Lebanese Couscous


I was digging in my pantry today and this is what I found!


This Lebanese couscous was a gift that I’d completely forgotten about, sorry Kim, so I decided I would cook it immediately and serve it with the pork tenderloin that I was planning for dinner.

This couscous is just like traditional Middle Eastern couscous, except for the fact that each “cous” is as big as a pea!

On the package, it states, “This couscous comes from Zürsun, one of America’s oldest suppliers of heirloom beans, legumes, and grains. Also known as moghrabieh, Lebanese couscous is large pearl pasta made from semolina flour.”

In the past, a lot of people I’ve talked to think couscous is a grain of some kind, but it’s actually mini pasta, although an eggless variety. It’s wheat and water. Whoever first thought of traditional couscous was brilliant – it steams into this fluffiness that is so unique.

My macro couscous was purchased at Williams-Sonoma, but unfortunately, the only directions on the back of the package were for using it in a soup. I wanted a side dish. So I winged it, but it turned out really good! It’s not a light and fluffy couscous, but it’s more fun!

Lebanese Couscous

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups couscous
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cilantro and cook for about 1 more minute.


Add the broth and bring it to a strong boil. Then add the couscous, and wait until the broth boils again.


At that time, put on a tight-fitting lid, and turn off the heat. Let it sit for 15 minutes minimum, before removing the lid. It will look like this:


There is still some liquid, but it can easily be drained, using a slotted spoon, if desired. Season with black pepper and cayenne, if you’re using it. Serve warm with some fresh cilantro leaves or as is.


verdict: I really enjoyed this couscous, although it’s really not couscous as we know it, because of the size. It’s actually meaty and a bit chewy, but not in an undercooked way! This couscous would make a fabulous pasta salad, so that’s next on my list!!!

38 thoughts on “Lebanese Couscous

  1. I love how you used your garlic press to create little garlic “balls”; they must have been pretty much the same size as the couscous! :)
    Very nice recipe in any case. Thank you, Mimi.


  2. Great post! Never heard of this or seen it, but I’ll look out for it. I think it would be nice to prepare as if it were risotto. You’re using coriander and cilantro — what would Richard say ;-)


  3. I don’t know how I missed this–looks great. And so much larger than Israeli couscous (or at least the IC that we get here regularly). I’m going to have to dig up a package to play with. Thanks. Ken


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