A good tip for traveling is knowing where there are falafel restaurants. Here you are pretty much guaranteed of getting a vegan meal. Unfortunately, in addition to falafel, these restaurants usually also serve shwarma, a large piece of animal meat rotating on a spit. Shavings are cut off the block of meat and are used in wraps, served in pita bread or on plates with side dishes. On our trips to Israel we found restaurants that serve vegan shwarma, using seitan in place of animal meat. After we got home from our second trip to Israel in 10 months, I was determined to make my own vegan shwarma. After doing some research, I came up with recipe for a Soy Curl Shwarma. I like to serve this in a pita with cucumbers, tomatoes, and some tahini, however, they are also great on top of a salad or a bed of rice. Heck, you can even eat them on their own, which I may or do not from time to time.
UPDATE: Thanks to our friend Charlie Fields for renaming this Soy Curl ShwarMO.
3 cups hot water
2 vegan chicken bouillon cubes or 2 teaspoons vegan chicken bouillon paste
1 8 ounce bag soy curls
Juice of 2 lemons
1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
pinch ground cinnamon
red pepper flakes, to taste
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the bouillon cube in the hot water. Add soy curls and set aside for 10 minutes to rehydrate.
2. While the soy curls are soaking, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper. Pour the mixture into a resealable plastic bag.
3. Drain the soy curls and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Add the soy curls and the onion to the marinade and seal the bag closed, removing as much air as you can from the bag. Knead the bag a few times to make sure everything is getting coated in the marinade. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to marinade.
4. When ready to cook, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain the soy curls and onions and add to the skillet. Cook for 10 minutes or until the soy curls are nicely browned and the onion is soft, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
5. Serve with warm pita bread, chopped tomatoes, and tahini.