Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Lebanon Trip Report 2007


  • Please log in to reply
43 replies to this topic

#31 infernooo

infernooo
  • participating member
  • 364 posts

Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:30 PM

Thanks for that, much appreciated :-).

That would be terrific - thank you!

View Post


Better late than never. Here is the lost of ingredients from the packet of Shawarma spices:

Allspice
Cinnamon
Ginger
Black Pepper
Nutmeg
Cloves
Coriander
White Pepper
Garlic
Salt

View Post



#32 FoodMan

FoodMan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,316 posts

Posted 07 November 2007 - 12:16 PM

Labib

Posted Image

As you can se, Labib’s bakery is nothing to write home about if you simply drive by. However, this little one man show in the Dekwani area in Beirut is the best new discovery on this trip. My brother kept saying “You have to go to Labib’s bakery for Mana’ish baked on the Saj. They are like no other’s mana’ish.” A quick tutorial might be in order. Mana’ish (the plural of Man’oushi) are a typical breakfast/snack food in Lebanon. Think of them as Lebanese pizza pies. Traditional topping is made from zaatar (wild thyme, sesame, sumac and olive oil), but other toppings include cheese, kishik (fermented yogurt and cracked wheat), Qawarma (lamb cooked in lamb fat = lamb confit?) and Armenian sausage to name a few. These can be either baked in a regular gas powered oven or on a Saj. Both are good, but produce different results. The Saj looks like an upside down wok and is fueled traditionally by wood, but in most cases by propane (or butane?).

Oh boy was my brother right! As opposed to almost all other Saj places, Labib’s pies are very rustic. His dough is very wet and cannot be handled and rolled paper thin as is the norm. Instead he removes a ball of dough from the stash and puts it straight on the hot Saj where he uses his hands to ‘form’ it into a roughly round shape. Then he applies, again using nothing but his hands, the topping. The result is a wonderfully light, crispy and airy Man’oushi. I loved these so much I came back the next day to snap all these pictures.

Posted Image

Ok, Labib’s menu includes:

Zaatar plain, with creamy cheese, with regular cheese (probably salty Akawi), with Labneh or with Kashkaval cheese.

Lahm bil Ajeen (meat pie)

Sujuk (Armenian Sausage)

Kafta

Kishik

Qawarma (with all the variations of the zaatar one)

Cheese, also in several variations and styles and with meats or without

Chocolate (usually Nutella) with banana and hazelnut

A couple of things to drink.

I tried a few of these. My favorites were the Cheese with vegetables (tomatoes/mint/olives all placed in the pie after it’s baked), the Zaatar in the same style and the Qawarma with Labneh (boy is this one rich).

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

You can see a cheese pie in the back and he is working on a meat one in the front here.

Posted Image

I am pretty sure the one in the forefront is mine here. It’s half zaatar and half cheese.

Posted Image

Posted Image

A finished and sliced pie ready to eat. This was my cheese and vegetable pie.

Posted Image

A closer look.

Posted Image

This was the Labneh with vegetables.

I crave these simple pies on a daily basis…another three years or so before I can have another…

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#33 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 07 November 2007 - 12:37 PM

Holy cow. That food looks remarkable. Can you say more about qawarma?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#34 FoodMan

FoodMan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,316 posts

Posted 07 November 2007 - 12:57 PM

Holy cow. That food looks remarkable. Can you say more about qawarma?

View Post

Qawarma or Awarma is a traditional ancient Lebanese pantry item dating back to the days when mountain residents had to endure all winter with limited access to fresh foods and meats. Just like confit or other charcuterie it is a method of preserving meat for the winter and it is still done today because it is so tasty. The lambs found in Lebanon are typically the ones with a fat tail (liya). The tail alone is a huge lump of fat that weighs several kilos. When the lamb is slaughtered the fat from the tail and other places is rendered and is used to cook minced pieces of the lamb's meat along with spices and salt. This then is kept in crocks under the rendered fat for the winter. Qawarma is used sparingly to flavor soups, mixed with scrambled eggs or labneh, as a topping for Mana'ish or really as a fat/salt base for anything. It is usually on the salty side and has an assertive lamby/gamy flavor.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#35 Adam Balic

Adam Balic
  • participating member
  • 4,882 posts

Posted 10 November 2007 - 01:05 PM

Those Mana’ish look extraordinary. I have only ever seen them coming out of an oven. Is this a known variation (regional?) or is it idiosyncratic? It reminds me a lot of Turkish Gözleme, even the griddle is the same.

#36 FoodMan

FoodMan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,316 posts

Posted 12 November 2007 - 12:44 PM

Those Mana’ish look extraordinary. I have only ever seen them coming out of an oven. Is this a known variation (regional?) or is it idiosyncratic? It reminds me a lot of Turkish Gözleme, even the griddle is the same.

View Post


Cooking on the Saj is very common in Lebanon. You even find very fancy local chains now serving a variety of Manaish on the saj like the place called 'Zaatar W Zeit'. Their stuff is pretty good, even though it is served in a hip environment that reminds me of Starbucks. The dough is usually hand rolled to be very transparent and then placed on the Saj. What is unique in Labib's case is his method. His dough is very wet and soft and cannot be handled. He told me he has semolina in it as well as whole wheat. It's that process of spreading it AFTER putting it on the wok like griddle that gives his pies a unique and amazing texture.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#37 Cookwithlove

Cookwithlove
  • participating member
  • 175 posts

Posted 04 January 2008 - 07:25 PM

Jabbour

In 2.5 weeks in Lebanon, I think I ate here maybe 10 times. The Shawarma at this place in Beirut’s Dora area is sublime, the best anywhere. Not just the beef/lamb one but also the chicken version is juicy, packed with flavor and delicious. Jabbour’s Shawarma is always a highlight of any of my trips to my home country.


Posted Image
Chicken Shawarma on the right, the beef/lamb one on the left


Posted Image
Shawarma is the main attraction for me and Diana here, but Jabbour is a full fledged Lebanese restaurant/sandwich shop. In this one display you see some of the possible choices like lamb kebabs, kefta, lamb liver, tongue, kidney and one of my favorites lamb testicles! You just place and order and the guy in the back grills the skewer over charcoal and makes you a nice fresh pita bread wrap with it (i:e Lebanese sandwich).


Posted Image
This is a not so good closeup of a chicken Shawarma and a glass of cold no-corn-syrup-included Pepsi. All of us look forward to drinking this Pepsi! This sandwich contains in addition to the chicken pickled cucumbers, lettuce, french fries and lots of garlic sauce…it could be messy. The beef/lamb one will have tahini sauce, pickled turnips, parsley, raw onions and tomatoes.

More Lebanon trip photos to come…

View Post



Hi Foodman,

The top of the picture with the Chef standing to do a carving on the big skewer, may I know what is the name of the machine? Thank you.
主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房
"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

#38 FoodMan

FoodMan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,316 posts

Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:39 AM

Hi Foodman,

The top of the picture with the Chef standing to do a carving on the big skewer, may I know what is the name of the machine? Thank you.

View Post



Hmm...I think the proper English name for it is 'Vertical Grill' or maybe 'Vertical Rotisserie Grill'. Usually in Lebanon, since it is used exclusively fro Shawarma, we just call it 'Shawarma Grill' :smile:.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#39 Cookwithlove

Cookwithlove
  • participating member
  • 175 posts

Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:05 PM


Hi Foodman,

The top of the picture with the Chef standing to do a carving on the big skewer, may I know what is the name of the machine? Thank you.

View Post



Hmm...I think the proper English name for it is 'Vertical Grill' or maybe 'Vertical Rotisserie Grill'. Usually in Lebanon, since it is used exclusively fro Shawarma, we just call it 'Shawarma Grill' :smile:.

View Post


Thanks you.
主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房
"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

#40 melamed

melamed
  • participating member
  • 198 posts

Posted 14 May 2009 - 11:23 AM

Holy cow. That food looks remarkable. Can you say more about qawarma?

View Post

Qawarma or Awarma is a traditional ancient Lebanese pantry item dating back to the days when mountain residents had to endure all winter with limited access to fresh foods and meats. Just like confit or other charcuterie it is a method of preserving meat for the winter and it is still done today because it is so tasty. The lambs found in Lebanon are typically the ones with a fat tail (liya). The tail alone is a huge lump of fat that weighs several kilos. When the lamb is slaughtered the fat from the tail and other places is rendered and is used to cook minced pieces of the lamb's meat along with spices and salt. This then is kept in crocks under the rendered fat for the winter. Qawarma is used sparingly to flavor soups, mixed with scrambled eggs or labneh, as a topping for Mana'ish or really as a fat/salt base for anything. It is usually on the salty side and has an assertive lamby/gamy flavor.

View Post


that sound like what the kurds call Kalia (I think that means fried?), they would fry chopped meat with salt and fat to preserve it and store it in clay jars. This they used to stuff their kubba (dumplings). what does Qawarma mean in Arabic?

#41 melamed

melamed
  • participating member
  • 198 posts

Posted 14 May 2009 - 11:27 AM

Those Mana’ish look extraordinary. I have only ever seen them coming out of an oven. Is this a known variation (regional?) or is it idiosyncratic? It reminds me a lot of Turkish Gözleme, even the griddle is the same.

View Post


Cooking on the Saj is very common in Lebanon. You even find very fancy local chains now serving a variety of Manaish on the saj like the place called 'Zaatar W Zeit'. Their stuff is pretty good, even though it is served in a hip environment that reminds me of Starbucks. The dough is usually hand rolled to be very transparent and then placed on the Saj. What is unique in Labib's case is his method. His dough is very wet and soft and cannot be handled. He told me he has semolina in it as well as whole wheat. It's that process of spreading it AFTER putting it on the wok like griddle that gives his pies a unique and amazing texture.

View Post


Interesting, this reminds me of the way warka (Moroccan filo pastry) is made, by using very wet dough and spreading it around. I tried doing it once but it was horribly messy and the dough stuck to everything. I wonder where he learned his technique.

#42 nikkib

nikkib
  • participating member
  • 1,203 posts

Posted 01 August 2010 - 10:05 AM

any pointers on how to find jabbour short of just telling them dora and getting lost?! looks delicious and a damn site cleaner than most of the other places ive been too
"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

#43 FoodMan

FoodMan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,316 posts

Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:15 AM

any pointers on how to find jabbour short of just telling them dora and getting lost?! looks delicious and a damn site cleaner than most of the other places ive been too


Well, I would tell the taxi driver to take you to Jabbour and Makloof on Dora. They should know where that is. It is on the beginning of Arax Street and there are several sandwich shops, and "Cocktail" places there. If not, ask them to take you to the CIT institute. Once there ask anyone where Jabbour is and they should know. It's right across from it..more like daigonal to it I guess :).

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#44 nikkib

nikkib
  • participating member
  • 1,203 posts

Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:18 PM

Thanks for that - although i undersetimated the high esteem Jabbour is held in, i mentioned to a work colleague that i was going to Dora soon for shawarma as i had a recommendation and before i could say the name he guessed Jabbour! This then led to a huge discussion about shawarma and about 1/2 dzn people volenteering
to take me next week so i'll keep you posted - looking forward to it!
"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man