Salmon kibbeh nayeh with a soft herb salad

Salmon kibbeh nayeh with a soft herb salad

New Middle Eastern Food
4 as part of a mezze selection
Mark Roper

Some people baulk at the thought of eating raw meat, which is what kibbeh nayeh is — a kind of Middle Eastern steak tartare, using lamb, burgul, onion and spices. However, most of us are familiar with sushi and sashimi, and are happy to eat raw fish — so this version of kibbeh nayeh uses fresh salmon or tuna, both of which work very well. The fish requires less mincing and pounding than the traditional lamb and results in a lighter dish which is delicious eaten with arabic flatbread, white salad onions and a big blob of yoghurt cheese, or as below, with a fresh herb salad.


Quantity Ingredient
300g atlantic salmon, finely minced and chilled
2 purple shallots, finely chopped
150g fine-grade white burghul, soaked for 8 minutes in 3/4 cup water, then squeezed dry
1/3 teaspoon ground allspice
1 small red bullet chilli, seeded, scraped and finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Yoghurt cheese
1/2 garlic clove, crushed with 1/2 teaspoon salt

Soft herb salad

Quantity Ingredient
1/3 cup coriander leaves
1/3 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley
4 Artichokes cooked à la Niçoise
or good-quality purchased artichokes preserved in oil
1 small purple onion, finely sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground sumac


  1. In a chilled stainless steel or glass bowl, mix the salmon, shallots, burgul, allspice, chilli, salt, pepper and oil. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. When ready to serve, blend the yoghurt cheese with the garlic paste. In another bowl mix the herbs, artichoke leaves, onion, lemon, 50 ml of the extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Smooth the salmon mixture out on a large plate to form a neat, flat circle. Use a sharp knife to mark the surface with the traditional crosshatch pattern, if you wish. Drizzle with the remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Put a generous dollop of yoghurt cheese on top and garnish with the soft herb salad and sumac.
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