Sambousek with Aioli

Sambousek with Aioli
Sambousek with Aioli

Sambousek is a popular food in Egypt. It is a meat pie just like the South American empanada, the Asian Egg Roll, or the Caribbean meat patty. To make the sambousek, begin with a pastry dough. Jeff used puff pastry dough, but filo dough is okay too. In the fashion that these can be modeled after pretty much any other meat pie, you can shape them however you'd like. The most popular shape is the crescent moon, but you could roll them up like egg rolls or even shape them into triangles. Ours were sort of like egg rolls. When the filling was done we gave the pastry a nice egg wash and then added the filling, rolling the dough around it carefully.

We used our Berbere Seasoning in our meat filling to really enhance the flavor of this dish, but you could use whatever spices or seasonings that you want to. Jeff fried the sambousek, but you could bake them if you wanted it to be a little bit healthier. If you do fry them, pat them dry with a paper towel before serving so they will be less messy.

The dipping sauce is the thing that absolutely makes this recipe a standout. One of our taste testers called it "awesome sauce" which was truly a throwback to early 2000s slang, though he probably didn’t think about that when he gave it that moniker. Usually it’s just called aioli sauce. The aioli can be used as a dip or even smothered all over the sambousek, depending on your preferences.

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Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 10 min.
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 lbs. ground beef
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 5-6 green onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 Tbsp Berbere
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 packs pastry (we used puff pastry)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1/2 tsp cilantro
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce (we used Red Hot)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and Berbere, cook for a minute.
  2. Lastly, add hamburger and cook until browned. Remove from heat and set aside. Drain grease if necessary.
  3. Unfold the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 5 squares.
  4. With a rolling pin, lightly roll dough out a bit. Brush the egg yolks around the edge. Spoon about a quarter cup of the meat filling on the lower third of the pastry dough. Fold 2 sides over the filling and roll up.
  5. In a dutch oven or deep fryer set to 350F, add the pastry roll carefully into the oil, and fry on all sides until golden brown.
  6. For the Aioli, put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  7. Serve with Aioli.