How are you doing?
It’s recipe redux time! I can’t believe one month has gone- it felt like it was only yesterday i published my first recipe redux! can’t believe how fast the time goes by.
it’s kind of scary, isn’t it?
(please say yes) 😉
anyhow. this month’s theme is fermented foods! when i saw it, i thought to myself..my oh my! what will i make!!
but as i think about it more and more, it’s actually a very exciting theme! and the more i do my research on fermented foods- the more foods i want to ferment! i like to be creative you see 😉
if only there were 48hours in a day? #wishfulthoughtonly
i came up with several ideas, and i really wanted to try them all. but as time was really limited, i could only do one idea- which is labna. and it’s not really a full fermentation process. i cheated halfway- i use yoghurt (which is already fermented). i promised you it’s still dea-licious!
so, what’s labna?
have you ever heard or perhaps eat labna?
labna is basically yoghurt cheese or..cheese that is made from yoghurt. it is originally from Middle East and according to SBS Food website, it is a staple for Middle Eastern population. It is normally served on bread, with olives, mint, tomato, cucumber and/or olive oil.
how did I come across labna? i cant remember actually. i think from a friend? or read it on a magazine? i’m not sure.
but over the time, labna has become quite available in Australian market- well, in Sydney anyway. we can find labna in supermarket or even green grocers. it’s normally placed in chilled section, together with yoghurt and cheese.
Most labna available in the market are salty or savoury labna. so the creative side of me said- why not try sweet? …hence the sweet labna love!
500g plain yoghurt- I use 99% fat free natural yoghurt
2-3tbsps of raw sugar
1tsp of vanilla bean paste
you need: muslin, colander/sieve, one big mixing bowl (or even salad bowl)
- Rinse and wring out a muslin and use it to line a colander or sieve. Leave the extra muslin hanging on the side of colander. Place the colander/sieve onto a mixing bowl. The funny thing was that I almost forgot this very first step. I (almost) forgot to rinse the muslin. Lucky I realized before I went too far ahead 😉 so..don’t forget!
- In a bowl, place the yoghurt and sugar. Mix them properly, until it’s smooth and the sugar is dissolved completely. Last, add the vanilla bean paste.
- Scoop the yoghurt into the muslin. Fold the extra muslin (which was hanging on the side) to wrap the yoghurt. Make sure that you squeeze the extra liquid from the yoghurt (a trick I was told by a friend!).
- Place a small plate or a jar lid on top of the folded muslin. Then, put an unopened tin on top. It will help to weigh it down and remove the excess liquid (which is whey!).
- Leave in a cool place for up to 15 hours. The longer you leave it, the firmer it will be. And if you would like to speed up the process, you can squeeze the muslin to squeeze out the extra liquid.
- When it’s done, carefully unwrap the labna and turn onto the plate.
- Use as it is or add dried fruits (i can hear sultanas, mixed orange peel, goji berries, dried cranberries). It will keep, chilled and covered for up to 3-4 days.
Isn’t it easy?
When i did it, i couldn’t believe how simple it was. it took me 10mins or less!
now. my labna didn’t look very nice (someone told me it did not look appetizing at all. sad.) but it tasted great!
it’s very creamy- almost like cream cheese (consistency and texture wise). it’s soft but it has heavy mouth feel at the same time. it’s yum!
you’ve got to try it yourself!
i was planning to add sultanas but hey- it was finished before i could be bothered to buy sultanas 😉
one thing i would have done next time though- i would weigh the labna. cos i didn’t know how much labna made out of 500g yoghurt. it wasn’t much for sure! it was reduced more than half.
also- i would love to try making savoury labna- with different kinds of herbs…thyme, oregano, rosemary, hmmmmmmmmm…can’t wait!
in the mean time, enjoy the sweet labna love!
i hope you like it! 🙂