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Wagyu Beef Shawarma Kebab Recipe

The difference between gyro and shawarma

Wagyu Beef Sharwarma Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Wagyu Beef Sharwarma Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

It happens more often than not: me and Mike, stumbling and hungry at some random time of day or night, following our noses towards a shop selling delicious smelling meat tucked into a pita. There are always the usual suspects: meat slowly turning on a spit, sliced onions, tomatoes, and a God-knows-what’s-in-it but give me more addictive white sauce. At that point, we don’t care much because our stomachs are about to digest themselves, but if we did stop to think, we totally don’t know anything about those addictive sandwich-y pockets of happiness.

Wagyu Beef Sharwarma Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I don’t know about you guys, but there’s a row of shops here that all seem to sell the same thing, but with different names. They all kind of taste the same too, but I knew there had to be something different about them, right?

So, after a little bit of the Google, I discovered:

  1. Gyro is Greek.
  2. Shawarma is Levantine.
  3. Döner kebab is Turkish.

The reason that they all seem kind of the same is because, well, they are. The common thread of all three is stacked, seasoned meat layered into a cone shape on a stick, turning and roasting in its own juices. Turning is the common theme: döner, gyro, and shawarma, all mean “turning.” They differ a bit in toppings and sauces, but ultimately, they’re all delicious.

Wagyu Beef Sharwarma Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Wagyu Beef Sharwarma Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I’m totally down with rotisserie things: I love how juicy and crispy everything gets. I wish I had a vertical spit (if you do, can we be friends?) to turn/cook these on, but sadly, no, so I skewered the meat and grilled it until deliciously charred. Definitely hit the spot, probably more so because we used wagyu from Lone Mountain Wagyu. I’m all about wagyu – a Japanese breed of cattle that has intense marbling and flavor.

What’s your go to order: gyros, shawarma, or döner? And what toppings do you choose? Inquiring minds want to know ;)

Wagyu Beef Sharwarma Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Wagyu Beef Sharwarma Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Beef Shawarma Kebabs Recipe
serves 4


For the Kebabs:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for the grill
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound Lone Mountain Wagyu kebab cut

To serve:

  • pitas
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced red onions
  • sliced cucumbers
  • lettuce
  • mint
  • flat leaf parsley
  • lemon wedges
  • tzatziki or tahini sauce

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. Toss the marinade with the kebab cubes and marinate for 1 hour. Thread onto skewers, brush with additional oil, and grill over medium-high, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked to your liking, about 6-7 minutes for medium rare.

Serve with pitas, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, lettuce, mint, flat leaf parlsey, lemon wedges, and tzatziki sauce, either in a giant salad, or tuck the meat into a pita, street shawarma style.

I partnered with Lone Mountain Wagyu to create this post. Enjoy!

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