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Mushroom "Open" Kibbeh with Tahini Sauce

25 minutes prep
30 minutes active cooking
55 minutes total

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Kibbeh means ball or dome in North African Arabic...

and it refers to the torpedo-shaped meatballs that are the most common version. But there are lots of ground meat and grain dishes called kibbeh across the Levant, and their flavors inspired this very nontraditional version that we’re calling "open kibbeh."

Classic kibbeh requires grinding lamb or beef into a paste and mixing it with cracked bulgar wheat, onions, and spices. We used umami-rich mushrooms instead of the meat, but it’s easy to add some ground beef, lamb, or turkey to this recipe.

And we swapped the bulgar for naked barley. A whole grain more nutritious than pearled barley, naked barley provides a delightfully chewy texture and nutty flavor. It gets simmered in salted water for about 40 minutes, then drained. We like to cook a little extra for salads since it keeps in the refrigerator for a week or more.

What you'll need


For the shopping list

1 pound of

mushrooms, sliced


onion, chopped


green pepper, chopped

2 cloves of

garlic, chopped

1/2 pound of

ground beef or turkey (optional)

2 teaspoons of

baharat spice blend

2 cups of

naked barley, cooked

1/2 cup

hazelnuts, chopped

From the kitchen

1/4 cup of

cold water

From our shop

$32 - Sicily - Italy

$7 - Trapani - Sicily

Italian Fine Sea Salt

$9 - Brooklyn - New York

Ras El Hanout

$8 - Seattle - Washington



From the kitchen


Heavy Skillet


Chef Knife


Cutting Board


Small Mixing Bowl

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

What you'll have to do

Step 1

Dry cook mushrooms with a good pinch of salt until browned and most of their liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

Step 2

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the onion, pepper and garlic, along with another good pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Step 3

Add meat, if using, and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. Add 2 teaspoons of baharat, 1 teaspoon of ras el hanout, 2 cups of cooked barley, and 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts. Cook, stirring frequently, for another 10 minutes.

Step 4

For the tahini sauce, stir together a 1/4 cup of tahini, 1/4 cup of cold water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Taste and add more salt if needed. Scoop the loose kibbeh into warm pita or serve over hummus or rice with some of the sauce.

Shop this recipe

Out of stock
Salt, Herbs, & Spices


New York ShukBrooklyn - New York
Ras El Hanout
Salt, Herbs, & Spices

Ras El Hanout

New York ShukBrooklyn - New York


Villa JeradaSeattle - Washington
Antheo D.O.P.
Olive Oil

Antheo D.O.P.

COPA Società Cooperativa AgricolaSicily - Italy
Italian Fine Sea Salt
Salt, Herbs, & Spices

Italian Fine Sea Salt

Gucciardo VincenzoTrapani - Sicily

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