How to Make Beef Shawarma: Original Lebanese Recipe

  • on May 11, 2018
Sumac in beef shawarma

The Lebanese Beef Shawarma

Plate and Wrap Recipes


It has been said that the Beef Shawarma originated in Turkey and was brought into our tables with the Ottoman conquest. This could be true, yet debatable, considering its indicative name.

Shawarma is an Arabic-Lebanese term. It derives from the verb Shawa that means “he grilled”, which is the culinary process of this dish. I would have to look up the term “grilled” in the Turkish language. As for now, I stand for the Shawarma being Lebanese.

Cultural Beef Shawarma

Historically, the Ottomans dominated the Crescent Region for some four hundred years, and the Crescent Region included Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Jordan.

Eventually, hundreds of years of domination do impact cultures in various areas, including Food. And the impact is always mutual, so is the cultural exchange.

The travel back and forth Turkey, and through these countries, generated a cultural exchange for over four hundred years.

Food of these different nations came up with variations in recipes of same dishes, probably adapted to local products. These variations are today seen as well in other countries that were dominated by the Ottomans.beef shawarma

As an example, the Stuffed Grape Leaves, Warak Enab, one of the most honoring dishes in Lebanon, is also a cultural dish in countries like Greece and Iran, yet with striking differences: the meat is a major component of the stuffing.  Ours is a mixture of rice and some meat.

Beef Shawarma: The Lebanese Recipe

I make it a point to share with you here the original recipe of our homeland. As I have traveled well through different continents, I have tasted not as good variation of our so delicious recipe. I graciously invite you to try ours with this recipe. For the Tahini Dressing, please refer toHow to Make Tahini Dressing in Few Easy Steps,


We enjoy our Shawarma with the Lebanese Pickles, the Lebanese Crispy-Gold Potatoes, Hummus, and a Salad of Fattoush or Tabbouleh.


Lebanese Beef Shawarma

Course Main Dish, Wrap Sandwich
Cuisine Lebanese
Keyword Beef Meat, Beef Shawarma, Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Grape Vinegar, Musk, Nutmeg, Shawarma, Shawarma Wrap, Tahini Dressing, White Pepper
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 Kg Beef Meat Faux-Filet or Sirloin Steak
  • 3 tbsps Vegetable Oil
  • 4 tbsps Grape Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Musk
  • 1 clove Cardamon

For the Toppings

  • 2 Onions (medium) sliced thinly in wings
  • 2 tsps Ground Sumac
  • 1/2 bunch Fresh Parsley chopped finely
  • 2 Tomatoes (medium) cut in small dices

Tahini Dressing: Visit my Tahini Recipe by looking up "How To Make Tahini Dressing" or click the link in the article.

  • Lebanese Pickles Optional but recommended


Preparing the Meat (Passive Time involved)

  1. Cut the meat in thin medium-long pieces.

    Mix the oil, vinegar and spices, and pour the mixture over the slices of meat.

    Combine well to ensure all the slices get their good share of this flavoring.

    Marinate for 1 hour.

Cooking the Meat

  1. Cook the meat in a deep, non-stick pan on medium heat, mixing well and then cover for 5 minutes.

    Uncover the pan, mix the meat very well and cover it again for 10 minutes or until cooked.

The Topping Salad

  1. Rub the onion slices with sumac.

    Add the tomato cubes and the chopped parsley.

    Mix gently and put aside.

SERVING OPTION 1: Beef Shawarma Plate.

  1. In a serving plate, place the Shawarma meat, and side it with the Onion-Sumac (topping) salad.

    Pour the Tahini sauce in a side bowl. 

    Serve all with Lebanese bread on the side (optional).

SERVING OPTION 2: Beef Shawarma Wrap

  1. Open a Lebanese Bread in two.

    By layer, add the salad then the meat, and bathe it all with the Tahini dressing.

    Wrap the bread around tightly, and here you have your Shawarma wrap! Enjoy!

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