Getting Raw, Staying Safe and Chelo Kabab

Chelo Kabab with Egg

Let’s talk eggs, shall we? True confession time: I’ve eaten eggs that were runny and weren’t cooked completely. It’s my husband’s fault. He introduced me to the undercooked egg. Then there’s hollaindaise sauce (YUM), caesar dressing (Mmmmm) and homemade mayonnaise (DROOL). They are all made with eggs that are either raw or not not cooked thoroughly. And each time we do this with an unpasteurized egg, we are at risk of salmonella poisoning. I won’t lie. I never thought twice about it. I live in the U.S. where I “feel” our food supply is “safe.” I won’t get sick. I take the chance.

Then my eyes were opened. I went to my first Camp Blogaway two years ago and met Erika, from In Erika’s Kitchen. She told me her her son’s story of salmonella poisoning. I got chills down my spine.I also met the great folks at Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs™.

Safest Choice Eggs™ are pasteurized in an all-natural, gentle water bath pasteurization process which eliminates the risk of salmonella poisoning.

FACT: The vast majority of eggs sold in grocery stores are NOT pasteurized.

FACT: Salmonella bacteria are the number-one culprit in foodborne illness.

FACT: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that Salmonella causes more deaths than any other foodborne bacteria.

Do I have your attention now?

These facts certainly got my attention.

Just because the eggs you buy are labeled organic or cage-free, doesn’t mean that they salmonella-free. You can’t tell if an egg has salmonella by sight or by taste. Safest Choice Eggs™ taste like regular eggs. Pasteurization does not take away flavor or quality.

I am thrilled to represent Safest Choice Eggs™ and be one of their Darling Dozen bloggers. (Even my husband never called me “darling!”) In the next few months I will be sharing recipes that use their eggs, but today I want to share a Persian recipe. And I give credit to my husband, who reminded me of this simple recipe.

Persian Chelo Kabab with Egg

One of our favorite Persian meals is Chelo Kabab or Kabob or Kebab or… whatever. Rice with meat on a skewer. Pictured above is koobideh kabob, made with ground beef. My mother-in-law is a master at making koobideh kabob.

And if you’ve ever been to a Persian restaurant, you know that you are served a huge serving of gorgeous basmati rice. One of the best ways to enjoy your chelo kabab, whether it’s sirloin, ground beef, lamp or chicken, is to mix a raw egg into your hot rice. The steam “cooks” the egg, but since it’s not under high heat to kill off bacteria, you will not see this offered in most restaurants.

In fact, we hardly ever add the egg at home because we are always leary about getting sick. But not anymore. Hubby is happy and can enjoy his creamy, dreamy rice.

So lick the cake batter off your spoon!

Nibble on the raw cookie dough this baking season!

Eat your fried egg as runny as you like!

Get your protein on in your smoothie!

You can do all of this worry-free with pasteurized eggs from Safest Choice.

Chelo Kabab with Egg

Grilled Ground Beef Kabob (Kabob-eh Koobideh)

Koobideh kabob is traditionally made with ground lamb or beef. It is traditionally cooked on long, flat skewers. Served with rice it is called Chelo Kabob. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 lb ground beef, 85% lean
  • 2 lavash bread


  1. Using a food processor, grate:
    • 2 medium-sized onions
  2. Place the onion mixture into a blender and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes.*
  3. Place the onion mixture in a strainer over a bowl and drain the juice. Kabob will not hold its shape if mixture has too much water.
  4. Using the food processor again, but with the chopping blade, place in alternating layers the onion mixture and:
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2 lb ground beef , 85% lean
  5. Add onion juice little by little if mixture is dry. Meat-onion mix should have elasticity and stretch to it.
  6. Put kabob mix into big bowl and knead like dough. The more you knead the kabob mix, the lighter the kabob. Texture should be airy, not a solid mass like in a hamburger. Kabob mix shouldn't be sticking to your hands.
  7. Allow kabob to marinate in a refrigerator in a covered bowl for 2-4 hours.
  8. Remove kabob mixture from the refrigerator and start your charcoal at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.
  9. The amount of meat you use, depends on the size of skewers you have. Long flat skewers work best with ground beeg kabob as it holds the meat better than a thin round skewer. For our skewers we started with a baseball-size ball of kabob mix.
  10. Gently pierce the meat patty with your skewer and slide it down to the middle of the skewer. Use onion juice or water to keep your hands moist and to keep them from sticking to the meat.
  11. Softly squeeze the meat flat as you position the meat onto the skewer. Make sure you leave room on either ends of the skewer as it rests over your grill.
  12. Using two fingers to mimic scissors, pinch both ends of the kabob meat, cutting off any excess.
  13. Also using two fingers softly squeeze down the skewer leaving ridges.
  14. Place skewers on the grill. The meat should not touch any grill plates. Instead the skewers should be propped up over your coals or flame. You know your grill is ready when you hold your hand over the grill for 3 seconds and your hand feel too hot to remain there.
  15. Cook until done, approximately 15-20 minutes, turning the skewers every minute to evenly cook. If you wait too long and cook one side too much before turning the skewer, your kabob will fall off the skewer.
  16. As kabobs are done, remove from grill and remove meat from skewers by grabbing it and sliding it down the skewer with:
    • 1 lavash bread
  17. To keep warm until all the meat is cooked, cover with:
    • 1 lavash bread
  18. Serve hot.


Serving Suggestions: Serve with basmati rice or lavash bread.

Cooking Tips: The ingredients are simple, but the technique is key. You want the meat mixture to be sticky enough to stay on the skewers and not fall off during the grilling process. Long flat skewers work best with this kabob.

To cook in the oven, form kabob mix into desired shape and place onto a broiler pan coated with non-stick spray. Broil in the oven on the top-most shelf until kabob starts to brown, about 5-7 mins. Turn kabob over & broil for 5 more mins or until cooked through.

* This step can be skipped. The secret to great ground beef kabob is to make sure your onions are pureed very smoothly. You don't want to taste the onion pieces, as you would in a hamburger. The texture is very different.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 1

Cook Time:

Grilled Ground Beef Kabob (Kabob-eh Koobideh) Detail

Disclosure: I did receive a stipend from Safest Choice Eggs™. The story I have written is all true, and the opinions are truly mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it.

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11 Responses to Getting Raw, Staying Safe and Chelo Kabab

  1. Alice at #

    Thanks for sharing! But just as I thought, our little grocery does not sell these, so I would have to drive 70 + miles round trip just to get my hands on them. Ahh the downside of living in a small town.

  2. I am always overcooking the eggs because I am so scared of salmonella… It’s good to know there are brands that really care and we can trust them!

  3. Wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to try it! This goes to prove the Greek Aveolemeno Soup can be safely -made!

  4. Ashley - Baker by Nature at #

    We eat SO many eggs at home, so we’re always looking for the best quality and safest choices possible. GREAT POST!

  5. Love that there’s an option for pasteurized eggs!

  6. The chances of getting a bad egg are really slim. However, we no longer take the risk – we buy pasteurized eggs for any use where the egg will be uncooked (cookie dough, hollandaise) or undercooked (eggs over easy). And use “regular” eggs for other uses. Great looking dish! Good stuff – thanks.

  7. Eha at #

    Sugar! Just as well I grew up a wee bit earlier than most of you:) ! Not that I blame anyone for taking care, but!! Back in Estonia, in my ‘younger’ years there were two ‘tonics’ every child was given every day. One was a tablespoon of codliver oil [1/2 right, 1/2 wrong, as we now know it !]. the other and that every day, was a mixture called ‘gogel-mogel’ [just means a mix!!] of one raw egg yolk, a TB of sugar and a slurp of cognac! Had it every day [past infancy] to age nine when war made us refugees 😀 ! Tasted great: never knew anyone to get sick, but perchance salmonella was not as widespread in those days . . . .

  8. I’m glad to hear that I can buy Davidson’s at Albertson’s now. I love a soft cooked egg and am intrigued by Chelo Kabab with the raw egg mixed in and wil have to try it!

  9. You know in Japan we eat raw eggs – we pour on rice and season with soy sauce or we add it to the sauce for Sukiyaki (kind of like stew)… I never knew I cannot eat raw egg until I came to the US. Plus I was very surprised expiration date is very long time (milk, egg, bread…everything). I worried in the beginning if it’s safe, kind of in a different way. I like this post and I’ll look into this product after writing this. 🙂 Your dish looks delicious Laura!

  10. Don at #

    I love your koobideh recipe. I have discovered I can grind meat with a food processor if I chill it well first. I like mixing beef and lamb that are 80/20 lean/fat in a 50/50 recipe beef to lamb. I also have my own custom dough recipe that people go crazy for. Very savory.

    I have eaten a raw egg yolk on hot steamed rice for years – even before I knew it was an old custom in basmati rice for chelo kabob. I will use your methodology going forward with my dry spices added. It does work very well on 1″x23″ skewers. I have found that after 10 minutes, you can go to turning them every 2-3 minutes. This website was VERY helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! I can;t wait to try your secrets here.

    • Hi Don,
      I’m so glad you are enjoying this koobideh recipe. In our house, I make the mix and my husband takes care of the skewering and grilling! Between the chelo kabob and doogh, your guests are enjoying quite a feast. Mixing ground lamb into the mix is definitely preferred in our house, but not everyone seems to like lamb. I hope you try some of the other Persian recipes I have! And thank you again for reading my blog.

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