Help! My Bulgur is Vulgar!

Posted on January 29, 2012


Don’t let the photo fool you.

I wanted to make mock meatballs. The recipe was simple:

  • 2C bulgur, uncooked
  • 1 egg
  • 1T minced onion
  • Oregano and pepper to taste
  • 1C  tomato juice
  • 1-3 T oil

As instructed, I mixed the first three ingredients and then tried to make the first of what was supposed to be 24 “walnut-size” balls. The ball crumbled, just like my confidence in all things vegetarian.

So I added another egg and the second ball held together a little better. I decided to make 12 small-egg-size balls.

I heated the oil in a skillet and quickly put in the larger-than-walnut-size meatballs and browned them. I don’t know if I was supposed to but I turned them over so each side was browned. Then I added the mandated lone cup of tomato juice, covered the pan for five minutes and eagerly anticipated mock meatball magic.

I tasted the first one. Blech. The texture was like undercooked rice and the flavor was definitely lacking.

I added some garlic salt and Italian seasoning and poured another cup of tomato juice over the meatballs and let them cook a little longer.

I tasted again. Still blech. While I liked the flavor better, the texture was a cross between chewy seeds and undercooked rice. I guess I was expecting a texture more rice-like or even meat-like.

I don’t cook with bulgur often. Any tips on how to improve the mock meatballs or do I need to get used to a different texture? Should I have used cooked bulgur?