Chicken Koobideh- Persian Kabobs

Along the snake length street that is Pico Boulevard in LA, you’ll find a shoddy restaurant with a name I still have a hard time pronouncing. You’ll walk in to see wood paneled walls alternating between large mirrored ones. Faux chandeliers hang over the outdated motif carpet that has seen better days. At the corner, there is a bar where the older Persian waiters, bedecked in black head to toe, congregate as they await customers. The booths are an uncomfortable pleather that curve around a beclothed table set with mismatched silver flatware, salt and pepper shakers, and a bottle of olive oil of questionable hue. It’s light enough you can convince me it’s canola oil. The menu is Persian on one side and Chinese on the other, which makes as much sense as the burgundy and turquoise color scheme.

Now that you decidedly won’t take my recommendation to make reservations, I’ll tell you to forget the yelp reviews, and trust me when I say the food is why you’ll likely wait a long time for a table on a Sunday night. They make a Zereshk rice that is my dream to nail. Their chicken on the bone it always juicy and on point. And their koobideh, Persian kebabs, are tender and so full of flavor. Every once in a while, I’ll get nostalgic and try to attempt it at home. I’m close enough, though I’m sure they have a secret that makes theirs memorable. For now, try it at home, it might compel you to give them a visit next time you’re in LA.


Chicken Koobideh- Persian Kabobs


1 lb ground chicken or turkey thigh

1 large onion

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon sumac

1 tablespoon turmeric

½ tablespoon ground chile

½ tablespoon ground black pepper

12-14 skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes if wooden

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon olive oil


In a small chopper, process the onion until pureed. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the meat, salt, sumac, turmeric, ground chile and black pepper and mix well. Store the mixture in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.

Prepare a small bowl of water. Remove the meat from the fridge. Dip your hands in the water and pinch a handful of meat from the mixture. Shape into a long kebab around the skewer. Repeat until you’ve used all the meat.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Grease with a little olive oil. In a small bowl, mix the lime juice and olive oil.

Once the pan is fully heated, grill the kebabs until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. As they cook, brush the lime liquid over the kebabs on each side. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.

Roasted Bell Peppers

Over an open flame, roast the bell peppers until fully charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover, this allows the steam to loosen the flesh. Once cool, peel well and serve along with the kabobs.