I serve with this dish:
Koobideh - Persian Ground Beef Kabob
- 4 Skewers
- Grate the onion and squeeze out all the liquid, reserving the liquid. Add the ground meat, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of oil, the steeped saffron, salt, and pepper. Knead for a minimum of 5 minutes, but preferably 10 minutes until it is very sticky.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, but preferably 1 hour.
- Mix together 2 teaspoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of the onion juice. This is for basting.
- Mix together the rest of the onion juice and some ice water. Skewer with cold, wet hands. It is helpful to taper the bottom and top of the kabob of each skewer. Use your pointer and middle finger in a scissor position press the classic indentations along the kabob. If it isn't sticking, see note below.
- Cook over high heat flipping every 30 seconds until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Base with the basting liquid when you have about 1 minute left.