My recipe for a home-cooked version of the popular Middle Eastern street food: chicken shawarma burger with a tender and flavorful chicken fillet, a tangy carrot salad, and a tahini-lemon yogurt sauce.
I am still not done with my kitchen reorganization project. Rome wasn’t built in a day either and I take the time to do a thing right this time. I love my new and sparkling white tiled backsplash and decided not to cover it up with the hanging cabinets, it also makes the room more open and wider.
As this is the place where my spices and dried herbs had been living, I am now sitting on a mess of little jars of all kinds of colors and sizes. I need to find a storage system asap. Any ideas? The upside is I found spices that had been hiding in the back of the cabinet and I had totally forgotten about them.
By all means, I am not just a salt and pepper girl but we can always go further. All these spices now sitting in plain sight in my laundry basket inspired me to be a bit more bold about flavors. Today’s recipe is an excursion to the Middle East, I have never been closer to this area than in a restaurant but it’s on my list of places on our Earth I want to eat my way through.
chicken shawarma burger
If you don’t own a vertical spit for grilling a cone of stacked meat (I know I don’t) this recipe for chicken shawarma burger is the best way to go. The ingredients list is quite long, but most of it are just the spices. I like to marinate the chicken, mix up the tahini-yogurt sauce and have the carrot salad ready ahead of time. Doing the prep work in advance will have you eating dinner in just 15 minutes, perfect for a weeknight. It’s also great for a barbecue party – no fork and knife necessary.
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for cooking
- 80 g / ⅓ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
- Zest from ½ lemon
- 2 medium sized carrots
- 3 tablespoons apple vinegar or rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon honey
- 1 pinch of fine sea salt
- fresh cilantro for serving
- 4 burger buns or pita bread
- For the marinade: mix together lemon juice, coriander, smoked paprika powder, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and oil. Cut each chicken fillet in half and place them in a shallow dish or 1-gallon sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to 12 hours. Remove from the marinade and pat dry before grilling.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grates or coat a pan with one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
- For the tahini-yogurt sauce: in a small bowl stir tahini, yogurt, and lemon zest until well combined.
- For the carrot salad: peel and cut the carrots into 5 cm / 2 inches pieces. Use a vegetable peeler to slice the carrot pieces lengthways into thin ribbons. In a small saucepan over medium heat cook the carrot ribbons, vinegar, water, honey, and salt until just tender, but not soft (1 to 2 minutes).
- Assemble the chicken shawarma burger: Serve each chicken filet in a burger bun topped with carrot salad, tahini yogurt sauce, and fresh cilantro.