Whenever we are in LA there’s this place we frequent, Zankou Chicken; although their specialty is the delicious rotisserie chicken they also serve beef and chicken kebobs and shawarma wraps. We love the beef shawarma so much that we buy a dozen or so to take home with us.
Since there are no trips planned to LA anytime soon I decided to try my hand at making my own.
Shawarma is usually cooked on a spit and slow roasted as it turn, I don’t have one of those machines so I found a way to make it using just my oven and stove top.
To make the meat extra tender I used thinly sliced boneless beef short ribs with all the fat trimmed off. I adapted a chinese restaurant method used to tenderize their stir fry meat and it made my ribs very tender.
The secret to great shawarma is the spices used to marinate the meat. So get out your spice rack to make this tasty recipe. We make it into wraps using either pita bread or nan. Served with crunchy dill pickles and my sun dried tomato/roasted red pepper hummus and you’ve got a filling meal.
My family thinks my version is just as good as the shawarma we buy at Zankou!
1 tbls. corn starch
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls. garlic powder
1 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Cayenne Red Pepper
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Turmeric
1 tsp. Corriander
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1 lb. thin sliced boneless beef short ribs
Extra olive oil for sauteing
Extra spices for taste adjustment (optional)
Pita or Nan bread
Hummus spread (you can use my Sun dried tomato/Roasted red pepper hummus or any hummus you prefer)
Dill pickle spears
Lettuce, tomato, any other veggies you prefer – optional
Directions for Marinade:
1. Place all ingredients in a large ziplock bag
2. Seal bag and knead until it’s well blended – break up any clumps of corn starch that may form so that it mixes in with the oil and spices. You should end up with a cloudy thick liquid.
3. Trim extra fat off the edges of the short ribs
4. Place beef in to ziplock bag, seal bag, and knead bag so that the meat is covered with marinade on all sides.
5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour; up to overnight. Turn bag occasionally to evenly distribute marinade. The longer it marinates in the oven the more flavorful the meat will be.
Cooking and assembling directions:
1. Place meat on an ungreased baking sheet.
2. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes
3. Remove from baking sheet and slice into thin strips
4. Heat some olive oil in large pan
5. Add sliced meat into hot oil and saute – DO NOT SKIP this step, it’s what gives it the finish like it was roasted on a spit.
6. If you feel you the meat needs more spices you can sprinkle more of the above spices as you saute. I usually sprinkle a bit more garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, and nutmeg at this stage.
7. Spread one side of bread with hummus
8. Layer on meat, pickles, and other veggies you prefer
9. Fold sides over the filling and serve