If you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d be writing a blog post about Kibbeh Nayyeh I would have laughed; I didn’t like this dish in the past simply because it has raw meat, and despite the fact that it’s very famous in Lebanon. And I assume that it’s natural for anyone who isn’t familiar with this dish to wonder a bit about the consumption of raw meat… but I’d say you gotta give it a chance. To me, I think being away from Lebanon for a while and the authentic food nostalgia that kicked in made me reconsider my options when I went back to visit one time. My taste buds gave Kibbe Nayyeh another chance and it won, big time! I see it today as such a creative and carefully crafted gourmet dish that is part and parcel of a full fledged Lebanese Mezza.
Kibbe Nayyeh stands for “raw Kibbe”, Kibbe being the patties made from ground meat, burghul (cracked weat) and spices. We’ve featured a Grilled Kibbe Recipe on our food blog in the past and the recipe for Kibbe Nayyeh isn’t that much different.
Advice: it goes without saying that consumption of raw meat may cause a health hazard especially for pregnant women.
If you eat this dish out make sure the restaurant is clean and they know what they’re doing. And as an advice from our mother, try as much as you can to use goat leg meat for this recipe. It tastes much better, and it’s usually cleaner than other types of meat. Also if you must use beef due to unavailability of goat, try as much as possible to get organic and humanely raised beef in order to minimize the chances of contamination. A final advice is to freeze the meat for 2 weeks in advance in order to age it, and to help eliminating any typical raw meat contamination. And it just occured to me, mom must have prepared Kibbeh Nayyeh several hundreds times in her lifetime so she got it down pretty well.
Summary: Learn How to Make Raw Kibbe Nayyeh Like a Pro. This recipe is an Authentic and Traditional Version of the Lebanese Kibbe Nayyeh (spicy raw ground meat).
Raw Kibbeh (Nayyeh) Ingredients (4 servings)
- 1 lb of lean goat leg meat (no fat), frozen for 2 weeks prior
- 1/2 cup of fine Burghul (cracked wheat)
- 1 small white onion
- 1/3 green/bell pepper (optional, but preferred)
- 20 leaves green mint
- 10 leaves of green Marjoram (Mardakoush) (optional, but preferred)
- 1/2 teaspoon of 7-spices
- 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
- 2/3 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- High quality olive oil
- Optional sides of greens, including green onions, white onions, radish, mint, pickled chilli pepper etc…
Kibbeh Nayyeh Preparation Method
- Freeze the meat for 2 weeks if possible, in order to age it and to help eliminating any typical raw meat contamination. When ready to prepare the dish, place the frozen meat in the fridge for 2-3 hours to thaw it half way.
- When the meat is halfway thawed, place it in a food processor along with about 5 cubes of ice, 1/5 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (no more) and spin it for about 3-5 minutes until it becomes very fine. Important: stop the food processor every 1 minute or so and feel the temperature of the meat and make sure it’s not warming up otherwise its color and taste would change. If you feel that it’s warming up, add a bit more ice or 1/4 cup of icy water and spin again.
- Place the Burghul in a small bowl and rinse it with cold water, then squeeze it to get rid of as much water as possible. Place it aside.
- Put the green pepper, mint, marjoram, onion, salt, cayenne pepper and 7-spices in the food processor and mix them well.
- Place the ground meat in a large bowl, add the wet Burghul and the spice mix, and mix it well with your hands for a few minutes to make sure that all ingredients have well infused in one another. While mixing it, you can wet your hands every now and then in bowl of icy water that has a tiny bit of ground cinnamon in it.
Serving And Presenting the Kibbeh Nayyeh
- Kibbe Nayyeh needs to be served cold, so you need to keep the dish in the fridge until serving time.
- When ready, make the Kibbe mix into balls the size of a baseball and line them up along your serving dish.
- Spread the kibbe on the dish with your hands or spoon, until it’s no more than 3/4 inch thick. Make some patterns on it if you wish.
- Add tons of high quality olive oil on it.
- Serve with optional sides including: mint, radish, green peppers, green chilli peppers, hot peppers, green onions, white onions etc.
- Kibbe Nayyeh can be eaten with a fork or wrapped in pita bread.
We hope you enjoyed this recipe, and you now learned how to make Kibbe Nayyeh like a pro 🙂 We’d love to get your feedback and comments on it.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s) 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Diet tags: Raw
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern
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