A Spicy Perspective

Kitfo (Ethiopian Steak Tartare Recipe)

Kitfo Recipe (Ethiopian Steak Tartare) – This Ethiopian beef tartare recipe features high-quality steak seasoned with bold spices for a delicious dish that pairs well with nearly any sides! Enjoy raw or quickly sear to serve as a meal that everyone will love to share around the dinner table.

Ethiopian kitfo up close

Ethiopian Kitfo – An Easy Steak Tartare Recipe

Note: This recipe features raw or undercooked beef. It is not recommended that pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems eat meat that has not been properly and thoroughly cooked.

Ethiopian cuisine is one of our favorite global foods to make at home. Partly because it’s hard to come by unless you live in certain cities, and partly because it’s such a rich family experience to sit down and tear injera bread together. Enjoying a plate loaded with hearty aromatic dishes isn’t just having a meal – it’s creating a memory.

Kitfo Beef Tartare is a common dish usually found on an Ethiopian sharing platter. It is raw high-quality beef that’s finely minced and seasoned with spices and clarified butter. The taste is savory and salty; perfect umami with a wonderfully soft melt-in-your-mouth texture.

You can serve Kitfo as a true raw steak tartare, or give it a quick sear in a hot skillet to partially cook it. Either way you’ll certainly want to enjoy fresh and meaty beef tartare as a special dish alongside a bounty of east African-inspired sides!

beef tartare freshly prepared

Ingredients You Need to Make Kitfo

This Ethiopian recipe only includes a handful of ingredients, which are mostly vibrant spices. To make authentic Kitfo you need:

  • Beef filetwell-trimmed
  • Anchovy pastefor a unique salty and savory flavor
  • Seasoningscayenne pepper, salt, garlic powder, ground cardamom
  • Clarified butteror ghee

You can add more or less cayenne pepper to taste, depending on how spicy a dish you want. But even if you prefer a mild beef tartare I suggest you add at least a smidge of the spice for great flavor.

chunks of steak in a food processor with seasonings

How to Make Ethiopian Beef Tartare

There are just 3 easy steps in this Kitfo recipe:

  1. Set out a large high-powered food processor. Make sure to trim all the silver skin and fat off the fillet and cut the fillet into large chunks. Place in the food processor.
  2. Add the cayenne, salt, anchovy paste, garlic powder, and cardamom. Pulse to chop the fillet into fine chunks. You can choose to stop when the beef resembles ¼ inch chunks, or chop smaller into ground steak.
  3. Once the texture is to your liking, melt the clarified butter and pour over the top. Mix the butter in by hand, do not pulse. 
adding clarified butter to chopped steak tartare

Serve the freshly prepared steak tartare room temperature, or seal in a container and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or more) to enjoy cold.

If you are enjoying with other hot dishes, I recommend you serve without refrigerating for the perfect mouth-feel combination.

Get the Complete (Printable) Ethiopian Kitfo Recipe Below. Enjoy!

chopped Ethiopian kitfo recipe

How to Make Cooked Kitfo

If you’d like to prepare Ethiopian Kitfo as a cooked dish, simply sear in a skillet on medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. For the best flavor, I suggest that you don’t completely brown the steak, so that there’s a least a bit of “tartare” remaining.

But again, as noted at the beginning of this post please be aware that undercooked meat is not considered safe by the CDC for pregnant women to eat.

lightly sauteed beef

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I serve with Ethiopian Kitfo?

Enjoy Kitfo with a side of collard greens, mesir wat lentils, and homemade injera bread. If you’re making a large sharing platter you might also consider preparing Ethiopian Chicken Dora Wat as well!

How do you eat Kitfo?

It’s traditional in Ethiopian cuisine to eat with your hands and use the injera bread or other flatbread as kind of a scoop and edible plate. Tear off a piece of the bread, and holding it in one hand, use it to grab a bit of the tartare almost like a small mit or glove. Then just take a bite and enjoy!

How long does leftover steak tartare keep?

Tartare does taste best when eaten freshly prepared or refrigerated for about 30 minutes. You should only keep the beef tartare in the fridge for up to a day or so. To enjoy the next day after making, remove from the fridge and eat cold or let the Kitfo come to room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.

authentic Ethiopian recipes: kitfo

Looking for More Delicious Beef Recipes?

Kitfo (Ethiopian Steak Tartare Recipe)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This Ethiopian Kitfo beef tartare recipe features high-quality steak minced and combined with bold spices. Enjoy with injera and nearly any sides!
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set out a large high-powered food processor. Make sure to trim all the silver skin and fat off the fillet and cut the fillet into large chunks. Place in the food processor.
  • Add the cayenne, salt, anchovy paste, garlic powder, and cardamom. Pulse to chop the fillet into fine chunks. You can choose to stop with when the beef resembles ¼ inch chunks, or chop smaller into ground steak.
  • Once the texture is to your liking, melt the clarified butter and pour over the top. Mix the butter in by hand, do not pulse.
  • Serve raw immediately, cover and chill, or pan-fry over high heat for 1 -2 minutes.

Notes

Disclaimer: This recipe features raw or undercooked beef. It is not recommended that pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems eat meat that has not been properly and thoroughly cooked.
Tartare does taste best when eaten freshly prepared or refrigerated for about 30 minutes. You should only keep the beef tartare in the fridge for up to a day or so. To enjoy the next day after making, remove from the fridge and eat cold or let the Kitfo come to room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 405kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 106mg, Sodium: 868mg, Potassium: 375mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 347IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Appetizer, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: African, Ethiopian
Author: Sommer Collier

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4 comments on “Kitfo (Ethiopian Steak Tartare Recipe)”

  1. This is going to be such a great dinner tonight! So excited to make this. Looks so delicious and packed with so much flavor!

  2. This is such a delicious way to serve and enjoy beef! Love it!

  3. I made a seared version and it was delicious! The spices are spot on!

  4. I normally don’t go for these kinds of recipes, and I was a little concerned about the rawness of the meat so I served mine a little, and this tasted just so amazing! It also pairs well with other Ethiopian side dishes!