Kibbeh Nayyeh – raw lamb with bulgur, Lebanese style


When cooking there is always something new to discover and the old to be “rediscovered”. If you want to be creative when cooking, you only have to deal once with what has already been there and you will notice that there is hardly anything new. It is not just about imitating, but also about bringing in your own touch.

After I advised you at Easter to only serve lamb nice and warm, today I would like to introduce you to an exciting recipe made from raw lamb.

Table of Contents

  • 1 A classic from Lebanese cuisine
  • 2 Excursus: Everything you need to know about good olive oil
    • 2.1 The olive oil “mafia”
    • 2.2 How and how do you recognize good olive oil?
    • 2.3 How do you best use good olive oil?
    • 2.4 Where do you buy good olive oil?
  • 3rd Which variations are possible and what goes well with them?

A classic from Lebanese cuisine

In my personal search I came across this beautiful dish from Lebanon in an older book from my collection. It proves once again that there is probably no rule without an exception, but that there is usually something to consider when making an exception.

If you would like to find out more about our “main protagonist” lamb, its nutritional physiology, the purchase and the difference to other types of meat, you can read about it in my recipe for lamb ragout. I will tell you everything you need to know about olive oil from a culinary point of view right after the recipe. Have fun with this summery dish, which brings us the currently so distant distance and a touch of the exotic into our home.

An exciting treat for the palate and the eyes 🙂

Preparation time:


Warning: not suitable for pregnant women. Pregnant women are only allowed to use frozen meat, see sushi or carpaccio

500 g leg of lamb or shoulder meat without sight or fat (e.g. nuts, top shell)

120 g onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove of garlic peeled, finely chopped

150 g bulgur

150 to 200 ml of vegetables or meat broth

1 tbsp tomato paste

10 fresh mint leaves, washed and patted dry or to taste

1 tbsp parsley freshly chopped or to taste

100 ml of high quality virgin olive oil

1 – 2 untreated lemons

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or to taste

1 – 2 teaspoons of chopped capers and / or pickled wild garlic buds


1 red and one white onion, sliced ​​briefly marinated with vinegar and salt

Pickled or fresh green peppers

Fresh, untreated lemon pieces

Fresh mint

2 – 4 fresh ripe tomatoes cut into slices


Rose-hot paprika powder, black pepper, cayenne, bay leaves, salt


  1. Preheat a small saucepan with a matching lid on medium heat. Braise half of the chopped onions with a little olive oil, adding a little salt. When the onions are translucent, briefly sauté garlic, tomato paste and a level teaspoon of rose-hot paprika powder. Add the bulgur, sauté and pour the same amount of stock over it. Add the bay leaf, bring to the boil and leave to stand with the lid on for about 15 minutes. Then let it cool down.
  2. Cut approx. 1 cm thick slices of the lamb with a sharp knife and scrape finely, thereby removing the tendons and vessels that are still in the meat itself, and then finely chopping it again.

  1. Finely grate the scraped meat in a mortar or blender in portions with bulgur, raw onion cubes, mint, chopped capers, mustard, pepper, salt, a little lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Season to taste.
  2. Shape the mixture with a ring or with wet hands and make small kulen with the back of a spoon. Garnish the whole thing, see picture for inspiration and the hint for the garnish, and pour some olive oil into the kulen.

Excursus: Everything you need to know about good olive oil

Here are a few more important additions about olive oil:

The olive oil “mafia”

Today I would like to take a quick look with you to see how you can recognize good olive oil and how you can find the best price-performance ratio. One thing in advance: As with humans, origin is not the only thing that matters and is of secondary importance. The fact that Italian olive oil has such a good reputation cannot be justified on a purely rational basis, but many people pay for it well and it has also led to a lot of window dressing.

Did you know that…?

… white Greek olives are shipped to Italy just to be pressed there? Because if the oil is pressed in Italy, it can officially be sold as Italian oil. Soybean oil has also been colored with carotenoids and seasoned with bitter substances, so that it can then be sold in stores as Italian olive oil “extra virgin”.

When that was exposed, the penalties imposed were very low in relation to the profit made, as was the number of those involved who could be convicted at all. Studies from the Asian region already assume that every third branded product on the shelf is counterfeit. From the coke can to the diaper. In Europe this is currently a little more difficult, but where the margins are high enough, there will always be abuse.

With careful and competent selection, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish olive oil are in no way inferior to the Italian ones. Often, top quality is much more affordable there, but neither in terms of price nor in terms of the product, that is why it is cheap. The most expensive olive oil that I have ever been allowed to use in my entire career came from Italy and the liter cost over € 1000 per liter, the most expensive olive oil in the world is traded for around € 5000 per liter.

You can get good olive oil from around 20 to 30 € per liter. Some of them already in Demeter quality. The price of around 30 € per liter can serve as a benchmark, since the engine oil for your car is rarely cheaper and what should induce you to use worse oil for yourself than for your car?

How and how do you recognize good olive oil?

You can often recognize good olive oil by the fact that it is stated when the oil was pressed and often also when the olives were harvested for it. It should not be older than a year after pressing. If it is not stated, olive oil has a shelf life (BBD) of two years when stored correctly (cool and dark), so just do the math back.

I like to buy single-variety olive oil, especially for cold use, i.e. an oil made from only one type of olives. I pay attention to the designation “virgin” olive oil or “extra virgin” olive oil, which may only be given if the oil is obtained purely mechanically, the temperature during pressing remains below 32 ° C and comes from the first pressing. When preparing the olive mash for pressing, the temperature should be between 23 and 27 ° C. Everything else should be avoided. You should be suspicious of the trade name “cold-pressed”, as only the term “cold extraction”, as described above, is legally defined and protected.

Obtained in this way, all important nutrients are preserved and no solvents (chemicals) are used for extraction. This is one of the main reasons why SEG recommends practically only virgin olive or coconut oil from sustainable cultivation, as well as butter, fried butter / ghee from pasture, organic and Demeter maintenance.

Olives and olive oil in glass bowl on white background

Good olive oil not only tastes better, it is also good for your health!

How do you best use good olive oil?

Olive oil is always a matter of taste and the spectrum ranges from “grassy / green”, “nutty”, “astringency / bitter” to “hot”. That is very exciting and all flavors have their own charm. I really like to use oils with a nutty note, but it’s always about tendencies, since most of the times all forms are available in different intensities.

It is best to use good olive oil like a spice and best of all cold to taste. You can specifically use your personal preferences and the characteristics of the oil for your purposes. The best way to taste it is to dip some neutral white bread into the oil and try it almost pure, or you pour something into a shot glass and saliva it completely before you swallow it.

Where do you buy good olive oil?

It is best to buy good olive oil from stores that ensure a constant, cool storage temperature and in opaque containers. You are also welcome to buy it on holiday or order it directly from a local manufacturer, but still pay attention to the criteria mentioned. I’ve also seen olive oil in the souvenir shop that was overlaid, incorrectly stored, and was fresher and cheaper at the local supermarket.

Buy more often an amount that you can use in a reasonable amount of time.

Which variations are possible and what goes well with them?

I have already changed the original recipe significantly. In the original there was only meat, onion, neutral bulgur, olive oil, mint, salt and pepper. Depending on your taste, you can season the whole thing as you like it.

Flatbread goes very well with it, I baked multigrain wholemeal flatbreads on a pizza stone from the recipe for my sourdough bread. It is gluten-free with corn couscous (gluten-free couscous substitute made from corn) and Mexican corn flatbread (tortilla originally made only from corn flour) or simply gluten-free bread.

Thank you for your interest. Feel free to write me how you succeeded and what recipe wishes you have for me.

Best regards,



Felix Glaser

Felix is ​​a trained chef, diet cook, pastry chef and confectioner and a state-certified master chef.
For 8 years he has been involved in the training of young professionals as a part-time job and has already supported 600 young chefs.
He wants to advocate a tasty, quick, simple and healthy diet.

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