Kabab Koobideh Recipe
September 11th, 2007 75 Comments

Kabab Koobideh Recipe

Kabab Koobideh
Kabab Koobideh pictures (1 of 4)

This is Kabab Koobideh, a Persian dish, but this is actually a post about my encounter with Kabab Nazi. Please take note that this post is written in a tongue-and-cheek tone and it’s not intended to insult or show disrespect to anyone.

Once upon a time ago, I had a favorite joint for work lunch, a Persian buffet restaurant just a stone’s throw away from my office. I went there for the sole purpose of stuffing myself silly with their Kabab Koobideh (then I didn’t know the name so I referred the kabab as minced meat thingy). The thing about buffet is “ALL YOU CAN EAT,” so I would refill my plate at least 3 – 5 times (depends how hungry I was) just for the sinfully good kabab served at the restaurant. I went there religiously–at least once or twice a week–I couldn’t help it because I was addicted to the kabab.

One fine day, I went to the restaurant but Kabab Koobideh was nowhere to be found on the buffet table. Poof. Disappeared. Vanished. Gone.

Utterly confused (and hungry), I went up to the restaurant owner (AKA Kabab Nazi) and demanded an answer…

(Because of my regular visits and my insatiable appetite, I am sure Kabab Nazi had me blacklisted as a customer with negative LTV or lifetime value, meaning he would rather not have me as his customer! In fact, I recall him eyeballing me when I made frequent trips to the buffet table and loaded my plate full with kababs!)

“Hi, where is your minced meat thingy today?”

“Sorry, we no longer serve that for buffet. You can order it from our menu if you want.” Kabab Nazi replied, with an evil smirk on his face, I saw it.

The famed episode of Seinfeld’s The Soup Nazi (if you haven’t yet seen it, you should watch this funny clip!) was reeling in my head upon hearing his answer. NO KABAB FOR YOU! echoed in my ears.

“Huh? You mean you no longer serve it on buffet, WHY? That’s the only reason I come here!”

“I’ve decided not to serve it for buffet anymore.” Another Dr. Evil smirk on Kabab Nazi’s face.

“Fine. Then I don’t want to eat here.”

I stormed out of the restaurant; I resolved not to go back again. Now people, this is not about money, it’s a matter of principle. HELLO! As a buffet restaurant, you just don’t stop serving your signature dish, do you? This is like an Indian buffet restaurant not serving tandoori chicken or Chinese buffet without egg rolls. This is absolutely wrong.

Many moons passed and I didn’t go back to the restaurant because I am sure that Kabab Nazi would sneer at me if he sees me crawling back for his kabab. I contained my craving; I tried not to walk past the restaurant; I told my colleagues “No thanks” when they wanted to go there; I stayed away.

And then, one day, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to have that kabab, even though I had to lose my pride (and dignity). I called Kabab Nazi.

“Hi there, I am going to order that minced-meat-grilled-kabab-thingy, what’s the name of that dish?”

“Kabab Koobideh…”


I hung up on him. Hah, that’s for not serving it on buffet again.

Immediately I googled for the recipe and found it here. I rushed to the nearest store, assembled all the ingredients, and started cooking.

Needless to say, I devoured the kababs with great satisfacion as soon as they were out of the grill. My stomach was in wonderland…

One thing flashed through my mind when I was done savoring my Kabab Koodideh–”Give a man a fish; you feed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”

Now I can make buffet-style-unlimited-refill Kabab Koobideh for a lifetime, every day, or anytime I want.

That’s my sweetest revenge to Kabab Nazi, and perhaps I should pull this Seinfeld’s stunt on him. ;)

Click Page 2 for the Kabab Koobideh Recipe Recipe
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75 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Jayashree says:

    Hey there…just found your blog through food blog desam.
    Nice post….enjoyed reading it. Like you, Iam a fellow Seinfeld fan….I never get tired of watching the reruns.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hip Hip Hooray, Good on you.
    We have gained a delicious recipe through your action !


  3. •゚ღJoღ゚•™o(‧”’‧)o says:

    may i know what camera u r using?
    i love ur photo shoot! :)

  4. Carrie says:

    That story is hi-lar-ious!

  5. David Hall says:

    This looks like an amazing snack, I like it a lot! Thanks for stopping by, I’ll be checking in.


  6. James says:

    You lost, you let it bother you too much. Have a Kabab, a smile, and a deep breath.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What an interesting dish kabab koobideh and becaus eof tht I will try your kabab koobideh recipe.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sad they turned away a customer like that. For every big eater there is a guest or two that may come with them that are more like 1 plate people. So you lose one you may lose another. From the sounds of the recipe it does not seem that costly to make. I’ve seen them do this at a pizza buffet once where no one was eating the mushroom pizza so they started puttig it on every pizza they brought out. To me that just creates waste when they will just throw it out when it does not get eating. I for one love mushrooms so was not an issue for me. Thanks for the recipe …will have to try it. sounds great.

  9. Minas says:

    This is the answer to the person who wrote the recipe about the KABOB KOOBIDEH. This is not what I say but what thousands of people said, I am if not the best but one of the best KOOBEDEH makers in USA CALIFORNIA!!! Remember I never said, I am the best.
    Anyway, the RECIPE it is close the original but not the original!! You are not making (KOTLET) or (KOOFTEH)!! So you don’t need (EGG)!!! (FLOUR)!!! (TO put in REFRIGRATE) And things like this!! All you need it is the good beef!! Do you know why you mix it with ONION? Just to take the smell of the BEEF away, anything you add in to it, it is by the choice of the maker, otherwise it is all in your PALM of your HAND, HOW TO PUT IT ON SKEWER (SIKH), You can put on Skewer directly when you bring it home from Market, ITS all in your PALM, this is not something to explain but to see and learn!! All you need to mix is Meat, Onion, salt and pepper, This is the basic of the KOOBIDEH, then you must learn from the start the METHOD of how to put on SKEWER, that is the fist step! So it wouldn’t FALL off the SKEWER, then to learn when you are broiling it, how to keep it on FIRE so it would’t Fall off, I SAY TO MAKE A KOOBIDEH, IT IS AN ART OF COOKING FROM THE START TO THE END. My customers were all the Iranian STARS, and all over the USA. I learnt from MR. HOSSAYNI, the most FAMOUS KABOBI of USA.

  10. Zaara says:

    Cute story!I’m intrigued by how the kebabs at the local Iranian joints here are so moist and flavorful, now I figure it must be all that grated onion! Thanks for sourcing the recipe , I am mos def going to try this!
    P.S. That Iranian recipe link is great too!

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  12. zahra says:

    i’m iranian and this is not kabab koobideh!!!!!!!! you have to try kabab koobideh not this!!

  13. foo says:

    Sense of entitlement much? What a bratty customer you are, for not getting what you want. I’m sure the owner was crying when you never came back. NOT. He probably thought, ‘Good riddance!’

  14. Darla says:

    I went out and bought all the ingredients. I can’t wait to make some kabab koobideh.

  15. Kimberly Cameron Valencia CA
    I tried this recipe yesterday and it turned out fantastic! I had turkey burger on-hand, so that’s what I used. I added garlic, onion powder, paprika and used dried parsley. I also added the chopped onion into the blending process. I found that the meat was a little difficult to work with (really sticky and messy), but the effort was well worth it!! It turned out delicious!!! Here is the recipe I created after getting these great ideas from you!!
    Thanks so much for the recipe! I LOVED it!!!

  16. actual_iranian says:

    First of all this is coming from an Iranian’s perspective. There are many things that bother me about this story. First off, the obvious is thing is that you’re walking into a Persian restaurant (we are very proud of our culture) and calling our prized dish “minced meat kabab thingy”. Makes you sound like some dumb ignorant American and what’s worse is you are some other ethnicity yourself so I would think you would at least understand that.
    Secondly, calling this man a Nazi because he didn’t serve unlimited amounts of what you wanted is very disrespectful. It makes you sound like a very resentful person and you are just insulting some guy on the internet that has no chance to defend himself.
    Lastly, the picture you have of the koobideh looks atrocious. It’s not the easiest dish to make and takes practice but jesus christ, I did better on my first time and I’m not involved in the food industry.
    I apologize if this came off harsh but when you put out an internet article disrespecting a country full of proud people you need to expect feedback.

    • Hi Actual Iranian – my article was written in a “tongue-and-cheek” tone, just like many of my articles on this site…this is the writing style I chose for this particular story-telling. It was not meant to show any disrespect or insult to your community but my goofy way of expressing how much I love this dish. The “Nazi” reference is a reference to Sienfeld Soup Nazi, one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes. This post was published in 2007 and it was my first time EVER making Persian food. I didn’t have the right flat skewers to make this dish, and it was my best attempt (back then) to make my favorite Persian dish following the recipe I found online. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Persian food and I have many Persian friends and I adore your country, culture, and the amazing food. 7 years fast forward to present days, had I made this dish again, it would be very different from what you see here as time hones my skills and my knowledge on making this dish. Just look at it this way, take a Persian who is not familiar with Chinese food, he/she might not know the exact name/spelling/pronunciation of say “General Tso’s Chicken” or “Kung Pao Chicken.” And if he/she tries to dish for the first time, it might not look like how it really is. The greatest thing about cooking outside your own culture is that through trials and errors in cooking, you get to appreciate and learn more and more about the cuisines outside your own…and I think this is a very good thing, despite how atrocious it might be your first attempt as you can only get better from there. That being said I do know how to make a proper Kabab Koobideh now and one of these days I will update this recipe and the photos and give justice to this favorite dish of mine. I do know that this recipe and photos do not do any justice to your wonderful and amazing dish that is kabab koobideh. Thanks for your understanding.

  17. a says:

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants
    to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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