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7 August, 2015

Secrets of Lebanese Marinades

Posted in : About our Food, Meat, Poultry on by : el Meza Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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Marinades have two very simple purposes: to tenderize  meat, and to increase the depth of flavour in a cut of meat. Many Lebanese recipes require marinating before cooking like the Sheesh Taouk,  shawarma, Beef Skewers or the delicious grilled butterfly whole Chicken. To achieve their unique tastes and tenderness, here are some secrets of how to marinate them correctly.


As you all should know, marinades are primarily a surface treatment, especially on thicker cuts.  A marinade rarely penetrates more than 1/8″,  only the salt penetrates deep.  That’s the reason why the shish taouk or shawarma are cut thin; that’s the secret of their flavor.

Most of lebanese marinades don’t have a lot of oil in them and some have none at all.   As we all know, oil and water don’t mix and meat is mostly water.  If the marinade is oily, that oil is just not getting past the microscopic cracks and dents in the surface of the meat.

Marinade03If you have a thick cut of meat or chicken, the best way to let that marinade penetrate is by scoring it’s surface. Since marinades don’t penetrate very far into most foods, give them a hand. Score them. Cut slices into the surface, rough it up, give the marinade cuts, cracks, and pits to enter. There is also more surface area to brown and more surface area coated with baked on marinade!

Time is also a big factor for a successful marinade. Leave your meat marinating overnight!

Finally, to achieve tenderness, lemon juice, vinegar or tomatoes are part of many lebanese marinades. Lebanese are lately using kiwis also, to tenderize meat skewers!

meza 3For many recipes such as our famous butterfly BBQ grilled chicken, feel free to scroll our menu!

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