Lebanese Molokhia

5 from 11 votes
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This is an authentic Lebanese Molokhia recipe, a comforting stew combining jute leaves with tender chicken. Served over rice, it’s a feast meant to impress and reward, perfect for special family occasions.

A serving of Molokhia topped with lemon slices and parsley

What is Molokhia?

Lebanese Molokhia is a beloved Middle Eastern stew made from jute leaves (Jew’s mallow), celebrated for its rich flavors and nutritional benefits. This particular recipe, passed down through Lebanese families, features whole leaves, setting it apart from the minced Egyptian style. Generous amounts of garlic and cilantro, key ingredients, are added to boost the dish’s unique and robust flavor. Whether you’re using fresh, dried, or frozen leaves – since fresh ones aren’t always handy – this stew mixes these crucial bits with chicken and chicken broth. Served over vermicelli rice, it makes for a hearty and healthful meal that brings the taste of Lebanese tradition right to your table.

Lebanese Molokhia in a saucepan topped with lemon slices, parsley, and chili

Ingredients

Ingredients for Molokhia with Chicken
  • Jews Mallow Leaves: This comes best in dried form. You can use fresh or frozen if you can find them – usually found at Middle Eastern stores or markets.
  • Chicken: I use boiled chicken meat. I used bone-in chicken breasts Which I boiled then then tore into smaller pieces.
  • Aromatics: Use a bunch of chopped cilantro and minced garlic, along with some chopped red pepper, for a burst of fresh and zesty flavors.
  • Chicken Broth: You can use either homemade or store-bought chicken broth.
  • Lemon Juice: Add lemon juice to cut down the slimy texture of the Jew’s mallow leaves and infuse the dish with a refreshing flavor.
  • Spices: Ground coriander seeds, salt, and black pepper.
  • Oil: Any neutral cooking oil.

How to make Molokhia

Step 1: Prepare The Chicken and Broth

If starting with cooked chicken, skip this step. Otherwise, place the chicken in a pot and add seasonings such as bay leaves, pepper, and salt. Feel free to add onion or any other seasonings you like, then cover with water. Bring it to a boil, removing any scum that forms on the surface. Simmer for 8-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160-165ºF. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, then shred it. For more detailed instructions, check out the full recipe: How to Boil Chicken Breasts (Smell Free Method).

Chicken stock and cooked chicken in a bowl

Step 2: Prepare the Jute Leaves

Skip the step of cleaning the leaves if using fresh or frozen molokhia leaves. Remove large stems and discolored leaves, then rinse well under running water. Soak the leaves in a mix of hot water and lemon juice for an hour to reduce sliminess.

Rinse repeatedly in a sieve, changing the water until it’s clear, squeezing the leaves to remove excess liquid. This process is crucial for cleaning. Finally, squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the leaves.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squeezed molokhia leaves in batches with crushed coriander seeds, sautéing until slightly crisp and deep green. This process helps remove excess moisture and prevents a slimy texture in the stew.

Steps for preparing jute laves

Step 3: Sauté the Aromatics

While the leaves are cooking, prepare your aromatics: mince the garlic, finely chop the chili, and chop the cilantro leaves.

Next, heat a large saucepan with a bit of oil. Add three-quarters of the minced garlic and sauté for two minutes. Then, add three-quarters of the chopped cilantro and all the chopped chili. Continue to sauté for another two minutes.

Step 4: Add Jute Leaves, Broth, and Chicken, then Simmer

Add the fried jute leaves to the saucepan and stir-fry them for an additional two minutes to meld the flavors. Then, add the chicken broth, salt, and shredded chicken meat, mixing everything well with the leaves. Cover the saucepan and simmer the mixture gently on low heat for 30 minutes until molokhia softens, stirring occasionally.

Steps for cooking Lebanese Molokia

Just before serving, stir in the remaining garlic and cilantro, letting them cook for another two minutes to unleash their fresh aromas, then take the saucepan off the heat.

Serve and enjoy

Serve the molokhia hot, spooned over some vermicelli rice, and don’t forget to give it a good squeeze of lemon juice for that extra zing.

Recipe notes and tips

  • Choose the right molokhia: For authentic Lebanese molokhia, whole leaves (either fresh or dried) are preferred. If you’re using frozen, make sure they are whole leaves.
  • Soak and Sauté the Leaves: Essential steps to prevent sliminess include soaking the leaves in hot water with lemon juice for one hour, rinsing thoroughly until the water runs clear, squeezing out excess water, and then sautéing.
  • Enhance the flavor: Add minced garlic and chopped parsley towards the end for a fresh taste boost.
  • Adjust the texture: Customize the liquid of your molokhia by altering the amount of chicken broth to suit your preference.
A serving of Molokhia and vermicelli rice

If you try this Molokia recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Lebanese Molokhia

5 from 11 votes
By: Samira
This is an authentic Lebanese Molokhia recipe, a luxurious stew combining jute leaves with tender chicken. Served over rice, it's a feast meant to impress and reward, perfect for special family occasions.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 
 

  • 10.5 oz dried Molokhia (dried Jew’s Mallow or Mloukhiyeah Yabseh)
  • 1.53 lb chicken meat (To cook the chicken, you'll need bay leaves, onion, salt, and pepper.)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2.6 oz garlic 3 large peeled garlic heads
  • 9 oz fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 red chilli
  • vermicelli rice to serve
  • lemon juice from two lemons plus extra wedges/slices, to serve

Instructions 

  • Get Your Chicken Ready: If your chicken is already cooked, skip this part. If not, put your chicken in a pot with some bay leaves, pepper, salt, and onion. Cover it with water and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 8-15 minutes until it's fully cooked. Once done, let it rest for 10 minutes, then shred it.
  • Prepare Your Jute Leaves: If you're using fresh or frozen molokhia leaves, skip this step. Otherwise, remove any stems and debris. Rinse them well and soak them in hot water mixed with lemon juice for about an hour to get rid of any sliminess. After soaking, rinse them again until the water runs clear and squeeze out any excess liquid. Then, sauté them in a pan with a bit of oil and crushed coriander seeds until they're slightly crispy and green.
  • Sauté Aromatics: While your leaves are cooking, get your aromatics ready. Chop up some garlic, chili, and cilantro. Heat some oil in a saucepan and add most of the garlic. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, then toss in most of the cilantro and all of the chili. Cook it all up for another couple of minutes.
  • Bring It All Together and Cook: Add your sautéed jute leaves to the saucepan with your aromatics. Mix in your chicken broth, salt, and shredded chicken. Let everything simmer together for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often. Just before serving, stir in the rest of the garlic and cilantro for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Serve: Spoon your hot molokhia stew over some vermicelli rice. Don't forget to squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top for a zesty kick. Enjoy!

Notes

Storage: Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to five days, or freeze for one to two months, then thaw overnight in the fridge. When reheating, use the microwave in 30-second bursts until warm, or heat it in a skillet with a splash of water until piping hot.
Sourcing: You’ll find it fresh or frozen in Middle Eastern stores, large supermarkets, or online.
Check the blog post for Molokhia recipe tips.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Freezer friendly: 1-2 Months
Shelf life: 5 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Sodium: 1778mg, Potassium: 989mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 7761IU, Vitamin C: 59mg, Calcium: 134mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 11 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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