Nutritional information is included at the bottom of this recipe.
Bulgur wheat is a versatile and healthy way to get in your whole grains. Bulgur is a type of dried, cracked wheat, often used in European and Middle Eastern dishes, such as tabbouleh. The thing I like most about bulgur is its chewy, nutty texture.
My favorite bulgur recipe is a simple but delicious Armenian dish called metch. It’s also known as eetch, itch or etch. It’s got very few ingredients, and because bulgur is par boiled before it’s dried and sold for retail, you don’t even have to cook it! You just let it sit in hot water for about 20 minutes or so before mixing it with your other ingredients.
Be sure not to confuse bulgur wheat with regular cracked wheat. Regular cracked wheat is not precooked and would require different preparation.
Metch/Eetch/Itch/Etch – bulgur recipe
Here is a simple bulgur recipe for metch without any added fat/oil. The one thing to keep in mind when shopping for bulgur is that it comes in different sizes, some more coarse or more fine than others. The size is differentiated by number. For our recipe you’ll be using bulgur no 2. You can usually find it in a supermarket’s grain or bulk aisle. It’s also available online.
1 cup dry bulgur (no. 2)
2 cups hot water
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon hot red pepper paste/sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 yellow or red bell pepper chopped (optional)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
Okay, here’s how easy it is; let the bulgur soak in hot water for about 20 minutes, or until it absorbs the water and plumps up. You can use cooler water but you will have to soak the bulgur longer.
After the bulgur is prepped, drain excess water, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
That’s about it! It’s pretty much ready! If you’re like me, you won’t want to wait and you’ll eat it right away. And you certainly can do that! But I’ve noticed the more I let the ingredients meld with each other the better it tastes.
Also, the texture is often nicer when it has chilled in the fridge for a few hours. It’s one of those dishes that’s even better the next day. I often serve it with a side of mixed greens.
This bulgur recipe is flexible since you can modify the ingredients and their measurements to suit your taste. For instance, I’m inclined to add more lemon and more hot pepper sauce for extra zing, but some people might prefer their metch on the milder side.
And, as mentioned in the ingredients list, for an option you can add some chopped bell pepper, preferably red or yellow. Chopped parsley goes nicely as well. Some people even like to add chopped scallion. For myself I prefer it the simple way as described above.
If you can’t find an Armenian variety of hot pepper sauce or paste, sriracha or sambal oelek chili paste will do the trick:
These can be found in the Asian food section of traditional supermarkets, or online.
But one hot sauce that brought metch to a whole new level for me was one I found in a pop-up market in Brooklyn, NY. It’s a hot bourbon blend from Tamerlaine Farm in New Jersey.
I’ve never had anything quite like it, but I have to say I am now truly addicted. So far, it can only be found in select stores in New York and Pennsylvania, but thankfully you can buy it right from their website.
What’s even nicer is that 100% of the proceeds go to the rescued animals at their sanctuary! Awesome people, awesome sauce…literally!!! In fact, I need to order some more for myself and my future batches of metch right now!
Here’s the nutritional information for the recipe. Note that all values are PER SERVING, calculated assuming the recipe makes 4 servings.
|Ingredient||Calories||Calories from fat||Fat||Sodium||Carbs||Sugars||Protein|
|TOTAL PER SERVING||72||2.5||0g||39mg||16.3g||4.2g||2.4g|
|Hot Red Pepper Sauce||1||0.2||0g||1mg||0.3g||0g||0g|
We hope you like this versatile bulgur recipe for metch/eetch/itch/etch! We’d love to hear about any modifications you make to yours!