The first thing you need to do is freeze the salmon fillet. As it is eaten raw this will kill off any harmful bacteria. Of course, the salmon then needs to be thoroughly defrosted before preparation. Kibbeh is a traditional Lebanese dish of finely chopped or minced lamb with bulgur wheat but here the soaked bulgur is mixed into a sort of Scandi-style salmon tartare. The smoked salmon gives an extra saltiness and smokiness to the mix. I have given quantities for a first course but you could serve it as a main course with a green salad and some Lebanese flatbread. Use my recipe for dill pickles (but remember they need to pickle for a couple of weeks in the fridge) or buy the slightly sweet pickled gherkins or cornichons-I like the ones from Ikea.
- 90g bulgur wheat
- 500g skinned salmon fillet, defrosted (see intro)
- 200g smoked salmon or smoked trout
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles or gherkins
- Grated zest of 1 lemon plus juice of ½ lemon
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- For the avocado cream
- 2 small avocadoes, halved, stoned and peeled
- Juice of 1 lime (use the lime you grated for the salmon kibbeh)
- 1 heaped tablespoon mayonnaise
- To serve salad leaves and flatbread
- Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and pour over 140ml cold water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes then drain through a sieve, squeezing out any excess water. Place in a mixing bowl.
- Finely chop the salmon fillet and smoked salmon and mix into the bulgur wheat.
- Stir in the remaining salmon kibbeh ingredients. Taste and season well with salt and ground black pepper. Chill until ready to serve.
- For the avocado cream, place the ingredients in a bowl and blend with a stick blender or place in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt and ground black pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- To serve, pile the salmon kibbeh onto dinner plates and top with a spoonful of the avocado cream. If you want to be a bit fancier, place a small ring mould or cookie cutter in the centre of each dinner plate and fill with the salmon kibbeh. Press down slightly and then lift off the mould. Top with the avocado cream and arrange a few salad leaves around the salmon.