Crafting Authentic Beef Shawarma Filipino Style: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shawarma holds a special place in Filipino cuisine. This Middle Eastern delicacy gets a delightful Pinoy twist with the use of flavorful native ingredients. In the Filipino style beef shawarma, cured beef tapa and garlic mayonnaise take center stage. The combination of tender beef, crisp vegetables, warm pita bread, and creamy garlic sauce make this sandwich an absolute crowd-pleaser.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through the entire process of creating beef shawarma with a unique Filipino flair Follow these tips and techniques for crafting the perfect beef shawarma that pays homage to traditional Pinoy flavors. Let’s get started!

Overview of Filipino-Style Beef Shawarma

Before diving into the recipe let’s examine what makes beef shawarma uniquely Pinoy

  • Starts with beef tapa instead of roasted beef
  • Garlic mayonnaise replacing the yogurt sauce
  • Fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions
  • Warm pita bread forming the sandwich
  • Sweet, savory, and tangy flavors in harmony

By using quintessential Filipino ingredients like tapa and banana ketchup, this sandwich takes on the essence of Pinoy cuisine. Now let’s look at how to craft each component.

Step 1: Preparing the Beef Tapa

Beef tapa is key to Filipino-style beef shawarma. Tapa is cured beef that gets its distinctive sweet, salty, and slightly sour taste from a marinade of soy sauce, calamansi, garlic, sugar, and black pepper.

To make the tapa:

  • Slice 1⁄2 kilo sirloin beef into thin strips, cutting across the grain
  • In a bowl, combine soy sauce, calamansi juice, sugar, minced garlic, ground black pepper, and oyster sauce
  • Add beef strips and coat well with marinade
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days to marinate

After marinating, cook the beef tapa. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat Fry tapa in batches until lightly browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside

Step 2: Preparing the Garlic Mayonnaise

Another quintessential Filipino ingredient – garlic mayonnaise, takes the place of yogurt sauce. Combine mayonnaise, minced garlic, olive oil, and a squeeze of calamansi juice or lemon juice. Mix well and set aside.

Step 3: Sautéing the Vegetables

For added flavor and texture, lightly sauté the vegetables before assembling the sandwich. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and sauté 1 minute. Then add tomatoes and sauté 30 seconds more. Remove from heat.

Step 4: Toasting the Pita Bread

Warm pita bread is key to bringing the sandwich together. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the pita bread and cook 30 seconds per side until lightly toasted. Stack toasted pitas and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Step 5: Assembling the Sandwich

Now it’s time to bring all the elements together into shawarma sandwich perfection:

  • On a plate, lay pita bread flat
  • Spread 1-2 tablespoons of garlic mayonnaise down the center
  • Top with 1 1⁄2 tablespoons beef tapa
  • Layer on sautéed onions and tomatoes
  • Add cucumber slices, lettuce, and grated cheese
  • Fold in sides of pita and roll up into a log shape
  • Optionally, serve with banana ketchup for dipping

Repeat assembly with remaining pita breads. Serve these flavor-packed beef shawarma sandwiches immediately.

Cooking Tips and Tricks

Follow these tips when making beef shawarma Filipino style:

  • Use tender beef cuts like sirloin or flank steak for the tapa
  • Slice beef across the grain for tenderness
  • Fry tapa in batches to avoid steaming for crispy texture
  • Make garlic mayo smooth and emulsified by whisking vigorously
  • Lightly sauté veggies to enhance flavors without overcooking
  • Toast pita just until warm and pliable enough to roll
  • Construct sandwiches with care to avoid ripping pita bread
  • Garnish with cilantro, chili sauce, or lemon wedges

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about crafting beef shawarma Filipino style? Here are some common FAQs:

What’s the best beef cut to use for tapa?

Sirloin, flank steak, or skirt steak work well since they are lean and become tender when sliced thinly across the grain.

Can I use plain mayo instead of garlic mayo?

You can, but the garlic mayo adds a signature Filipino essence. Mix equal parts mayo and minced garlic.

How long does the beef need to marinate?

For the best flavor infusion, marinate the beef for 1-2 days refrigerated. At least overnight is recommended.

What’s the best way to slice the vegetables thinly?

Use a sharp knife and slice them lengthwise into thin strips. A mandoline can also slice them paper thin.

Can I use regular yogurt instead of mayo?

Yes, Greek yogurt can replace the mayo for a more traditional shawarma flavor. Add minced garlic for a twist.

What’s the best way to serve beef shawarma?

Serving it wrapped in warm pita bread is traditional, but rice bowls or lettuce wraps also work. Side with fries!

Enjoy the Aromas and Flavors of Filipino Shawarma

Beef shawarma with a Pinoy twist makes for an amazing sandwich experience. The sweet and salty beef tapa, crisp fresh vegetables, warm pita, and creamy garlic mayo create a symphony of textures and flavors. For an authentic Filipino shawarma, pay close attention to preparing the components with care. Take your time with the marinade and cook the tapa properly for the ideal texture. With the right techniques, you can craft a shawarma that pays homage to iconic Pinoy flavors. Your lucky guests will keep coming back for this satisfying sandwich. Give beef shawarma Filipino style a try today!


Leave a Comment