If you’ve never heard of shawarma before, no worries! It’s basically similar to the Greek gyros, however originating in the Middle East and it usually consists of some sort of marinated meat thrown into a wrap or pita with some veggies. My personal association with this kind of food dates back to late teenage years including hangovers and, well, very greasy food. After having experienced the wonder uses of mushrooms in the Asian cuisine, I decided it’s time for a healthy and Vegan Mushroom Shawarma/Gyros makeover! I’ve paired it with delicious vegan tzatziki and it came out so good that it’s legit my new favorite dish and I’ve made it about 4 times since last week! 🙂
If you haven’t experimented that much with mushrooms yet, I urge you to do so! There are so many different kinds out there with amazing textures and flavors. During my stay in Thailand I noticed that a lot of the vegan/vegetarian restaurants there used ‘meaty’ mushrooms in various dishes. Ever since I’ve tried them I became completely obsessed, to say the least. So now that I’m back in the sunny Mediterranean I decided to investigate and create replicate those delicious mushrooms myself. The secret is using the stems and meat of oyster mushrooms! Who would have thought?
The texture of those mushrooms is incredibly similar to meat – chewy and stringy! Personally I never stopped eating meat because I disliked the flavor per se. I was never a huge fan of meat and rather devoured veggies and carbs as a child, but there were certain types that I did like (including shawarma). I even stopped eating meat long before switching to a vegan lifestyle (probably about 7 years ago) mainly because I was disgusted by the meat situation back when I was living in Mexico and afterwards never really got back into it. For me, what made meat tasty back then was always the spices and sauces anyways. I would never have eaten simple steamed/cooked meat without any added flavors. I believe many people are the same in that regard! Hence, if you find an alternative with a great texture then it’s all about getting the spices right! 🙂
After a few days of experimenting I dare to say I perfected the art of making vegan mushroom shawarma! To my surprise it’s incredibly easy, takes only a few basic spices and around 5 minutes of preparation! Just like this you can create the most delicious wrap/pita filled with all the flavors to satisfy your cravings! 🙂 My boyfriend went completely crazy over it and claimed that people should sell this on every street corner, so I’d say it’s a success! 😉
The combination of meaty mushrooms and creamy tzatziki is just heavenly! By the way, that tzatziki is the real deal! I got inspired by The Minimalist Baker to try a tzatziki made of coconut yogurt and it’s such a success. At first I was worried about having a strong coconut taste, but got surprised because it doesn’t taste coconutty at all!
In any case, if you decide to give this Vegan Mushroom Shawarma a try, let me know! Leave a comment and rate it – it’s so helpful to me and other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag me (@thetastyk) and #thetastyk on Instagram! I love seeing and sharing what you come up with.
Happy Easter and Chag sameach to all my dear readers and followers out there! I hope you indulge in the most delicious vegan food and enjoy a wonderful time with your loved ones! ♥
- Meaty mushrooms:
- 500gr oyster mushrooms
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp soy/tamari sauce
- ½ tsp barbecue spice (alternatively ½ tsp smoked paprika)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- dash of cinnamon (optional)
- dash of salt & black pepper
- 1 cup coconut yogurt
- 1 cup shredded cucumber, drained (around ¼ cup after draining)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Lebanese bread/pita
- purple cabbage, sliced
- tomatoes/cucumber, diced
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.
- First prepare the mushrooms by pulling them apart into strings (the bigger the strings the chunkier the meat - the mushrooms shrink in size while baking).
- Take the strings with your hands (or place them in a kitchen towel) and drain of any excess water.
- Place the mushrooms strings into a bowl and add all the spices and oil. Mix together with your hands or a spoon.
- Add parchment paper to a baking tin and spread the coated mushrooms on top.
- Bake at 175°C/350°F for 20-25 minutes (stirring twice) until golden and crispy.
- In the meantime, prepare the tzatziki by mixing all ingredients together.
- Once the mushrooms are done, assemble your wraps and enjoy!
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