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Bulgur: what can I use it for?


Darienne
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The other day Shain spoke of using burgul in his Mujadara.  I had never heard of this.  Then I looked up 'bulgur' and there is almost nothing about it in eG.  

 

So what do folks use burgul for besides Tabbouleh (yes, mine never has tomatoes in it :raz:) and Mujadara.  I love bulgur and would use it more if I knew more about its uses. 

@Anna N, you mentioned a recipe in My Recipes: Butternut, Bacon and Blue which sounds good, but it's not exactly clear to me what it 'is' and what temperature it is supposed to be.  

 

Any responses to my question?

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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Back before I learned I was gluten sensitive, I was a happy burgul-er. It makes an excellent pilaf -- simple (oil and/or butter, onion, stock, salt) or enhanced, like these two Ottolenghi recipes: one   two.

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1 hour ago, Darienne said:

@Anna N, you mentioned a recipe in My Recipes: Butternut, Bacon and Blue which sounds good, but it's not exactly clear to me what it 'is' and what temperature it is supposed to be.  

This is not bringing any kind of a bell with me. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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I mostly use it in pilafs, or instead of rice as the grain in stuffed vegetables. It works very well in both use-cases. If you own any middle-eastern cookbooks, you'll find lots of uses there.

It's also pretty good as a porridge, and I once made a sort of faux-risotto with it that wasn't bad (if you think of it as just a savory "gruel," and don't sweat the conventions of what is or is not risotto).

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59 minutes ago, Anna N said:

This is not bringing any kind of a bell with me. 

Sorry I didn't post the proper kind of identification before.  Your post from May 29, 2016 (I still don't know how to do this one properly.  No, please don't bother telling me how.  I'm full up right now.)

 

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/153316-bulgur-cracked-wheat-soak-cook/?tab=comments#comment-2058410

 

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-bacon-blue

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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2 hours ago, Darienne said:

Sorry I didn't post the proper kind of identification before.  Your post from May 29, 2016 (I still don't know how to do this one properly.  No, please don't bother telling me how.  I'm full up right now.)

 

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/153316-bulgur-cracked-wheat-soak-cook/?tab=comments#comment-2058410

 

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-bacon-blue

I suspect I abandoned the whole idea!  Certainly I have no recollection of making this recipe. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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5 hours ago, Darienne said:

...
@Anna N, you mentioned a recipe in My Recipes: Butternut, Bacon and Blue which sounds good, but it's not exactly clear to me what it 'is' and what temperature it is supposed to be.  

 

Any responses to my question?

Looking at the linked recipe and based on the picture, I would think it would be a room temperature or possibly slightly warm dish. The spinach doesn’t appear to be cooked and the blue cheese is not melted. As to “what” it is, my guess would be a grain based salad or maybe a pilaf type side dish. (I just noticed that the recipe is for a single serving.)

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7 hours ago, weinoo said:

Might be a nice thickener for some soups?

 

Actually it's not great at thickening, since it's already cooked so the starch is not very viable. Cracked wheat will do better at that. But it does cook faster, and you can just throw in an additional teaspoon of flour starch if you want a silkier texture.

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~ Shai N.

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I'll start by noting that bulgur comes at various sizes - i.e. intact, coarsely cracked, medium or fine. I use only whole bulgur for everything other than tabbouleh, which needs fine or medium.

 

Talking about tabbouleh - I recognize two styles.
The first is made mostly of parsley and other herbs, with fine bulgur used only to absorb moisture and keep the "salad" cohesive and juicy, rather than have the juices collect at the bottom. It should contain plenty of lemon and olive oil, maybe a hint of spice. It is quite common if not very traditional to add a small amount of tomatoes. This is eaten a condiment or spread - you can scoop it with a lettuce leaf or pita, or place it in one along with kebabs or other meats, or even falafel. 
The other style is an actual salad, less traditional. It's still made with lots of parsley and herbs, but with a larger portion of bulgur which can be more coarse, tomatoes and cucumbers are welcome addition (in moderation) and so can be some pomegranate seeds. It's to be eaten as is, not in a bread.

It's also works great in many other salads.

 

I use it often as a side with saucy dishes, as one would use rice. I usually prefer it with Levantine and north African dishes. For example "bi zayt" dishes (lit. "in olive oil") which are Palestinian style dishes of vegetables (e.g. okra, green beans, zucchini) cooked with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil.

Iraqi Kichri (קיצ'רי) is another favorite. In the version popular here it's a pilaf style dish made of bulgur and red lentils, tomatoes and "warm-sweet" spices, often served with egg.

"Zaq'arreet" زقاريط  is a sort of bulgur dumplings in flavorful yogurt sauce/soup.

There's the Gaza version of knuffeh which is made with bulgur, butter and nuts, darkly toasted and soaked with syrup and warm spices.

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~ Shai N.

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Shai, you don't mention mint in your Tabbouleh.  You don't use it?  That's one of my favourite things about the dish.  And I use lots. Along with parsley, of course. 

 

Interesting post.  I'll have to follow up the dishes you  mention.  Thanks. 

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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11 hours ago, Darienne said:

Shai, you don't mention mint in your Tabbouleh.  You don't use it?  That's one of my favourite things about the dish.  And I use lots. Along with parsley, of course. 

 

Interesting post.  I'll have to follow up the dishes you  mention.  Thanks. 

 

I mentioned "other herbs" since recipes vary. I usually add a hefty amount of mint, but not a lot in relation but the parsley. I also often add some scallions, and sometimes other herbs - depending on what I have and what the tabbouleh will be eaten with.

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~ Shai N.

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11 hours ago, MokaPot said:

@shain, have you ever posted a recipe for salad-type tabbouleh? If so, could you please direct us to it? It sounds nice.

 

The amounts are in grams, but definitely don't need to be exact, I often eyeball it. It's just how I work (I don't like volume measurements nor calling for "large"/"small" ingredients).

 

110 g whole or coarse bulgur

180 g tender parsley, stems removed, very finely chopped

60 g mint, stems removed, very finely chopped

150 g (1 large) tomato, finely diced

150 g (2 small) cucumber, finely diced

2 scallions, sliced thin

4 tsp sumac

1/6 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Apx 6 tbsp olive oil - a bold and peppery one

3-4 tbsp lemon pulp and juice (cut the lemon in half and scoop it out over a bowl)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Cook bulgur, drain well and chill.

Mix everything, let it mingle for 15 minutes.

Adjust to taste.

Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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17 hours ago, MokaPot said:

If you like the Costco quinoa salad (I do), maybe you can swap out the quinoa for bulgur. This is supposed to be an "authentic" copycat recipe, but if you Google, there are tons more recipes for the Costco quinoa salad.

 

https://www.cleaneatingkitchen.com/quinoa-chickpea-salad/

 

Maybe bulgur bibimbap?

Never tried the Costco quinoa salad.  Our local Costco is situated in a small east Central Ontario city with a fairly provincial population, so I don't even know if it carries this salad.  I'll get Ed to look.  (I don't do the grocery shopping now.)  And if he finds it, we'll try it.  Thanks for the idea.  

 

I have to admit that I don't really like quinoa...it's the texture mainly I think.  Although I may be cooking it incorrectly.  But we eat it because it's 'good' for us.  I'd much rather have brown rice.  Or bulgur.  

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

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On 4/17/2021 at 11:47 AM, chromedome said:

I mostly use it in pilafs, or instead of rice as the grain in stuffed vegetables. It works very well in both use-cases. If you own any middle-eastern cookbooks, you'll find lots of uses there.

It's also pretty good as a porridge, and I once made a sort of faux-risotto with it that wasn't bad (if you think of it as just a savory "gruel," and don't sweat the conventions of what is or is not risotto).I

I also use it in pilafs.

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I like it in salads, as was mentioned before. Here's a recipe I did for one of my Instant Pot books, although truth be told, I don't ordinarily use a pressure cooker. Just cook the bulgur however you usually cook it. 

 

https://recipes.instantpot.com/recipe/greek-salad-with-bulgur-wheat/

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