Loubieh ruz – Lubia with rice
Loubieh or Lubia (Arabic: لوبية) is a town in southern Lebanon. It’s also the name of a popular middle eastern green bean and tomato dish. This side dish is commonly served in countries of the eastern Mediterranean as a mezze or appetizer. The tradition is similar to Spanish tapas. You can turn this mezze into more of a meal by adding some middle eastern style lemon rice. That’s the ruz in the dish’s name; an Arabic variant for rice. Then make your meal even more hearty by adding some lamb or beef.
Variations and cooking tips
I was first introduced to Loubieh Ruz from a family whose Syrian ancestors had immigrated to Canada in the early twentieth century. They would normally add some chopped lamb to the green bean stew then serve it on a bed of rice. Clarified butter, was also used, instead of olive oil, to make both the rice and the lamb and green bean stew. This would make a healthy and delicious two pot meal with all the wonderful flavours of their homeland.
You can enjoy Loubieh Ruz as a vegetarian dish by leaving out the meat and broth. For the beans, make sure to trim the tips, cut them in half, then precook them before adding them to the stew. If you can find some Romano beans use these flat beans for a change from the regular green beans. Just remember to remove the tips and strings. You can also use frozen or canned green beans. Use either tomato juice or vegetable cocktail juice. I normally chop up a large fresh ripe tomato but stewed diced tomatoes work just fine.
For the meat version, lamb is my preference. You can use any lean, tender cut of lamb or beef that’s been cubed into bite-sized pieces or minced. It’s also very convenient to pick up some thin sliced lamb, available at most Asian grocers, then just chop it up. Another option is to used leftover roast lamb.
For a real treat, I like to use lamb chops. Remove the meat from the bone then cut it into roughly half-inch pieces. Add the bones to the pot as well since they will add additional flavour to the stew.
Lebanese Lamb & Green Bean Stew
- 3 cups cut green beans cooked fresh or canned
- 1½ cups tomato juice
- 1 cup tomatoes diced
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- ½ red pepper diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil or clarified butter
- 1 lb lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ tsp chili pepper flakes
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp allspice
- Steam the green beans until tender. Set aside.
- In a deep skillet or wok, heat the oil and stir fry the onions and peppers until tender.
- Add the lamb and for cook for about two minutes to sear on all sides. Stir in the garlic during the last 30 seconds.
- Add the green beans, tomato juice, tomatoes and spices.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Serve over rice or as a stew with bread.
NutritionPer serving Calories: 170 kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Iron: 2mg
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