Street food has been part of Lebanese cuisine for thousands of years and is particularly popular during summer when the streets of every city and town in Lebanon are filled with the aroma of fresh, healthy food and the sounds of families, friends and travellers enjoying it together. While our cuisine has evolved considerably over the past few decades, the following can all be considered genuine Lebanese street food classics.
These highly portable meals are easily among our most delicious and famous foods. The most traditional Lebanese version is made using lamb that is marinated in a mix of garlic, salt, pepper and your choice of spices, before being skewered along with vegetables such as capsicum, onions, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, then grilled. Not only are shish kebabs the perfect food to eat on the go, but they make a fantastic addition to any summer barbecue.
These classic Lebanese wraps can be found everywhere from Beirut to Brisbane to Bangkok. Shawarma is essentially a type of pita-based sandwich that contains strips of thinly sliced marinated meat that has been slow roasted for hours on a vertical skewer. Lamb is the most common meat of choice in Lebanon though chicken, beef or even goat are sometimes used. These delicious strips of meat are paired with ingredients such as lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles and a drizzling of tahini in a fresh baked pita.
Whether you are vegan, vegetarian of just a fan on delicious food, a freshly made falafel wrap will hit the spot every time. The star of the show is obviously the falafel balls themselves, which consist of soaked and ground chick peas that are mixed with spices such as coriander, cumin, garlic and chili, before being formed into balls and fried. A handful of these delicious morsels are then wrapped in a fresh pita with lettuce, onions, pickles, peppers and, of course, a drizzle of tahini, creating a healthy, tasty and filling meal that is perfect for any time of day.
Not only is kebbeh considered Lebanon’s national dish, but it has been eaten in this part of the world for thousands of years. Kebbeh is made from burghul (a type of cracked wheat), diced onion, ground meat (usually lamb), chopped pine nuts and an array of spices that range from salt and pepper to cumin, cayenne and cinnamon. These ingredients are thoroughly combined and sometimes eaten raw, though it is more commonly formed into small cylinders, fried and eaten with a side of hommus.
Meat lovers looking for a delicious street food will fall head over heels for kafta, which scholars believe was introduced to Lebanon thousands of years ago by the ancient Persians. While there are countless different versions, kafta most commonly features ground lamb, beef or chicken that is seasoned to perfection, then formed into cigar shaped cylinders, skewered, and cooked over an open flame. You can eat your kafta straight off the skewer or remove it and wrap it in a pita with your favourite salad ingredients.
Whether you need a healthy meal in a hurry or you are just looking for something tasty for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it is hard to beat traditional Lebanese food. To get a taste of Sydney’s best Lebanese cuisine, drop by Manoosh or order from us online – you will not be disappointed.
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