Situated on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon is blessed for not only being placed amidst countries with rich histories but for owning its own unique culture as well.
throughout history, many civilizations ruled in Lebanon, bringing with them their own recipes and their own creative ways of creating different plates to the Lebanese kitchen. Because of its unique geographical placement and history, the country’s cuisine is mostly similar to that of the Greek, Palestinian, and Syrian kitchen.
The exotic dishes that are made in the country are not merely great by taste but are also made of very interesting ingredients you would love to learn about. So if you want to try some traditional Lebanese food here is a list of some of our favorite dishes that you won’t regret trying.
1. Kibbeh Nayyeh
Kibbeh is a typical ground meat dish from the Lebanese cuisine. However, here’s the catch; it is served as a lump of raw meat. Commonly, kibbeh is made of finely ground meat from lean beef, lamb, goat, or camel. It is Mixed with various mid-eastern spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a clove of garlic; along with cracked wheat, minced onions, and most importantly bulgur.
The taste is simply an amazing blend of spices with soft raw meat. The kibbeh nayyeh is usually served with olive oil and mint sprinkled at it. Like most Lebanese dishes, it’s served with pita bread and fresh vegetables. It is mostly used as a side dish or an appetizer but can also be eaten as a main meal.
Fattoush is the perfect light salad that can be eaten in the company of any kind of food. Fresh vegetables dressed with a mixture of olive oil, garlic, lemon, and salt. What differs this salad from other salads around the world is that Instead of croutons, we fry pita bread and then crush it up and mix it in.
adding by that crispiness to the fresh healthy salad. Fattoush is the perfect candidate to turn your meal into a healthier one.
You can never say you got the full Lebanese street food experience until you try the Lebanese Shwarama sandwiches. Shwarma is traditionally made on a rotating spit and the meat or chicken is shaved off. Now if you try the chicken Shwarma, your sandwich will contain garlic and some delicious pickles.
On the other hand, if you choose the meat Shwarama sandwich, it will contain tarator (a special sauce), fresh tomatoes and lettuce. Both kinds are served in pita bread and they are absolutely delicious and lip-smacking.
Another side dish that is never absent on a Lebanese table is tabbouleh. Parsley, onions, tomatoes, and bulgur come together to make this die-hard salad. Also, It’s mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
This simple salad can turn your food into a healthy meal and it is quite mouthwatering. It is served with lettuce on the side. This green dish is the best appetizer choice for any meal.
The Lebanese version of Hummus has a pretty unique taste. Mostly, it made from cooked and mashed chickpeas as well as other customized beans. It is used as a dip for many different kinds of meals.
The smooth and creamy texture, combined with the exciting aromas of tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic will spice up just any dish you order. On the other hand, many Lebanese people enjoy eating it simply with only pita bread because of its mind-blowing, exotic taste
6. Baba Ghanoush
If you happen to be a fan of hummus, baba Ghanoush is a must-try. Just like hummus, baba Ghanoush Is a dip served with pita bread and drizzled with olive oil. In addition, both dips are made out of tahini.
However, unlike hummus, baba Ghanoush is made from eggplant instead of chickpeas. Also, it is usually topped with pomegranate. The flavor is really unique and delicious!
Manakeesh is the Lebanese own version of pizza. It a popular breakfast and dinner but can be served at any time of the day. Made on fresh dough and baked in an oven, manakeesh can be topped with a variety of toppings.
Varying from different kinds of cheese to zaatar (a strain of thyme) to kishik (a cracked wheat paste) or even meat, manakeesh is enjoyed by almost all the Lebanese citizens all through the country.
It is a Lebanese meat kabab dish that can be either grilled or barbecued. It can be cooked from any kind of red meat like camel, lamb or beef. then it is prepared with onions, various spices, parsley, and cayenne powder that gives a strange yet tasty flavor to this meat dish.
This delicious dish has made its way as far as Turkey and many other countries mainly because of its marvelous taste and easy way of cooking.
Lebanon’s very own version of meat pie. Unlike other meat pies, Sfeeha happens to be open from the middle, giving it its own distinctive look; so that you can feast your eyes on it, once the dish arrives at the table.
Lamb meat is mixed together with onion and tomatoes and placed on top of the rich unleavened dough in order to create this simple but amazing meat pie. Sfeeha is mostly eaten alongside yogurt or vegetables.
Last but not least: Kunafa. Kunafa is a traditional dessert dish that is, simply put, a must have. It is a popular choice for almost all traditional gatherings though Lebanon, irrespective of religion. Whether it is a wedding, Christmas, Ramadan, or Lent, you will surely find a Kunafa plate on the table.
Almost everybody loves Kunafa. It is made of a cheese pastry topped with pistachios and served with sugar syrup. However, it can be made out of almost a hundred ways. The rich flavor of cheese together with the sweetness of the sugar gives this dish an exotic yet amazing taste.