Kibbeh Nayeh

From Dubai – Lebanese Meze, Kibbeh Nayeh

I am about to let you in on the makings of my all-time favorite dish! If I am ever on death row and granted a choice for my last meal, this is what I would have.

I was first introduced to this dish many years ago at a Lebanese restaurant in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles called Alcazar. It quickly became a meal I craved. I would alter my schedule to create a chance to get back to the Valley to have it.

Ever since then, Lebanese food has been my favorite food above any other cuisine on the planet. Hands down, without question!

Lebanese restaurants are few and far between in Los Angeles and I needed to use every effort so I could indulge in this meal. While I was in Dubai, I was so happy to see that Lebanese restaurants were seemingly on every corner and I was able to indulge in this dish on a daily basis.

Kibbeh Nayeh

Lebanese meze, Kibbeh Nayeh

Kibbeh nayeh is a traditional Lebanese meze (small dish). It’s like a steak tartare made from very lean meat from a leg of lamb, with all tendons and fat removed, finely minced with onions, fresh herbs (mint, basil, parsley) and salt. Traditionally, it’s made by pounding the meat in a stone mortar until it is a smooth, almost like a creamy-looking paté, but modern Lebanese cooks often use an electric grinder or even a food processor. Spices—black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cumin—are also added and a handful of bulgur (burghul) is kneaded in. It’s served garnished with slivered scallions, pine nuts and a dribble of olive oil, along with romaine leaves and/or wedges of toasted pita bread to scoop it up. Top it with a sprig of mint for an added flavor. To be really decadent, quarter a raw onion and peel slices of the onion back to use as a scooper into the kibbeh to create a real tear jerker of a meal. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it!

Here is one way to prepare it:

Ingredients: 350g of ground lamb or beef
Juice of 2 large lemons
1 cup 100% Whole Grain Quick Cooking Bulgur Wheat, 28 oz.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Simply Organic Organic Cumin ( 1×2.31 OZ)
2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pepper to taste
Olive oil to drizzle
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Method: Soak bulgur wheat in lemon juice for 1 hour to soften then drain.
In a blender, blend all ingredients together until into a smooth paste, then leave in refrigerator for 2-3 of hours to cure.
Serve dip drizzled with olive oil and garnish with mint leaves, serve with pita bread or raw onions.
If you’re looking for a good, traditional Lebanese cookbook try, Lebanese Cuisine: More Than 250 Authentic Recipes From The Most Elegant Middle Eastern Cuisine
4 Responses to “From Dubai – Lebanese Meze, Kibbeh Nayeh”
  1. lunaticg says:

    Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    I can find all the ingredients in Malaysia but need to find a video about this in Youtube.

  2. This looks so delicious. I love how you’ve provided a recipe for it here 🙂

  3. paige says:

    If you’re ever in Raleigh, NC, check out Sitti Restaurant. It’s a lebanese joint in the middle of downtown and serves AMAZING kibbee nayeh. Ours is made with beef but, along with the halloumi and baba ghanouj, it is hands down one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. Add Sitti to your list!

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