Easy Homemade Tapa Shawarma Rice For Your Cravings

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Greetings fellow foodies! This is April from Relax Lang Mom with an enticing Pinoy recipe you must try – Pinoy Shawarma Rice! Whether you crave Middle Eastern cuisine or seeking something different for supper, look no further. I’ll share simple steps to satisfying your cravings with this tasty take on a hawker classic with a bit of Mekus Mekus.

This Pinoy Shawarma dish, a delightful mishmash of Middle Eastern flavors and Filipino culinary ingenuity, is like a party in your mouth that you never want to end.

As most of my adventurous eaters know, Filipino cuisine is a blend of tastes, woven with threads from various cultures. this Pinoy Shawarma Rice is no exception. This dish takes the classic Middle Eastern shawarma and gives it a unique Filipino twist, creating a fusion that’s as exciting as a rollercoaster ride for your taste buds. Certainly not authentic but something that any adventurous palate would enjoy.

How to Cook Pinoy Shawarma Rice

Traditionally, shawarma is all about slow-roasted meat, heavily seasoned and served in a wrap or pita. But here in the Philippines, we like to take things up a notch with rice, of course. We serve this spiced, savory delight over a bed of steaming hot buttered rice– and let me tell you, it’s a match made in culinary heaven.

Now, let’s talk about the star of the show – the meat. The meat, usually beef or chicken, would be marinated in a blend of spices that’ll remind you of a bustling bazaar in Istanbul -cumin, coriander, paprika, and cinnamon, etc. But since this is homemade and cooked in a Filipino kitchen that doesn’t usually have those ingredients, I just marinated ala Filipino tapa with a squeeze of calamansi (our local lime) adding a zesty zing. Which doesn’t make it any less special. Your tapa Shawarma is cooked with a Filipino twist – think less roasting and more sizzling in a pan, with flavors that dance around like fireflies on a warm summer evening.

When hunger arises, preheat pan to medium-high heat. Place the tapa (marinated meat) in single layer and listen for sizzling. Resist the urge to rush and rearrange, letting browning happen naturally enhances flavor. This also preserves the juices inside your tapa. After several minutes, flip fastidiously for evenly cooked cuts. Transfer to bowl and set aside, saving remaining spices in pan.

Now, onto the rice. The base of this Pinoy shawarma rice recipe is rice, of course. You’ll want to use long-grain white rice for the best texture, Basmati rice if you have them. Or not. Any rice you have in your pantry will work just as good.

As the rice cooks, the other ingredients infuse it with mouthwatering flavors. I add butter, kasubha (for color). Kasubha are the saffron-looking spice that is commonly used in the Philippine kitchen for lugaw/ arroz caldo. Or you may opt for turmeric which gives your Pinoy Shawarma rice the same vibes and not a lot of change in taste on your rice. You can also add beef cubes if you want -probably about half for 2 cups of rice but I don’t think it’s necessary. Once bubbling, cover quickly to conserve steam for fluffy finished product. Reduce heat to low and neglect for 15-20 minutes, peeking periodically to prevent boiling over. (Or cook in the rice cooker -no sweat!)

The rice and meat combo is already a winner, but here’s where it gets even better – the toppings. We’re talking about fresh, crisp vegetables like sliced cucumber and diced tomatoes, and white onions that add a refreshing crunch, a perfect counterbalance to the rich, meaty shawarma.

But what makes Filipino Shawarma Rice truly special for me is the sauce. Now, I haven’t been to the Middle East and I can’t really say what the traditional sauce is, but the Filipino version of Shawarma sauce is a creamy, garlicky concoction that’s both tangy and tantalizing. This is the one that ties it together. Drizzled over the meat and rice, it’s like a magical elixir that ties everything together. It’s the kind of sauce that I imagine myself drizzling all over everything, adobo, fried chicken, Filipino BBQ, even sisig! 

As you dig into a plate of Filipino Shawarma Rice, every bite takes you on a journey. First, you hit the creamy, dreamy sauce, then the savory, tapa, and finally, the garlic-infused rice. It’s a mix of flavors that harmonizes like a well-rehearsed choir.

But let’s not forget about the extras. For those who like it hot, a drizzle of spicy sauce turns up the heat. These little touches are like the cherry on top – or in this case, the spicy kick in your shawarma.

Filipino Shawarma Rice isn’t just a meal; it’s an experience, naks. It’s the kind of dish that brings people together along the sidewalk, sparking conversations and laughter. Cooking it at home, adds a layer of familiarity that brings home the Middle Eastern culture. 

For the home cooks out there itching to try this, fear not – it’s simpler than you might think. Start with your meat – beef or chicken, thinly sliced and marinated in a simple tapa marinade. While that is doing its thing, cook the rice with butter and coloring. Then, whip up the sauce – a mix of mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, and a splash of lemon juice. Assemble your dish, top it with veggies, and voilà – you’ve got yourself a homemade Filipino Shawarma Rice.

So, here’s to Filipino Shawarma Rice, a dish that’s as heartwarming as it is hearty. Next time you’re feeling adventurous in your kitchen, give this dish a try. Bon appetit and happy eating, my friends!

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