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Old 07-06-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
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Shawarma - finding the perfect recipe

When you go to Taiwan and you find a new favourite food, the last thing you'd expect it to be would be Middle Eastern. Ironically enough, while I lived in Taipei, Taiwan for two months there was a Middle Eastern (Egyptian, I think) gentleman who ran a food stall near where I lived and sold nothing but Shawarmas. He would have chicken rotating on a spit over a heated element, and would shave off the outside regularly onto pita bread or the like. He would add a cucumber-yogurt type sauce that reminded me of the sauce they'd put on gyros, and then for those who liked it spicy, a unique red and somewhat spicy sauce as well as some dry seasoning to shake over it. I think it would have been fabulous with lamb, but the chicken was amazing as it was, with some onions, tomatoes, and lettuce added. It was perfection! I will always remember this dish.

I'd like to find someone who has a good, tried and true recipe for the ingredients to a shawarma like this! The dry seasoning, the yogurt sauce, and the hot sauce all- and any technique to preparing it all. I'd love to do this for my family- and I'd like to do it using an authentic recipe like they did on that street corner. I particularly adore family recipes- I got a family recipe book for some Italian recipes including Tiramisu when I was in Milano, and it remains among my most treasured recipes to date.

I'll take any good ones though- and I'm sure all here who haven't yet had it, and try it, will be thankful as well. This is one dish I will always remember, more than any other food I had there- though fresh bamboo shoots I helped pick myself come close!

-Coro

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:08 PM   #2
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there are a million recipes for it. i will try to post one later.

the only big secret that i can give is to mix chunks of beef with chunks of lamb while it marinates. the beef mellows the lamb, and the lamb flavours the beef.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:39 PM   #3
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I imagine there are a lot of recipes out there- I'd appreciate an ethnic one that the person has tried themselves and really feels embodies the recipe, not just one posted by some gourmet magazine :) The food you eat off the street vendors may be cheaper, but sometimes that's the REAL deal and can taste as good, or better, than anything in an expensive restaurant- just like the five spice chicken I ate off the street vendors in Taipei!
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:16 PM   #4
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i can get my swarma from vendors from a half dozen different real ethnicities. i'm forrunate to woek in nyc, and live in an erhnically diverse area just outside the city.

fortunate culinarily speaking. i'm tired of being
on a vanguard of sorts.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:00 AM   #5
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My recipe is definitely not a cut and paste from a magazine but I would not say it's authentic either. I like to experiment and since my husband loves Shwarma I make this at times for him and its actually very good.

Lamb, Beef or Chicken - I like to use cuts that are boneless and then I marinate it overnight with minced garlic, parsley, chili powder, cumin and corrainder powder (I make my cumin and corrainder powder fresh - so dry roast and grind) . I also like to put a few pinches of paprika and a splash of lemon juice to this marinade (don't worry it does not turn meat into mush or anything like that).

In the morning I normally bake it in the oven until it's tender (cook it covered for an hour), then let it cook uncovered for another. Ofcourse chicken would take less time and you can even cook it in a pan.

Then I let the meat rest and then slice it and discard any fat so I have just flavorful meat

To assemble my shwarma I use lebanese flat bread (it's thinner and I like it better, if not use whatever you like or get).

Also here are the fillings I like to use in it.

Make a salad so to speak with chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, salt, black pepper, parsley, lemon juice and stir to combine

Sauces - Like to make hummus and thin it out a bit, Also make a spicy sauce with a small can of crush tomatoes and then I blend it with some dried red chili powder (make mine fresh from arabol chilies), clove of garlic, some cumin powder , pinch of sugar and salt to taste.

I don't pair the yogurt sauce with my version because I like hummus better but if you like that it's nothing more than yogurt, grated cucumbers, fresh dill, salt and black pepper and hint of lemon juice all mixed together.

To assemble - Use the bread of your choice, place the meat, smear it with the hummus, followed by spicy sauce and then salad and serve
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #6
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Yakuta- this sounds great, I will try it out, most likely with the cucumber yogurt! ;)

Thanks for your time in putting this recipe into words, and onto Discuss Cooking!!

Mechelle
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:35 AM   #7
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The Shawarma we get near us has a cinnamon flavor in the marinade. Not sweet but there is cinnimon in it. I bet every family and region is a little different. It is also served with thinly sliced yellow onions over a simple pilaf and a salad along with pita and hummus. LOVE IT!

Def cumin taste and coriander too.

We also like the yogurt and turmeric marinated grilled chicken kabobs.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:53 PM   #8
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Here's a great cucmber sauce I like to use often for summertime:

4 lg. cucmbers, cut lengthwise & seed them, peel some of the outside off but not all of it. Cut into 2-3" pieces & puree it in the food processor.
Add:
Lemon juice
Sour cream
Mayonaise
Plain yogurt
Fresh garlic
A few dashes of hot sauce.
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chicken, other, pita bread, recipe

Shawarma - finding the perfect recipe When you go to Taiwan and you find a new favourite food, the last thing you'd expect it to be would be Middle Eastern. Ironically enough, while I lived in Taipei, Taiwan for two months there was a Middle Eastern (Egyptian, I think) gentleman who ran a food stall near where I lived and sold nothing but Shawarmas. He would have chicken rotating on a spit over a heated element, and would shave off the outside regularly onto pita bread or the like. He would add a cucumber-yogurt type sauce that reminded me of the sauce they'd put on gyros, and then for those who liked it spicy, a unique red and somewhat spicy sauce as well as some dry seasoning to shake over it. I think it would have been fabulous with lamb, but the chicken was amazing as it was, with some onions, tomatoes, and lettuce added. It was perfection! I will always remember this dish. I'd like to find someone who has a good, tried and true recipe for the ingredients to a shawarma like this! The dry seasoning, the yogurt sauce, and the hot sauce all- and any technique to preparing it all. I'd love to do this for my family- and I'd like to do it using an authentic recipe like they did on that street corner. I particularly adore family recipes- I got a family recipe book for some Italian recipes including Tiramisu when I was in Milano, and it remains among my most treasured recipes to date. I'll take any good ones though- and I'm sure all here who haven't yet had it, and try it, will be thankful as well. This is one dish I will always remember, more than any other food I had there- though fresh bamboo shoots I helped pick myself come close! -Coro 3 stars 1 reviews
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