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?”
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. ;)
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Kabab Koobideh Recipe
- 1 lb ground meat, beef, lamb, or chicken
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, if you like salty, add a little more
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 egg
- few dashes black pepper powder
- cooking oil for brushing purposes
Put the meat, egg, turmeric powder, and salt into a food processor and blend quickly. Transfer the meat to a bowl and mix well with the diced onion and chopped parsley. Chill the meat in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (this is to make sure that it's easier to thread the meat onto the skewers).
Fire up your grill and thread the meat onto regular metal skewers or flat metal skewers (preferred). Brush the kabob with some oil and grill until they are cooked. Serve hot.
I used 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs for my creation. To view how Kabab Koobideh is made, click here to watch this video. Disclaimer: This post is merely my personal experience; it's by no means a generalization of ethnic buffet restaurants in the United States.