Kibbeh Naiyeh

Kibbeh Naiyeh

Recipe ©copyright Julie Le Clerc, from Taking Tea in the Medina cookbook (Penguin Books NZ) 

Serves 6 

Kibbeh naiyeh is a traditional Lebanese dish of raw minced lamb bound into patties with burghul wheat. As with so many traditional recipes, ideas of what makes good kibbeh taste great will vary from family to family. Some cooks like to add finely chopped parsley and mint, while others prefer their kibbeh plain so that the pure tastes of lamb and burghul are highlighted. This recipe is form simple kibbeh, to which you can add herbs, if you wish. 

1/2 cup fine burghul 
300g fresh lean boneless lamb from the leg, trimmed of skin and fat 
1/2 small onion, very finely diced 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
A bowl of cold water with ice cubes added 
Parsley, to garnish 


Place burghul in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soften for 5 minutes, then drain well. Rinse with cold water to cool burghul, then squeeze out as much water as possible. 
Finely dice lamb, then grind in a food processor, using short bursts so the lamb does not become warm too mushy. 
Transfer mixture to a bowl and mix in the chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste. Knead the burghul into the lamb mixture, dipping hands in iced water to prevent the mixture sticking, and adding a little water, as needed, to create a smooth consistency. 
Mould the finished mix into a dome on a plate, garnish with parsley and serve with flatbread, radishes, green onions, red peppers, or pickled vegetables on the side.