Kibbeh Nayeh (Lebanese raw lamb) recipe

Hix recommends serving with a minty salsa or as a light snack - Matt Austin

This is basically a Middle Eastern lamb tartare and, just as with steak tartare or carpaccio, the lamb needs to be as fresh as possible. I like to serve it as a starter with a minty salsa or as pre-dinner snacks on little pieces of lightly toasted Moroccan flatbread. A few delicious salted Cambodian Kampot peppercorns on top (something I tried recently from are a nice touch.


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes (if serving with flatbreads)


4 as a snack or starter


  • 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint

  • 1 medium red or green chilli, finely chopped, seeds and all

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lemon

  • 400g fresh lamb fillet from the best end or rump, trimmed of  sinew and finely chopped

  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp smoked or unsmoked paprika

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 30g bulgur wheat, pre-soaked in boiling water for an hour, then drained

To serve

  • flatbreads (optional)

  • about 20 salted

  • Kampot peppercorns (optional)


  1. Mix together 1 tsp each of the parsley and mint with half the chilli and ½ tbsp of the olive oil.

  2. Add the zest of half the lemon. Season and set aside as a salsa to top the meat.

  3. Mix the lamb with the remaining herbs, chilli and oil along with the spring onion, spices and bulgur wheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and the juice of the lemon.

  4. If you are serving the kibbeh as a starter, spoon it on to plates or serve it in a bowl with the herby salsa on top.

  5. For snacks, lightly toast the flatbreads and cut into squares. Spoon the mixture on top with a little salsa and a few Kampot peppercorns, if using.