How to Cook Bulgur Wheat: 3 Easy Recipes

how to cook bulgur
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Sulux32

Bulgur wheat can be served hot or cold, and is an essential ingredient in many delicious dishes. We’ll share some basic tips on how to cook bulgur wheat and give you a few tasty recipes to try out at home. 

What exactly is bulgur, anyway? Bulgur wheat is a whole wheat product made from cracked and parboiled wheat grain (as opposed to, say, wheat berries, which are whole and uncooked wheat). Despite being cracked, it is considered a whole grain and contains lots of vitamins, minerals, plant-based antioxidants and phytonutrients.

We’ll show you how to cook bulgur wheat. But please remember: it’s still wheat, so if you are on a gluten-free diet, this isn’t for you.

Read on: Healthy Grocery List: 6 Unhealthy Foods to Cross Out

Cooking Bulgur: Basic Preparation

wheat berries
Wheat berries like these are milled and parboiled to make bulgur. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Klaber)

Bulgur wheat has been a staple of Indian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. It has gained popularity in the US as we’ve looked to expand our grain-eating horizons.

Sometimes, bulgur and cracked wheat get labeled interchangeably, but they are slightly different. True bulgur wheat is milled raw wheat berries that have been parboiled. That means cooking bulgur is very quick. Cracked wheat is simply milled raw wheat berries that haven’t been parboiled, so they take longer to cook. Check the packaging carefully before purchasing, so you know which one you have. 

How to Cook Bulgur Wheat: Cooking bulgur could not be easier.

  1. Use one and a half to two times as much boiling water as bulgur. For example, you’ll need just under two cups of boiling water for one cup.
  2. Pour the boiling water over the bulgur in a small pot.
  3. Cover and let it stand for about 15 minutes.

Cooking Cracked Wheat: If you have cracked wheat on your hands instead, don’t worry. It’s still super easy to make.

  1. Wash the wheat in a sieve until the water runs clear.
  2. Transfer to a pot and pour boiling water over the wheat, using twice as much water as bulgur.
  3. Cover and let sit for about 25-30 minutes. 

Note: Bulgur wheat comes in different sizes, from quite coarse to very fine. If you’re cooking bulgur that is very coarse, boil it over high heat for a few minutes before turning the heat off and letting it stand. The classic version is fine, and should never be boiled on the stove. The coarse variety is ideal for salads, while fine is the better choice to be served as a side dish or used for making kofta. 

Tip: Fine bulgur wheat can also be prepared in cold water, but this will take a few hours. Alternatively, you can let it soak overnight. 

Tips & Recipes

cooking bulgur
Cook bulgur wheat into koftas, salads and casseroles. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Flomo001)

How to Season Bulgur Wheat:

To make your dish especially delicious, toast the bulgur in a pan with a bit of olive oil and spices like cardamom, cumin, and cinnamon before soaking. Add even more flavor with hot vegetable broth instead of water. 

Bulgur Wheat Salad

  1. Pour 3 cups of boiling water or broth over 2 cups of bulgur. 
  2. Add a half pound of diced tomatoes, two small chopped onions, a tablespoon of tomato paste, and a bit of olive oil to the pot. Stir, and let sit until the bulgur is soft. 
  3. Finish by seasoning with cardamom, salt, paprika, and fresh herbs. 

Bulgur Kofta

  1. Prepare 3 cups of fine bulgur wheat with broth. 
  2. As it soaks, sauté three diced onions, three diced tomatoes, and three spring onions in olive oil. 
  3. Season the finished fish with mint, cumin, chili, and salt and add the sautéed mixture. 
  4. Knead into a dough, using tomato paste if necessary to help it stick. 
  5. Use your hands to form small balls. Roll the balls in parsley or other herbs, and serve. 

Italian Bulgur Casserole

  1. Prepare 4 cups of bulgur wheat in broth. 
  2. Dice three onions, three tomatoes, three cloves of garlic and one zucchini. Sauté in olive oil with tomato paste. 
  3. Mix the sautéed vegetables with the bulgur and season with salt, herb de Provence, and fresh basil.
  4. Add the mixture to a baking dish and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle 300g (about 10oz) of goat cheese on top and bake for about 20 minutes at 350°F with convection. Preheating is not necessary. 

This post was translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original here: Bulgur kochen: So kannst du den Weizengries zubereiten

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