May 24, 2021

A Vegan take on Middle Eastern Shawarma. {Recipe}

vegan recipe

A marinated tofu delight to spice up your day!

I am always on the lookout for a tasty vegan recipe and like to get inspiration from not only vegan chefs, but non-vegan ones too. It fires my grey matter to see if I can veganize a dish.

One of my inspirations comes from Kathy’s Vegan Kitchen and I subscribe to her newsletter for a daily recipe to consider. She did not disappoint on this vegan shawarma.

I knew I would make a version of it, just based on the photo.

Per my usual, I scan the ingredients to nix anything I cannot tolerate and nor want to try. So, nothing from the garlic and onion family for me. Trust me, it’s not pretty; from feeling lousy in my gut to the toxic-smelling fumes emitting from my pores.

I also saw apple cider vinegar and knew I would replace that. I know, I know—it has about 27 reported health benefits. Sorry, I only needed to see it a few times inviting any flying insects or crawling ones into its lure of liquid to be turned off to ingesting it.

Give me time, one day that will be a distant memory and perhaps I will add it to a salad.

It called for grilling. I do not grill, so a simple change to a pan, no oil.

Now time to list the ingredients I used and those I substituted with:


Tofu: super firm, not pressed (because I break rules!). A serving piece or more.

Rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar: for marinating the tofu and spices.

Lemon juice: I used half of an organic lemon.

Spices: coriander, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, paprika.

Bread: traditional or anything soft to fold. I went with stone-ground wheat pitas.

Veggies: greens, sprouts, and tomatoes, or anything you desire.

Sauce: I forgot to soak cashews to make a cashew, hippie dust (nutritional yeast), and lemon sauce, and instead used a vegan mayo with lemon juice. You can use a store-bought condiment if it pleases you.

Supplies: pan or grill, glass bowl with lid to hold the tofu, liquids, and spices to marinate for 1-2 days, small bowl to make a sauce, spatula, chef’s knife, cutting board, towels, utensils, plates for serving. And, a creative mind, imagination, fearless attitude, and lots of love.


1. Mise en place all the ingredients to prepare the marinade and tofu. You will not need the bread, veggies, or sauce for the next 24-48 hours.

2. Slice the tofu into a rectangular block, not too thick. Press any excess water out with a towel. Fancy press it if that’s your method.

3. Lay the tofu into the glass container and give it a wink. Sprinkle, pour, measure (or not), all the spices over it. I squeezed the lemon on it first to create a bit of liquid on the tofu.

4. Pour the liquids over it. Either take it to completely cover it or almost. Cover the dish.

5. Place it in the fridge and let it know that you will retrieve it in 1-2 days. Say hello anytime you open your fridge.

Two days later if you could wait that long:

6. By now you should have the hand-washing, cat removal from countertop, and cleaned the spaces in your practice by heart.

7. Mise en place the bowl with the tofu, pan or grill, bread, greens, veggies, sauce or condiments, towels, spatula, cutting board, and chef’s knife, utensils for prepping-cooking and serving, plates. And once again that loving attitude.

8. Preheat the pan, oil is optional, as well as a lid.

9. Place the tofu in the pan and cook about 3-4 minutes per side.

10. Prepare the bread by spreading a condiment such as mustard on it, or some sauce, adding layers of greens and veggies. You can choose to only drizzle the sauce of choice on top of the finished masterpiece.

11. Gently place the cooked tofu on top.

Find a quiet place to settle in, remember to give gratitude and remember to chew thoroughly to make Horace Fletcher proud. Enjoy!

No critters are ever harmed in the preparation of these recipes. Another small win for this tiny blue marble we call Momma Earth.

For a whole bunch of delicious recipes, scroll through my author page.


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