This is a very simple recipe that can be made within minutes to add a healthy protein to a meal, a side to a tasty barbecue, or a last minute part of an appetizer or meze.


  • 2 pounds ground beef (the best beef for qebaba is 80:20 fat ratio)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t black pepper


  1. Mix everything in a large bowl. Keep a small bowl of water nearby to wet your hands if the mixture is getting sticky and difficult to work with.
  2. Form into cylinders that are about 4-inches long and set them on an oiled baking sheet.
  3. The qebaba are best when cooked on a grill. Grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side or until the inside is cooked through. If you don’t wish to grill, you can sear the qebaba in a medium-hot skillet and then finish cooking them in a 375°F oven for about 15 minutes. You can also deep fry them for an even easier cooking method. No matter what method you use, your qebaba will be crispy on the outside, and tender and moist on the inside.
  4. Serve hot as either an appetizer or inside of a roll (scoop out some of the soft bread from inside the roll so that the qebaba fits snugly).

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