Grilled Steak Shawarma Tacos
Growing up, I spent many happy days in the mountains of Lebanon, eating, drinking, singing and dancing.
Picture this, a mild breeze. The Mediterranean sun. Fresh meats & veggies. Charcoal grills. Strong drinks. Many, many laughs. I could stop there because those few sentences really encapsulate my summers in Lebanon quite well, but i’ll explain further. For me, the perfect summer day was one spent in the breezy mountains of Lebanon with people i love, eating things i love. It’s probably why i’ve grown up to create recipes and flourish when i’m around food. So many of my happy memories revolve around people i hold dear to me, creating, cooking and serving me foods in beautiful places. If you split me open right now, you’d probably see that half of my heart is made up of smokey, fatty, luscious meats i’ve eaten in those gorgeous mountains and the other half is tabouleh. I’m not making this up.
One of the reasons that im not able to replicate the exact flavors of a BBQ in Lebanon is because of the smokey umami flavor of fat dripping all over the skewers of chicken and meat. In case this doesn’t make any sense to you, allow me to elaborate. All over the Middle East, you’ll find that the secret to delicious smokey meats is what we call Liyye. Liyye is fat from lamb that is added to heighten the flavor through smoky notes that are achieved when fire hits the fat, caramelizes it and allows it to season and tenderize the dish. When you eat it, it’s a symphony of flavors. There’s truly nothing like it. Now, if you’re like me, you love liyye but you just can’t get around the fact that you’re adding fat to a dish. Because of that i’ve never had the pleasure of eating that delicious liyye flavor outside of the Middle East (i save it for really special summer vacations in the breezy mountains). So when i heard that Ziyad brand created a Liyye seasoning my life was changed forever.
I obviously had to whip out my grill and try it out on some delicious and fresh meats. Boy oh boy did it satisfy! I created a beef shawarma taco (fusion, i know!) that brings me back to those summer days and that delicious charcoaly, fatty flavor that i love so much. These tacos are incredibly easy to put together. You can honestly top them with anything you like, but if you’re going for a more traditional shawarma topping, i’ve listed the essentials like sumac onions and pickled turnips. For the dressing, the king of all king dressings takes the cake for these version of shawarma. Tahini taratour. Tahini tarter sauce. All you need is a few drizzles on each taco and you’re golden! You dont want to add too much that it overpowers the rest of the flavors and you don’t want to skimp and miss out on the delicious creamy flavor we love all love so much! IF you have any left over tahini, btw, feel free to dip ANYTHING you can think of in it and marvel at how much more delicious said item is with this sauce all over it.
Now back to the Liyye seasoning. One thing i think is awesome about this product is that it comes with 5 individual packets in the box. The instructions say to use one packet for every 2 oz of meat used, but you can feel free to add more or less according to your liking! It’s not a science, just a beautiful beautiful art. I’ve tried this seasoning on pretty much everything. From chicken, to potatoes, to roasted veggies, i think it just adds the perfect smokey flavor that you can’t get elsewhere. It’s so deep and rich with such an umami that reminds you off caramelized grilled fat (AKA my favorite thing ever). Feel free to use it on ANYTHING you’re cooking up!
You can find the Liyye seasoning on Amazon using this link http://bit.ly/ShopZiyadLiyyeSeasoning1
Give this recipe a try! Share your comments and some love. If you make this recipe and share it on social media, tag it with the hashtag #hungrilyhomemaderecipe
The final product reminds you of both Mexican street tacos and flavorful, well seasoned shawarma from shawarma stalls in the Middle East
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 20 small tacos or 10 large tacos
· 2 large ribeye steaks
· 2 packets of Ziyad Brand Liyye seasoning
· 2 cups shredded lettuce
· 1 cup thinly sliced pickled turnips (you can find these at a middle eastern grocer)
· 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
· 20 small sized tortillas or 10 large tortillas
For the onion topping
· 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
· 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
· 4 tbsp sumac
· 1 tsp salt
For the sautéd green peppers
· 3 large sweet green bell peppers, thinly sliced longways
· 2 tbsp olive oil
· 1 tsp ground black pepper
· 2 tbsp water
For the tahini
· 1/2 cup tahini
· 1/2 cup water
· Juice of 2 lemons
· 1 tsp salt
· A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce * optional *
1. Remove the ribeye steaks from the refrigerator and season with the Liyye seasoning packets, salt and pepper. Use one packet of seasoning per steak. Evenly distribute the seasoning on both sides of the steak. Allow the meat to come to room temperature while the toppings for the taco are prepped.
2. Prep the bell pepper by heating a large skillet with olive oil and sautéing the bell peppers on a medium-low heat. After sautéing for 5 minutes, add the salt & black pepper and water and reduce the heat to low allowing the steam from the water to finish cooking the bell peppers.
3. Prepare the tahini sauce in a small mixing bowl by mixing together the tahini and water until the color changes from the tan color of the tahini to an off-white color once you’ve added the water. Whisk well to blend any clumps. Add the lemon juice, salt and hot sauce. Whisk once more and set to cool in the refrigerator while the rest of the tacos are prepped.
4. Next, prepare the sumac onions. Use your hands to mix the parsley, onions, sumac and salt. Work the ingredients together with your hands by mildly massaging the onions. Set aside while the rest of the prep is complete for the tacos.
5. Heat the outdoor grill (if you prefer not to use the outdoor grill, you can use an indoor tabletop grill or a grill pan, as well.) Once the grill is well heated to 350 degrees, place your steaks down flat and do not move around for 3-4 minutes. Once grill marks appear, flip the steaks over and cook for another 5-7 minutes OR until the steaks have reached the desired internal cooking temperature. You can use a meat thermometer to be sure of the temperature of the steak.
6. Turn the grill off and remove the steaks once they’ve cooked to your liking and rest for 2 minutes.
7. While the steaks are resting, place the tortillas on the still warm grill and allow the tortillas to heat through. Remove after 30 seconds.
8. Slice the steak into thin pieces (slice against the grain) and begin layering your shawarma taco by layering the toppings over the meat! The recommended order of toppings is: Tortilla, lettuce, cabbage, steak, pickled turnips, onions, tomatoes and green bell pepper followed by a generous drizzle of the tahini sauce.