Food & Drink

This Zgharta woman is nicknamed ‘Queen of Kibbeh.’ What’s her secret?

zgharta kibbeh

Zgharta woman Suzanne El Douaihy doesn’t wear a crown. But she is nicknamed the “Queen of Kibbeh” for her expertise making nearly every variety of the delicious Lebanese dish.

El Douaihy is one of 4,000 women who own a small business supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development. She receives support from the U.S. government to help her grow her kibbeh business.

“The base is the meat. The meat has to be well minced,” El Douaihy said about making the perfect kibbeh. “Its color has to be good and it has to be tender.”

WATCH: Queen of Kibbeh Shares Her Secret:

El Douaihy makes several varieties of kibbeh, including Zgharta kibbeh stuffed with lard, kibbeh balls, kibbeh layered with pine nuts and onions and chickpea kibbeh made without meat.

Suzanne El Douaihy is known for her world-famous "Zgharta kibbeh." (Facebook/US Aid Lebanon)
Suzanne El Douaihy is known for her world-famous “Zgharta kibbeh.” (Facebook/US Aid Lebanon)

“The first thing with preparing kibbeh is cleanliness; it is the most important,” she added. “You have to be timely preparing it — you cannot take your time because the meat will not wait for you.”

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El Douaihy was nicknamed the “Queen of Kibbeh” by late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who told her, “I never ate kibbeh like this before.”

To order kibbeh from El Douaihy, call +961 3 946 194.

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