I hate ground meat. The texture is just…. blech! I can’t eat it!
The husband LOVES ground meat. And we have a bunch in the freezer that I got as a part of a meat package from Fare For All.
So, I needed to figure out what to do with this stuff. Pinterest to the rescue! I found this awesome recipe called “Lena’s Chebureki Recipe” over at Natasha’s Kitchen. I’m still exploring her blog, but there are a lot of interesting recipes there. Ukrainian and Russian recipes. Recipes I’ve never heard of. Awesome recipes.
The Chebureki recipe sounded super easy and tasty.
Look how good this looks!
Yuummmm! (Don’t look at the bottom one! It ended up a little over-done!)
OK, so this is what you “need” to make Chebureki. (And I use the word “need” lightly because you can modify this recipe to add/subtract anything you want!)
1. Uncooked Tortillas
2. Ground Meat (Natasha uses half pork, half beef – I prefer turkey myself.)
3. Three (3) TBSP milk
4. One (1) tsp salt
5. 1/4 tsp pepper
6. Green onions (chopped)
7. Fresh Parsley
8. Fresh Cilantro
So, basically, you take your ground meat and mix everything together and the hard part is done!
Lena’s recipe calls for 1 lb of each type of meat (total of 2lbs), but this time I just used 1 lb total. I wasn’t thinking, so I didn’t half any of the other ingredients. (Whoops?) and it still turned out fine. The first time I cooked this, I forgot to add the milk, salt and pepper. Still good! You really can’t mess up this step.
Mix everything together! You really don’t need much of the Parsley and Cilantro. A little bit goes a LONG way. If you buy one bunch of each from the grocery store you’ll still have a TON left over. Now I’m thinking of what I can use it for in other recipes this week!
Once your meat is all mixed together nicely (I used my hands, the spoon does next to nothing!) you’re ready for your tortillas.
It took some searching but I finally found the uncooked tortillas at Costco, in the refrigerated section by the cheese! I’ve heard they also have them at Walmart. They do NOT have them at Target (at least not where I live!) and also not at either of my local grocery stores.Warning: These rip easily – they’re not cooked!
If you can’t find the raw tortillas and still want to try this, you can use soft pre-cooked tortillas but you need to press VERY firmly to get them stuck together. And when you cook them, chances are you’re going to have the meat spill out into the oil and a hot mess to deal with. I’ve been there. They were still delish though!
Lay out your tortilla and GLOB that meat mixture onto half of it, leaving enough space to allow you to seal the ends shut.
Like this! I used the spoon to scoop and gently hold the tortilla down. The spatula worked quite well for spreading the mixture.
Now it’s time to close the shell.
I filled a cup with a little bit of water and dipped my (clean) finger in the water and ran it along the edges of the shell. This helps it stay closed. You can also use egg whites. I was too lazy to do that, though that’s what I use on Won-Tons when I make them.
Careful! Those tortillas will rip! *Evidence*
Fold the tortilla in half and press along the edges with your finger. Then take a fork and press the edge together. As I said above, you don’t want this sucker opening in the oil! Ouch!
Once your Chebureki is sealed you’re ready to cook! You’re going to want a pan filled with enough oil to coat one side of the Chebureki. Place your tortilla in and cook on medium heat about 3 minutes. Then flip and cook the other side for another 3 minutes. I’m not sure if it’s my stove or what, but as I was cooking these the stove seemed to continue to heat up and therefor cooked faster. Keep an eye on it and when its golden brown it should be done. If you’re unsure if the meat is done, you can always stab a meat thermometer through the edge (where it’s sealed) that’s what I did and even when I only cooked 2 minutes on each side the thermometer was still coming up at about 165*.
I used my large pan so that I could cook two at a time and get done quicker! The first time I cooked them I used the small pan that only fit one. It took FOREVER!Note: When you remove each from the hot oil, place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil. I stacked mine like this and it worked like a charm.
As you can see in the photo above, one Chebureki was put in before the other. I stuck one in, set the timer for the 3 minutes, then prepared the other. When the 3 minutes were up, I flipped the first one and placed the second one in. Set the timer for another 3 minutes. This saved time, prepping the next ones as the last one cooks. The first time I made them I put them all together ahead of time. I’ll be doing it this way again in the future!
My favorite thing about these Chebureki is that they taste SO much like the meat filled Won-Tons of my youth. I LOVE making Won-Tons but they’re so small and it’s a lot of work. With the Chebureki you get the same great taste but with less work!
Everyone loves these!
Allison and Miranda both ate them up.
I have a way to use up the ground meat now (woohoo!)
And The Husband enjoyed them as well! His only complaint? There’s no “stuff” in the meat, besides the herbs. He’s requested that I add something to separate the meat. We’ve agreed next time to try adding some bean sprouts (yuummmm) or maybe some shredded carrot.
The first time I made these I also added tomato to mine and that was delish.
Oh, and these are great dipped in Sweet and Sour Sauce if you’re like me…. or hot sauce if you’re like The Husband!
Allison chowing down!
Miranda is my little carnivore. She ended up pulling the meat right out of the shell and eating just that! *smh*
1. Combine ingredients in bowl, stir (or use hands to mush together.)
2. Place along half of tortilla, allowing rough space to close it.
3. Rub water along edges of tortilla and close shut. Use fork to press sides together.
4. Pre-heat oil on stove – medium heat – then add tortillas, flipping after about 3 minutes. It should be golden brown.
5. Cook second side for about 3 minutes until golden brown.
6. Place on paper towel to blot off excess oil. Cook next Chebureki.
7. Enjoy! (Careful! They’re hot!)
Note: I’m not sure how well these freeze yet. I saved 2 1/2 tonight and froze them. I’ll try baking them in the oven to re-heat them soon and see how they turn out!