VDP: Arish

Monday, October 3, 2008

Looks a lot like ricotta, but it’s not. It’s Arish or Arishah. It is a Lebanese staple and is ridiculously easy to make and versatile. I made this batch because I found myself with about a half-gallon of homemade yogurt that was starting to turn too sour. In case you are wondering, I made a whole gallon about a week ago and figured we’ll eat what we can and make Arish with the rest. So, keep this in mind if for some reason you are an overzealous yogurt purchaser.

The list of ingredients to make this delectable product includes: yogurt. That’s it. Just yogurt. Plonk it in a pot and heat it slowly until it curdles and separates. It should take maybe 20 minutes, depending how fast you are heating it. Let it cool slightly then dump it in a cheese cloth lined colander. Once it drains for a few hours or overnight, you’ll end up with something the texture of soft cream cheese, but a bit grainier. It will taste a bit similar to ricotta, but not exactly, it is definitely tangier and creamier.

It is delicious to eat as any other fresh cheese. Here, for dinner, I topped burger buns with some of it with salt, pepper, olive oil and a handful of arugula.

What else can we use Arish for? On toast, with sugar or honey, in small turnovers that can be fried or baked, crumbled on salads, or in the form of Shanklish. What’s that? It’s a topic for another post.


2 thoughts on “VDP: Arish

  1. Is Arish the same thing as Labne? My folks made the latter, but in reading your description, the two sound very similar.

    1. Well, they are similar but not the same. They both start as Yogurt (Laban). To make Labne (or Labni or Labneh…I have it in several posts in this blog if you do a search) all you do is dump the yogurt in some cheese cloth and let it drain until it is the texture of firm sour cream. This is sometimes called Greek Yogurt too.
      To make Arish, you heat the yogurt until it curdles, then you drain it in a cheese cloth. The texture of Arish is similar to a dry ricotta cheese. If the Arish is salted, seasoned, formed into balls and aged, you will have a pungent blue cheese-like product known as Shanklish.

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