Our Pinoy Shawarma Rice Will Make You Change Your Mind about the Middle Eastern Kind

January 30, 2020

Shawarma is my go-to comfort food: it keeps me sane between train rides, lets me maximize lunch break, and is the perfect fuel before facing Metro Manila traffic. Eating shawarma in pita allows for faster bites, but mixing all that beef, garlic (and/or spicy) sauce, and vegetables with your rice is much more satisfying.  Shawarma stands all over Metro Manila make sure to please the Filipino palate by serving this Middle-Eastern beef with rice. But what if we made this import even more Pinoy by using beef tapa and cooking it in a sweet yet salty base of sugared soy sauce?


Our Pinoy Shawarma Recipe combines the Middle Eastern influences of shawarma with the preferences of the Filipino. This dish lets you enjoy a balanced mix of shawarma rice cooked in margarine, cucumber salad, and garlic yogurt sauce according to your liking. In just 30 minutes, you can have enough for the family or for an entire week’s worth of packed lunch.


Pinoy Shawarma Rice

Total Time: 50 mins (20 mins prep, 30 mins cooking)
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients: Shawarma Rice

  • beef tapa, chopped (recipe below)
  • oil, for cooking tapa
  • cucumber salad (recipe below)
  • garlic yogurt sauce (recipe below)

Ingredients: Cucumber Salad

  • 1 pc cucumber, seeded, havled & sliced thinly
  • 4 pcs tomato, seeded, sliced

Ingredients: Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 small tub yogurt (125ml)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Ingredients: Shawarma Rice

  • 2 cups long grain rice (jasmine or basmati)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 tsp kasubha

Ingredients: Beef Tapa

  • 500 g beef sirloin, tapa cut
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • bird’s eye chili, optional


  1. Toss cucumber salad ingredients together in a bowl, serve on the side of shawarma rice.
  2. Mix together all ingredients for garlic yogurt sauce. Keep mixed sauce in the chiller until ready to use.
  3. Rinse rice, put in a rice cooker together with water, margarine and kasubha. Cook rice as you would. Once cooked, fluff rice to distribute color. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. In a bowl, marinate beef in soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder and black pepper for 20 minutes or overnight.
  5. Pan fry marinated tapa in oil until browned. Chop into pieces.
  6. To assemble, put rice on plate, cucumber salad on the side. Top minced tapa over rice.
  7. Drizzle garlic yogurt sauce all over the beef & rice. Serve with more garlic sauce on the side. Enjoy.
Gela Velasco Gela Velasco

Gela is a young adult slowly settling into her late twenties. She likes to make a mess in the kitchen when no one’s looking, dance till dawn on long weekends, and dream about beef on lazy afternoons. On some days she learns how to write good in graduate school. Her life goals include sashaying somewhat like Beyonce and to write a cover story on Leonardo di Caprio.

9 comments in this post SHOW

9 responses to “Our Pinoy Shawarma Rice Will Make You Change Your Mind about the Middle Eastern Kind”

  1. Ejay says:

    Wow thanks! does anyone know kung sa may basmati rice around manila? 🙂

  2. secretwalangclue says:

    what’s kasubha?

  3. jhen says:

    will try this with basmati rice…

  4. Anonymous says:

    This recipe also works for wraps. Ang sarap!

  5. Chavi says:

    Tried this and it really is good! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  6. farhana says:

    it is halal po?

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