Fried Chick'n Shawarma Sandwich
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.
For the shawarma seasoning, I used a premade seasoning which I found online. 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. The sauce is great without it however, so don't worry about it if you can't find any.
A few tips for Fried Chick'n:
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 degrees.
Use a cooling rack after frying. The reason for this is, if you just put your chick'n on a plate, or paper towel, it's gonna steam itself and get soft. With a wire rack, it'll stay crispy.
Don't use olive oil to fry. You need to use something with a high smoke point, I usually fry with peanut oil, but vegetable or canola work fine too!
If the recipe calls for a 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. I personally use Ripple most times, and it works the best. You really want the wet mixture to be thick enough that it will stick to the chick'n and bind the breading. 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!
And lastly, one thing I like to do is take a fork and dip it in the wet mixture, then flick it in the dry mix a few times and then whisk that together. That will help you get more craggly texture!
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. 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. 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.