Middle Eastern Zhoug

Middle Eastern food has been on my mind for some time now. Thoughts of kebabs, Lebanese garlic sauce with roasted chicken, ajvar with anything, and kofta with fresh pita bread. You can see, I was up for making pretty much anything, but instead I wanted to make something for my wife, something she has never had in her lifetime. I will get into that story another time, but this one involves a condiment if you will, a relish possibly, or maybe we can just settle on calling this Middle Eastern yumminess. It’s called zhoug. Call it amazing. Call it fresh, mildy spicy, and call it full of great flavor.

Middle Eastern Zhoug Recipe
(Pictured above: Fresh falafel with Zhoug for its companion)
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I think of zhoug like I think of a chimichurri sauce, or maybe even a harissa. Simple ingredients yielding a perfect balance of herbal heat, a balance that just goes great with pretty much anything you put it on. Flatbreads to roasted chicken, even grilled vegetables; zhoug is here to please and you can mark my words on that. With that said, I am curious how you will use zhoug.

Let’s get started.

(Makes about 2 1/2 cups)

Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]

  • 20 jalapeño peppers, stems removed, rough chop
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, washed
  • 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted, and crushed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil, plus 1 tbsp

You have a couple of options when making zhoug. Your first option is to use a large pestle and mortar and grind everything into your paste, or do as I do and add everything into a large food processor.

So do just that, add everything with the exception of the additional tablespoon of olive oil into a food processor, and pulse down into a course paste.

Transfer the zhoug into a large mason jar, or other glass jar, drizzle the tablespoon of olive oil on top, seal, and place in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long).

Ingredients for making Zhoug

I’m not kidding when I say how wonderful the flavors are. You get that great herbal earthiness from the cilantro and parsley, with the subtlety from the cumin and caraway, and believe it or not, but you would think with all of those jalapeño peppers it would have this crazy amount of heat, well, it doesn’t, but it does play perfectly with the combination of ingredients.  Zhoug is one of these sauces, or condiments, or whatever you want to define it’s texture, that goes well with anything.

Some ideas to use zhoug are to use it as a spread for sandwiches, a mix into a salad, toss in some warm pasta, a dip for vegetables or falafel in my picture, or heck, even soups. The possibilities are endless, and hence another reason to make zhoug. Give it a shot, I’m sure you will love it!

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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