Served Rare: Raw Meat Delicacies From Around The World
Image Credit: PIXABAY

RAW meat dishes may seem strange or even dangerous, but when made fresh and with proper care, they offer a unique culinary experience. From steak tartare to carpaccio to ceviche, these dishes allow diners to taste the pure, unadulterated flavours of meat in its most elemental form. 

Steak Tartare: A French Classic

Steak tartare is a classic French dish of raw minced beef, often served with capers, parsley, and egg yolk. The raw beef is hand-chopped and seasoned with spices like Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and herbs. Steak tartare has been popular in French cuisine for over a century and is still commonly found on menus in France and French restaurants around the world.  

Carpaccio: Thinly Sliced Raw Beef

Carpaccio is a popular Italian dish of raw beef, veal, or fish, pounded very thin and served with lemon juice and olive oil. Carpaccio was created in 1950 at Harry’s Bar in Venice and named after the Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio, known for his use of red and white in his paintings, similar to the colors of the dish. Carpaccio is usually garnished with Parmesan cheese, arugula, or truffle oil.

Kibbeh Nayyeh: A Middle Eastern Delight

In Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries, kibbeh nayyeh is a dish of raw lamb or beef, minced and seasoned with mint, onions, and spices. The meat is usually served with olive oil and flatbread to scoop it up. Kibbeh nayyeh is a popular dish in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. Some versions are also found in Turkey and Armenia.  

Beef Tataki and Yukhoe: Raw Beef in Japan and Korea

In Japan, dishes like beef tataki, carpaccio, and yukhoe are popular. Beef tataki is quickly seared beef that is thinly sliced and served with a citrus-soy dressing. Yukhoe is raw minced beef seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and Asian pear. In Korea, yukhoe is called yukhoe and is also popular.

Ceviche: Raw Fish Cured in Citrus

Ceviche is a South American dish of raw fish cured in citrus juice, usually lime or lemon juice. The citric acid in the juice chemically “cooks” the fish, turning the flesh opaque and firm. Ceviche is popular in coastal regions of Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and Central America. The fish is usually marinated in the citrus juice along with chili peppers, cilantro, and onions.  


Sushi and Sashimi: Raw Fish, Japanese Style

Sushi and sashimi are perhaps the most well-known raw fish dishes, popular in Japan and around the world. Sushi features raw fish over small blocks of rice, while sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish without rice. Fresh, high-quality tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and other fish are commonly used. Sushi and sashimi have been popular in Japan for centuries and have gained worldwide fame in recent decades.

Crudo: Raw Seafood Italian Style

Crudo is an Italian dish of raw seafood, usually fish or shellfish, marinated in citrus juice or olive oil with Mediterranean herbs and spices. Crudo originated in Sicily and Sardinia, where fresh seafood is abundant. Dishes like tonno crudo feature raw tuna, while ricciola crudo is made with raw amberjack.  

Mett: Raw Minced Pork, German Style

Mett is a German dish of raw minced pork, usually pork shoulder. It is seasoned with salt, pepper, onions, and herbs and often eaten on bread rolls. Mett has been popular in Germany for centuries, especially in the Rhineland, Westphalia, and Saxony regions. When made from high-quality, freshly minced pork and properly refrigerated, mett can be a safe delicacy.  

Bo Tai Chanh: A Zesty Vietnamese Salad

A Vietnamese raw beef salad with thinly sliced raw beef marinated in lime juice, fish sauce, and spices. The tangy marinade tenderizes the beef while infusing it with delectable flavours. Served with fresh herbs, crunchy vegetables, and sometimes peanuts or crispy shallots for added texture.

Gored Gored: A Spicy Ethiopian Delight of Raw Beef Cubes

A traditional Ethiopian dish featuring bite-sized cubes of raw beef, marinated in a spicy blend of spices and served with injera bread. The tender beef is rich in flavour and melts in your mouth. Accompanied by tangy awaze chili sauce and lemon wedges for a burst of freshness.

When beef, lamb, pork or fish is very fresh and of high quality, it has a clean, sweet flavour of its own. The subtle additions of spices, citrus juices or sauces in these raw meat dishes serve to enhance the natural flavours of the meat rather than mask them. Meat should be minced, sliced or pounded immediately before serving.

As with any raw meat, proper handling and freshness are key to safety. (And of course, certain people like young children, elderly, pregnant or immunocompromised individuals should avoid raw meat altogether due to health risks.) But when made well with the freshest ingredients, raw dishes can be a unique experience, showcasing the natural flavours of the meat.