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Shawarma Israeli "Tacos"

Shawarma Israeli "Tacos"
Shawarma Israeli "Tacos"

I created this recipe when US Foods was having their Food Fanatics Food Show and asked me to do a 20 minute cooking demo with a dish based off of Israeli flavors, I was so excited. I had to do some research of course because I wasn’t exactly educated in Isreali flavors. After some research, I realized that Israeli flavors are similar to Greek flavors but the spices are a little different. So I kind of knew which direction I was going in, just needed a little guidance with some spices and flavor combinations.

So I scoured the internet, finding different "Israeli" dishes and made of list of the spices and flavors found. I wanted to make a taco version of an Isreali version of a Greek Gyro, and accompany it with a fresh pop of flavor with a Cous Cous Taboulli. Naturally the dish was a huge success and I had so much fun on the big stage with my audience cooking up this with Chef Ryan. You can watch the entire cooking demo by clicking here

This is an awesome recipe. Making It Delicious recipes are known to be simple to recreate, yet big on flavor and although this dish is really big on flavor, I will tell you it is a little more time consuming. Although the only reason it is more time consuming is because of all its components and not because it is difficult or a lot of skill is needed to recreate. However, either way, it is totally worth it. Lets get started bringing those Israeli flavors to your kitchen!

serves 8

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

Avocado oil 1/4 cup

Juice of lemon 1 each

Garlic, smashed 2 cloves

Ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon

Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon

Paprika 1/2 teaspoon

Cinnamon pinch

Honey 1 tablespoon

Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless 6

Avocado oil as needed for cooking

Mini Naan breads 8 pieces

Or flour or corn tortillas

Lets Get Cooking:

  • In a large ziplock baggie or a large bowl combine all the ingredients together and marinate chicken for 1-2 hours.

  • While the chicken is marinated, prepare the Red Pepper Hummus (unless store bought), Isreali Pico and the Cous Cous.

  • When the chicken has marinated and the other components are ready. In a non stick skillet pan, heat a little avocado oil over a medium heat and pan sear or cook on an outdoor drill until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I prefer to cook the chicken on an outdoor grill to avoid oil splatter. (Before starting your chicken, make sure all your other componets are ready)

  • Place chicken on a cutting board and chop. Get ready to assemble your tacos, see last step.

Red Pepper Hummus Ingredients:

Disclaimer: Feel free to skip this step and purchase a red pepper hummus from the grocery store. I promise I won’t tell anyone if you do…. I do it too sometimes!

Roasted red peppers 2 ea

Avocado oil 5 Tablespoons

Garbanzo beans 1 can -15.5 oz

Sun-dried tomato 1/2 cup

Garlic 1-2 cloves

Juice of lemon 1/2

Kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon

Black pepper 1/4 teaspoon

Chili powder 1/2 teaspoon

Tahini paste 1 Tablespoon

Honey 1 teaspoon

Lets Get Cooking:

  • Roast your peppers over an open flame and peel off any char under cold water. You can also purchase prepared roasted red peppers as a substitute. You will need 1 ½ cups.

  • Add all the ingredients into a food processor and puree until almost smooth.

  • Adjust the salt, pepper and avocado oil as needed.

  • Reserve at room temperature untl needed.

CousCous Tabbouli Ingredients:

Isreali cous cous 1 cup

Kosher salt 2 teaspoons

Vegetable stock 1 cup

Water 1/2 cup

Roma tomatoes, chopped small 2 cups

Seedless cucumber, chopped small 1

Fresh parsley, chopped about 1/2 cup (measure before chopping)

Fresh mint, chopped 12-15 leaves

Scallions, chopped 2 (whites only)

Kosher salt as needed

Black pepper as needed

Avocado oil 2 Tablespoons

Cumin to taste

Red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon

Lets Get Cooking:

  • In a sauce pot, boil vegetable stock, water and kosher salt and cook the couscous according to package instructions. There should be very little liquid in the pot when the pasta is ready. Transfer to a large plate to cool and stir every few minutes so the pasta does not stick together.

  • While the cous cous is cooking, prepare all the vegetables and herbs and transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients.

  • When the Couscous is no longer hot, be sure that there is no liquid left (if there is, strain it) and transfer to the bowl with the vegetables and stir.

  • Place in the refrigerator uncovered until ready to eat.

Isreali “Pico” Ingredients:

Seedless cucumbers, peeled, small cubed 1 1/2 cup

Roma tomato, chopped 1 cup

Red pepper, chopped small 3/4 cup

Green pepper, chopped small 1/2 cup

Romaine hearts, sliced thin as desired

Fresh chives 1 Tablespoon

Garlic salt to taste

Juice of lemon 1/2

Avocado Oil 1 Tablespoon

Fresh parsley 1/4 cup (Measure before chopping)

Fresh ginger, grated 1/2 -1 teaspoon

Kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon

Black pepper pinch

Red wine vinegar 1 Tablespoon

Lets Get Cooking:

  • Prepare all the vegetables and fresh herbs as stated and stir into a bowl. Then add all the rest of the ingredients. Stir well, taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Cover and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble your tacos.

It is time to assemble your tacos

  • Warm mini naans or tortillas over a medium heat in a large non stick pan until warm 1-2 minites on each side. Set aside and repeat until all the naans are hot. You should be about to fit 2 -3 in a pan.

  • Spread the red pepper hummus on all the naans. Then top with the diced chicken, followed by the Israeli Pico, top with a little fresh cracked pepper if desired. Serve with a side of Cous Cous.


Recreate my Greek Chicken Tacos and taste another take on a classic "gyro."

Check out Johnny D’s for more info about what I do and make a plan to come visit us if you come through Myrtle Beach.

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