Traditional shawarma according to Wikipedia is a “Levantine meat preparation, where lamb, chicken, beef or mixed meats are placed on a spit and grilled.”
The meat can be grilled for up to a day sometimes. It is then shaved and served with a variety of accompaniments. Just like every other dish, different Countries vary in how they make the dish. I am most accustomed to the Nigerian/Lebanese way of making shawarma, as this is what I grew up with, so every other one is counterfeit to me *lol*
Although not the same when made at home, this is my take on shawarma and it tastes pretty close to me.
The ingredients I use in this recipe are limited, but if you are a vegetable person, you can always add on and add in what you like.
If you are on a budget like me, skirt steak works just fine. More times than not, lamb is the to go meat for this popular dish. However, the way my bank account is set up right now, I downgraded to a cheaper option that works just fine. This skirt steak was on sale at my local whole foods market, so I decided why not.
In addition to beef, you will need some ketchup and mayo. This is what makes the shawarma so moist and juicy in addition to all the seasonings you use for the beef. The ratio of ketchup to mayonnaise can either make or break your outcome and it took me a while to realize this. I think I have finally nailed it.
I find that the easiest way to do this at home, is to grill the beef and then sautee it after with the cabbage, carrots and mayo mix. Remember that your vegetables are NEVER ever cooked. Place your meat, veggies and sauce combination on some flat bread and roll it into a wrap.
Ps: I buy my flatbread from Nigerian and have family bring it in for me. I found a lebanese flat bread at my local farmers market. It looked pretty close to what I am use to, so I decided to try it. However, the taste was nothing close to what we use back home. It was not bad, it just was not what I am use to.
In order to get that finish touch of street shawarma, grilling is an important stage of the process and you do not need any high tech equipments. All you need it your regular sandwich or panini grill you use at home. It does the job just fine.
So for this recipe, you will need
Shawarma Flat bread
1/2 lb skirt steak
Season steak with salt, black pepper, curry and any other spices you desire
Grill steak on outdoor/indoor grill till done. If you do not have a grill, you can use the method I used for my homemade bbq here
When steak is done, cut it in thin strips
Cut cabbage and carrots and add into steak
In a bowl, mix a 50/50 amount of ketchup and mayonnaise, then add it into steak and veggie mixture
Combine all together and place on shawarma bread.
Roll bread into wrap and grill in panini press.
Enjoy shawarma alone or with some chips and other sides. You can also find my older recipe for shawarma here