Beef Shawarma Bowls with Vermicelli Rice
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Marinated Beef Shawarma bowls with the most fragrant Persian rice Pilaf. I loaded this shawarma bowl up with fresh cucumbers, sliced onions, kalamata olives, and a dollop of baba ganoush. It’s seriously so delicious!
I’ve gotta say, I haven’t met a beef shawarma wrap that I didn’t like. But this beef shawarma bowl is ??.
I have been craving, can’t stop, won’t stop, obsessing over this amazingly flavorful
salad bowl of shredded beef shawarmas, creamy, yet light, baba ganoush, and the most fragrant persian rice pilaf of your life. But this is more than just delicious, flavorful shredded beef. This recipe is all about the homemade, fragrant Lebanese rice pilaf that’s super easy to make and it’s 1000% more delicious than anything you’ve had from a Middle Eastern restaurant. This bowl is salty from the feta cheese I crumbled over the top for good measure, veggieful from all the fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions AND just plain old POW ?? in your face with flavors from the beef shawarma I marinated and grilled up. Seriously though, I’m not quite sure if the internet is ready for the best shawarma bowl ever but I am so ready for you guys to give this a try.
I’m just going to say that even the people out there that are kind of skeptical with all the stuff going on in this here bowl need to give this a try. I mean, beef shawarma might not really be your thing, and that’s okay, I get that, maybe you prefer white meat chicken shawarma or dark meat — whatever it is that tickles your shawarma fancy use it and –> make these.
You really can’t go wrong with a rainbow of veggies, because healthy doesn’t have to mean less tasty. We’re going for flavor, crunch, and versatility. And by versatility I do mean that you can pretty much sneak any veggies you’ve got lying around in the refrigerator into these bowls. I love roasted carrots and cauliflower to go into these bowls too. Swap out and use what you have, trust me, it’s just as good.
Remember when I made baba ganoush last week and told you that the most amazing shawarma bowls were on their way? THEY’RE HERE. But fear not, if you aren’t a big fan of baba ganoush, there’s also my classic hummus recipe that would taste just as delicious drizzled or dolloped all over the shawarmas.
Coming from a mega shawarma-loving family, this is totally our love language. I joked with my husband the day of our wedding about showing up on time and grabbing a quick shawarma before the wedding started.
YES. We totally mean shawarma business.
Let’s talk about the persian rice pilaf for this recipe – AKA one of my most favorite parts.
This is one aspect of todays shawarma bowls that had me stumped for some time. I’ve been making this rice pilaf for years but always felt that it was lacking that nuttiness that you get when you order vermicelli rice from a Middle Eastern restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, the rice was on point — cooked through and everything but it was never as fragrant. Well, that was until one day I kinda “burned” the vermicelli, or so I thought. What a happy mistake that was! The secret to good persian rice pilaf is letting the vermicelli brown. And I do mean BROWN. Not darken, not golden, not kinda brown, but deep dark red BROWN. Where you stop to think okay, think I need to chuck this because its so reddish brown that I don’t know if I can use it anymore — that’s actually perfect. The nuttiness that Persian rice pilaf is known for comes from the flavor development with the vermicelli browned in ghee.
So I guess you really do learn from your mistakes. And then you kind of do it over and over again on repeat to get perfect persian vermicelli rice pilaf. Or.. Er.. something like that.
And while we’re on the subject of perfecting things. The marinade for this shawarma is awesome-sauce times like a million. It’s a simple 2 tablespoons of shawarma seasonings. Don’t fret if your local grocery store doesn’t carry it (you can pick it up here.) My local Middle Eastern store makes their own (shawarmas and seasonings) and they are just our favorite. Anyone in Houston, please get the Phoenicia shawarma seasoning for beef. Seriously. So. Good. There are various recipes available online to make your over shawarma seasonings as well. I haven’t found one that i’m totally in love with so I won’t share any links. But make sure that all spice is one of the main ingredients if you decide to make it at home. That’s the first (and most important) seasoning on my package.
And that’s it guys, go forth, make shawarma bowls and thank me later. ?
- 2 tablespoons shawarma seasoning (homemade or store-bought
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 ½ – 2 pounds flank or skirt steak
vermicelli rice pilaf:
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- ¾ cup vermicelli pasta
- 2 cups long-grain parboiled rice
- 4 cups warm water or low sodium chicken broth
- sliced onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, pine nuts, baba ganoush, hummus, roasted root vegetables, sumac
- BEEF SHAWARMA: In a large bowl, combine the shawarma seasoning, olive oil, and vinegar. If your seasoning is salt free, add in ½ teaspoon of salt. Check for seasonings, and adjust as desired. Add the skirt steak and allow it to marinade for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator – ideally for an hour and up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Allow the pan to get super hot before adding the meat. Cook the meat for 3-8 minutes per side depending on how you prefer your steak. As a guideline, 5 minutes/side will yield about a medium-rare skirt steak. Remove to a plate, allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain for maximum tenderness.
- VERMICELLI RICE PILAF: Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water fro 2 minutes, using your fingers to rub the rice, set aside. Heat the ghee in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Allow the ghee to turn to liquid completely, then add the vermicelli pasta and brown. It will take about 5-6 minutes for the pasta to brown, keep a close eye on it and stir it often. When the vermicelli is light brown in color, add the rinsed rice and allow to toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently so the vermicelli doesn’t burn. Add the water and allow to come to a boil. Stir just once to break up any lumps. Cover, reduce heat to low and let cook for 12-15 minutes or until the water dries up and the rice cooks through. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- ASSEMBLY: To assemble your bowl, place the desired amount of rice in your vessel. Top with sliced shawarma meat and desired toppings. Sprinkle with sumac if desired.
- If you don’t want to use ghee, you can replace it with 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of a cooking oil.
IS THIS A GOOD CHOICE FOR YOU?
*Please note: the nutritional facts calculated are an estimate based on the ingredients i’ve used. If you’d like a more accurate count, please calculate them using the ingredients/brands you’ve used to prepare the recipe. The NFs are for the rice and shawarma meat only, they do not include toppings. This is for 1/6th of the recipe.*
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