How To Make This High Protein Soy Curl Shawarma

Making meaty meals as a vegan is easier than ever


2 Minutes Read

A soy curl shawarma made to a vegan recipe Soy curls are a great plant-based protein source - Media Credit: Crow Moon Kitchen

If you follow a plant-based diet but still fancy something meaty, we have just the recipe for you. This soy curl shawarma is packed full of plant protein, and the marinaded soy curls could easily be mistaken for real meat. The recipe comes from Crow Moon Kitchen, and features a wide range of herbs and spices that go perfectly together.

Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish that consists of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Traditionally, shawarma is made from lamb, chicken, beef, or turkey. It comes served in a flatbread like pita or laffa, with various accompaniments such as vegetables, hummus, tahini, pickles, and garlic sauce. This vegan shawarma is a new take on the traditional recipe, featuring soy curls in place of meat.

What are soy curls?

Soy curls are a dehydrated food product made from whole non-GMO soybeans. The process involves cooking, shredding, and then drying the soybeans to create a textured product that resembles shredded meat. Soy curls are versatile and can be rehydrated in water or broth to be used in a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes as a meat substitute. They absorb flavors well, making them suitable for a wide range of recipes, including stir-fries, sandwiches, salads, and more. Soy curls offer a good source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients, making them a popular choice among those following plant-based diets looking for a whole-food-based meat alternative.

Soy curls can be tricky to find, however. They may be available at certain health food shops, as well as the Butler Foods website. If you’re struggling, you can always use soy chunks, jackfruit, or your favorite vegan meat alternative.

Soy curl shawarma recipe

This vegan recipe for shawarma using soy curls will become your new favorite. Aromatic, flavorful, and really easy. This recipe is for the "meat" which starts with a unique marinade that gives the dish far more flavor than just a dusting of seasoning.
A soy curl shawarma made to a vegan recipe
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Duration40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Prep Time20 mins
Servings4 people


  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp all spice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
Soy curl marinade
  • 2 cups soy curls
  • 1/4 cup dried shiitake (or other dried mushrooms, rough chopped)
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp vegan worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 cups boiling water
Cooked ingredients
  • 1 large yellow onion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp shawarma blend
Serving ingredients (optional)
  • 4 toasted pitas
  • Finely chopped lettuce
  • Diced tomato
  • Vegan tzatziki (not a shawarma topping but it's delicious)
  • Olives


  • Whisk together all spices in the shawarma blend and set aside. You can use a mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or just a whisk/fork.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the dried shiitake, parsley, nutritional yeast, worchestershire, apple cider vinegar, cumin, liquid smoke, and boiling water. Stir in the soy curls, let sit for 5 minutes, then stir again. Let sit for a total of 10-15 minutes. They won't be hurt by soaking longer.
  • Before draining the soy curls, reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade liquid. Set aside to use in the next step. Instead of squeezing the soy curls to remove liquid, simply strain so that the curls are still well hydrated.
  • In a large non-stick frying pan cook the sliced onion over high heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, and shawarma blend. Cook for 3-5 minutes while stirring. Add in the reserved marinade liquid. Stir in soaked soy curls, drizzle with olive oil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • You're ready to serve and eat! Prior to placing on a pita sprinkle a little shawarma blend on the soy curls, a squeeze of lemon, and a few cracks of black pepper.
The two most important parts of this recipe are the marinade and browning or caramelizing the onions. These ingredients and steps give the soy curls, which are flavorless on their own, a lot of umami and aromatics. 

This recipe was republished with permission from Crow Moon Kitchen. You can view the original recipe here.

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