Fried Chick'n Shawarma Sandwich
Updated: Oct 26, 2020
The taste of Shawarma and the texture of Fried Chick'n, the best of both worlds!
Before going vegan, I used to eat Chicken Shawarma quite often. There's a place in LA called Zankou Chicken that I would frequent (they have great falafel so if you're vegan you can still go there!) as well as lots of other places around the city. It's pretty ubiquitous out here!
So I was craving that taste, but I was also craving some fried chick'n, and then a little light bulb went off in my head, and I thought, "why not both?"
For this recipe, I'm using my standard practice of frying some Gardein Scallopini filets. They are perfect for something like this. If you don't have access to them, you can fry up some tofu or some setian as well. Click HERE for my Tofu Fried Chick'n recipe, or HERE for my Fried Seitan Chick'n recipe.
I used a premade Shawarma Seasoning by the Spice Way. You can either do this, or simply look up a shawarma seasoning recipe and make some from scratch. It uses fairly common spices.
For the tzatziki, you don't have to use the Violife feta, but it sure does help. Follow Your Heart also has some crumbled Feta that would work great too! The sauce is great without feta however, so don't worry about it if you can't find any.
Tips for Fried Chick'n:
If using Gardein Chick'n products, thaw them overnight in the fridge or on the counter top for about an hour. DO NOT microwave or you'll end up cooking them and they won't be pliable.
Use an electric Deep Fryer like this FryDaddy.
If not using an electric deep fryer, get a deep fry thermometer. You can use a different one if you fry in a pan, but for my money, the deep fry thermometer has been a big help. I like to fry at 375° F.
Use a wire rack after frying to prevent the chick'n from steaming itself and getting soggy. You can also keep the Fried Chick'n warm in the oven on a wire rack. Just set the oven to lowest setting possible. Mine goes down to 170° F as an example.
Don't use olive oil to fry. You need to use something with a high smoke point, I usually fry with peanut or vegetable oil.
For the vegan buttermilk, really let the plant-milk and vinegar sit for a good 5 -10 minutes. I have found that different plant-milks will thicken more or less. If it's not thick enough, add some more vinegar.
Shake off the excess flour and batter when you dredge.
Make sure you press the flour into the chick'n so it sticks!
You can freeze these for later, just Air Fry to reheat (I would do it at 380° in 5 - 6 minute increments and check until it's heated through). Or if using an oven, preheat to 400° F and let the Chick'n sit at room temperature while the oven heats up. Then cook on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes.
I'm using Gardein Scallopini filets in this recipe, but you could just as easily use my recipes for Tofu Fried Chick'n HERE or my recipe for Fried Seitan Chick'n HERE or even my recipe for Fried Oyster Mushrooms HERE.
Air Fryer Option
If you prefer less oil, you can use the same technique for Air Frying with THIS RECIPE.
Additionally, you can use half the ingredients for the dry and wet batter and Air Fry this recipe too. All you need to do is line your Air Fryer with some parchment paper that you've poked holes with (the parchment paper keeps the batter from sticking to the air fryer). Then do a single dredge and place your chick'n in the air fryer. Make sure not to crowd the air fryer, you don't want any pieces touching. Next, spray the chick'n with some cooking spray, you want to make sure you don't see any dry flour. Then flip them and spray again.
Air Fry for about 6 minutes at 380° F, then flip and spray them again, and repeat the process until they are at your desired doneness!
One important note, DO NOT preheat your Air Fryer with the parchment paper. Otherwise the paper will fly into the coils and cause a fire! NOOOO!
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Makes 1 Large or 2 Regular Sized Sandwiches
2 Gardein Chick’n Scallopini Filets (thawed)
1/3 Cup Plant Milk
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Shawarma Seasoning
1/2 Cup Shredded Lettuce
2-4 Slices Tomato
1-2 Vegan Brioche Buns (or use any Bun you like)
Tapatio (optional but Highly Recommended!)
Feta Tzatziki Sauce
Makes about 1 Cup
150g (about 2/3 cup) Plain Unsweetened Vegan Yogurt (I used Kite Hill)
85g Violife Feta
1 Clove Garlic (Minced)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 Tbsp of Fresh Mint and Dill (chopped)
Garlic Salt to Taste
Dash of Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp Lactic Acid (optional)
De-seed the cucumber and grate into a paper towel. Once grated, squeeze the excess water out. You should have a heaping tablespoon of cucumber pulp.
Combine the cucumber with the rest of the tzatziki ingredients in a blender or food processor (you can also just mix with a fork in a bowl!) Pulse until you get a slightly chunky consistency. You don’t want to make it completely smooth (unless you do, but personally I like having little chunks of feta!) Set aside in the refrigerator.
Bring a pot of oil to 375 degrees.
While your oil is heating up, let's prepare the chick'n. If you are making 1 BIG sandwich, combine the 2 filets together by mashing them until they form 1 big patty.
Prepare your dredging station. Combine the plant milk and apple cider vinegar in one bowl, let it sit for 5-10 minutes to form the buttermilk, if it's not thick enough to stick to chick'n, add some more vinegar. You can also add a tablespoon or so of Tapatio. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and shawarma seasoning in another bowl.
Once oil is up to frying temperature, dredge your filet(s) first in the wet mixture, then dry, shake off any excess, and then repeat to double dredge. Place carefully in oil and let it fry for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Let it rest on a cooling rack, then assemble sandwich as pictured.