Bourekas belong to the delicious group of small, stuffed, savory pastries served around the world, including sambousak, peirogen, knishes, etc. Bourekas are served in the Middle East as appetizers, at Bar Mitzvahs and weddings as hors-d'oeuvres, and even as street food. They can be filled with meat, potatoes, spinach, or salty cheese. My friend, Sarah Choueka makes thousands of bourekas each year as a regular appetizer for sabbath, holiday and other company meals. This is Sarah Choueka's recipe with a few of my own touches.


Yield: 36 pastries, approximately 1 1/2 " in diameter

Brown beef and onions in oil. Add garlic and brown a little. Add about 1/2 cup water, and simmer until all the red is out of the beef, about 10 minutes. Drain the water, add the spices. Roll the dough slightly, and cut into 3" squares. Fill each square with about 1 T. meat mixture, shape into closed, circular bourekas, and place seam down on foil covered pans. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 400° Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Pour extra fat off. Serve immediately or cool, refrigerate. To serve, warm in an open pan at 350° until crispy.

When cool, these can be frozen. Be sure to wrap them well, either loosely in freezer bags, or closely packed in one layer enclosed in foil. Once defrosted, they should be warmed in a 350° oven until crispy.

Back to Ruth's Kitchen