Killer Kofta Bites
Killer Kofta Bites are a play on one of the all-time greatest spiced meats of the world, kofta kebab. Kofta is typically loaded onto a skewer, grilled, and eaten with tahini sauce or toum, bread and trimmings. My kofta bites are loaded with fresh herbs and spices (find them in my shop here!) and baked. Easy. Killer.
What is Kofta?
Could not be simpler: start with ground meat. Traditionally kofta is made with lamb or beef, or even chicken or pork. Then, season, highly! Seasonings can be adjusted to your tastes and spice drawer, but great kofta flavor is made with onion, finely chopped fresh mint and parsley, dried mint and sumac or 7 Spice.
Can I use any meat?
For kofta bites, where we’re making little popper meatballs, a lower fat ratio is best. I use ground beef most often, with a 90-10 lean fat ratio (that means just 10% fat).
Fried, Grilled, or baked.
Kofta is grilled on skewers, but taking the kofta meat concept and shaping it in burgers or meatballs gives us a lot more options to eat kofta more often.
The meatballs are of course wonderful pan-fried in a saute pan with some olive oil. But baked kofta bites are so delicious baked that this is my preferred cooking method. Be sure not to over-bake them, which means staying close by and taking their internal temp up to 135 degrees.
Grilled meatballs would also be flavorful, but the meatballs would need to rest on a grill pan so they don’t fall through the grates. Use indirect heat to avoid torching the exterior before the interior is done.
Sauce it up!
Killer kofta is killer all on its own because of the flavor bomb created by the seasonings. But who doesn’t love to dip? Use tahini sauce, garlic toum sauce, or cool yogurt laban/labneh mixed with dried mint and/or fresh herbs.
When you have a crowd, make a ton of kofta bites and serve them with an array of several sauces. Fun!
Kofta bites can be shaped, frozen on a sheet pan, then combined in freezer bags. Bake them from frozen, allowing an extra 10 minutes or so.
Killer Kofta Bites
- Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, gently mix the ground meat with all of the seasonings.
- Shape the meatballs using a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture. Be ginger about shaping; too much handling makes these less tender. Place the meatballs on the prepared sheet pan about an inch apart.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 135°F.
- Serve the kofta meatballs immediately with tahini sauce.
I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!