Beef Shawarma

I really cannot stress this enough…this shawarma is goooood. Like really good! I have a lot of picky eaters in my family and they were all impressed!


2 1/2 lbs boneless ribeye steak (or whatever cut you prefer)

2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 bay leaves

¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium onion, very thinly sliced

Tahini Sauce 

1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2+ tablespoons water
1/2 tsp salt

Sumac + Onions
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sumac

Saj bread, lavash, tortillas, pita bread — really any flatbread bread works!

Combine all dry spices and bay leaves into a bowl. Mix and set aside.

Trim off any fat and thinly slice the steak. It often helps to put the meat in the freezer for 15 min or so before slicing so it’s just a little more firm. It helps you get a thinner, neater slice. Transfer to a medium size bowl.

Add lemon, vinegar, and olive oil to the meat. Add thinly sliced onions and minced garlic. Then add the spices. Combine thoroughly and allow it to marinate overnight or at least 4+ hours in the fridge.

In a bowl, combine the tahini and lemon juice. It’s going to look like a lumpy mess but don’t worry. Begin adding room temperature water 1 tablespoon at a time and stir until you have a smooth sauce at your desired consistency. Sprinkle in the salt and set aside.

Thinly slice onions and sprinkle sumac on top. Mix and set aside.

Cooking the meat: In a medium to large-ish skillet or wok add a tablespoon of oil and cook the meat for 5-7 minutes or until meat is cooked through.  It’s best to do this in 2 batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan and so it doesn’t get too watery.

Begin building your shawarma sandwich on your bread of choice.

Here are my favorite Shawarma toppings: tomatoes, parsley, romaine lettuce, thinly sliced lemon, middle eastern style pickles, shatta (chili paste/sauce), and pickled pink turnips — you can find the shatta, pickles and turnips at your local international store.


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