vegan Kebab Skewers
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Noha Elbadry-Cloud

This Vegan Kebab Skewers recipe is excerpted from Noha’s cookbook ‘The Vegan Middle Eastern’. Noha Elbadry-Cloud is the recipe creator, writer, and photographer behind @leeksnbeets on Instagram. Noha enjoys crafting recipes focused on showcasing the beauty of whole food plant-based eating, often with a Middle Eastern twist. In addition, she loves sharing quick, easy, and delicious vegan meals in short videos. Her work has been featured in Vegan Bowls’ cookbook Simple Swaps and on the Vegan Bowls website. It has also been featured on the Instagram accounts for the feedfeedvegan, THRIVE magazine, Best of Vegan and Pop Sugar.

Savoring the Middle East: Egyptian-Style Vegan Kebabs

Every Middle Eastern region has at least one version of kebabs. The recipe I created here is a play on the Egyptian kebab, which is typically made from boneless beef sirloin rather than the ground beef used in almost all other variations. I use a combination of lentils, chickpeas, and vital wheat gluten to craft succulent, tender chunks of “beef” that are immersed in a smoky marinade, skewered, and roasted to savory perfection. I paired the kebab with a light and refreshing salatet zabadi (yogurt dip/tzatziki) and served it with salad and quinoa.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Kebab Dough

For the Kebab Marinade

For the Salatet Zabadi

  • Vegan yogurt
  • English cucumber
  • Dill
  • Mint leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Sea salt

To Serve

  • Spring mix
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Fresh mint
  • Red onions
  • Quinoa
  • Lime wedges

How To Make This Vegan Kebab Skewers

Step 1: Crafting the Kebab Base

To make the kebab, add 1 cup (240 ml) of water to a food processor with the lentils, chickpeas, soy sauce, harissa, mushroom seasoning, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sage and salt. Pulse it until completely smooth and creamy.

Place the vital wheat gluten in a large bowl. Pour the creamy lentil mixture on top and knead until combined. Add more gluten 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time if the mixture is too wet and not holding together. Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for 5 minutes or knead by hand for 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic and moist without being crumbly.

Step 2: Simmering and Marinating the Seitan Bites

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Chop the kebab dough into bite-sized pieces; smaller is better because the seitan expands as it cooks. Transfer the seitan to the pot and simmer the seitan bites for 30 to 40 minutes, or until meaty and tender. Drain the seitan bites and set them aside to cool.

To make the marinade, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, pomegranate molasses, liquid smoke, smoked paprika and coriander in a large container with a lid. Transfer the seitan to the container and toss to coat. Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Step 3: Roasting Kebab and Preparing Salatet Zabadi

To cook the kebab, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Arrange the seitan bites on skewers, transfer them to a grilling pan, brush them with the marinade, and roast them for 10 minutes. Flip the skewers, brush them with the marinade again, and continue roasting until crispy on all sides, about 7 to 10 more minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.

To make the salatet zabadi, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill, mint, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a large container with an airtight lid. Mix well and cover. Refrigerate until ready to use or for up to 3 days.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy!

To plate, start with a base of spring mix, then top with tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, pickled onions and the kebab skewers. Serve with a side of salatet zabadi, quinoa and a couple of lime wedges.

Kebab Skewers – Recipe Card

vegan Kebab Skewers

Kebab Skewers with Salatet Zabadi

5 from 1 vote
Middle Eastern Fusion Kebabs: A creative twist on Egyptian tradition, these succulent, smoky kebabs are a blend of lentils, chickpeas, and vital wheat gluten. Simmered to perfection, they're marinated in a tantalizing mix of flavors and roasted until crispy. Serve alongside a refreshing salatet zabadi (yogurt dip) for a delightful culinary journey.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Author: Noha Elbadry - Cloud
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Kebab Dough

  • 1 15-oz [425-g] can lentils, undrained
  • 2/3 cup 109 g cooked chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp 45 ml soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp 30 g harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp 12 g mushroom seasoning or no-beef bouillon
  • 2 tsp 10 ml liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp 7 g onion powder
  • 1 tbsp 7 g garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp 7 g smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups 240 g vital wheat gluten, plus more if needed

For the Kebab Marinade

For the Salatet Zabadi

  • cups 115 g vegan yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber grated then placed in a towel and wrung out
  • ¼ cup 13 g chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp 11 g chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp 30 ml lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt

To Serve

  • Spring mix
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Chopped fresh mint
  • Pickled red onions
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  • To make the kebab, add 1 cup (240 ml) of water to a food processor with the lentils, chickpeas, soy sauce, harissa, mushroom seasoning, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sage and salt. Pulse it until completely smooth and creamy.
  • Place the vital wheat gluten in a large bowl. Pour the creamy lentil mixture on top and knead until combined. Add more gluten 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time if the mixture is too wet and not holding together. Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for 5 minutes or knead by hand for 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic and moist without being crumbly.
  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Chop the kebab dough into bite-sized pieces; smaller is better because seitan expands as it cooks. Transfer the seitan to the pot and simmer the seitan bites for 30 to 40 minutes, or until meaty and tender. Drain the seitan bites and set them aside to cool.
  • To make the marinade, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, pomegranate molasses, liquid smoke, smoked paprika and coriander in a large container with a lid. Transfer the seitan to the container and toss to coat. Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • To cook the kebab, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Arrange the seitan bites on skewers, transfer them to a grilling pan, brush them with the marinade and roast them for 10 minutes. Flip the skewers, brush them with the marinade again and continue roasting until crispy on all sides, about 7 to 10 more minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.
  • To make the salatet zabadi, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill, mint, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a large container with an airtight lid. Mix well and cover. Refrigerate until ready to use or for up to 3 days.
  • To plate, start with a base of spring mix, then top with tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, pickled onions and the kebab skewers. Serve with a side of salatet zabadi, quinoa and a couple of lime wedges.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Reprinted with permission from The Vegan Middle Eastern Cookbook by Noha Elbadry – Cloud. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023. Photo credit: Noha Elbadry – Cloud.

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the vegan middle eastern

About The Cookbook

Unlock a whole new realm of plant-based cooking as you celebrate the rich, vibrant flavors and traditional ingredients that make Middle Eastern fare so diverse and delicious. From Noha Elbadry-Cloud, creator of the popular food account @leeksnbeets, comes the ultimate guide to cooking perfectly veganized meals from this vast, enthralling region.

This collection of 60 mouthwatering recipes is filled with iconic basics like The Best Ever Pita Bread, magnificent mains like Baby Potato and Jackfruit Tagine, and Beef-Style Seitan Shawarma Wraps with sumptuous sides like Baba Ghanouj. And with delectable desserts like Walnut Pecan Baklava and Basbousa, there’s something here for every taste and occasion. So what are you waiting for? Embark on an inspiring culinary journey through the flavors of the Middle East, all while staying true to your vegan lifestyle.

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More Vegan Recipes You Might Like

If you enjoyed this Kebab Skewers recipe, you might also like this Baby Potato and Jackfruit Tagine by the same author. Click here for the recipe.

Baby Potato and Jackfruit Tagine
Noha Elbadry-Cloud

Connect with Noha on Instagram.

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