What is Labneh?
Labneh is a soft cheese made of strained yogurt. Popular in the Middle East, labneh is used as a tangy spread and has the consistency of marscapone cheese. It is typically served topped with olive oil, seasoned with salt and sometimes flavoured with spices (like za’atar). Labneh is traditionally made from cow’s milk yogurt, but I prefer to make milk kefir labneh to amp up the probiotic content.
Milk Kefir Labneh Balls
Milk kefir labneh or kefir cheese is made using the same technique to make yogurt labneh. It is a staple in my house and I use it as a delicious, tangy base for many flavoured spreads and dips. I love the flavour and texture, as well as the added probiotic diversity naturally found in homemade milk kefir. My favourite way to use kefir labneh is to strain it for a few extras days to make olive oil preserved kefir labneh balls (labneh korat).
Kefir labneh korat makes a delicious, high protein appetizer or snack packed with the beneficial microbes found in kefir. I like to season them with za’atar spice, dried oregano, or sometimes just a sprinkling of freshly cracked pepper. The jar of labneh korat can be safely stored at room temperature. If you aren’t comfortable with this method, or have a very warm house, the jar can be refrigerated, but you will have to bring the labneh korat to room temperature before serving as the oil will thicken in the fridge.
How To Make Kefir Labneh Cheese Balls
- Milk Kefir cheese (cow or goat)
- extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
- sterile glass jar with lid
- Make milk kefir cheese. If this is your first time, click here for detailed instructions. Strain cheese until it is dry enough to be rolled into a ball without being too sticky.
2. Salt kefir cheese to taste and roll into balls.
3. Fill a jar halfway with olive oil. Add kefir cheese balls. Add more oil, if necessary to cover the balls.
4. Close jar. Store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.