plant-based food

Shaw-rap! Try vegan shawarma rice by this Makati City shop

Steph Arnaldo

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Shaw-rap! Try vegan shawarma rice by this Makati City shop
It's meat-free 'beaf' and vegan mayo – but this dish is just as tasty as the real thing!

MANILA, Philippines – There’s a plant-based version of almost everything nowadays – chicharon, inihaw na liempo, Pinoy barbecue, garlic pepper beef, fried chicken – you name it! However, it was the first time I heard of vegan shawarma rice, so I had to try Shirley’s Just Vegan’s plant-based version of the popular Middle Eastern dish.

The local business serves it just like in mainstream stalls – a plate of brightly-colored java rice, generous slices of “meat,” fresh veggies, and a yogurt sauce drizzled on top. The only difference is that it’s “beaf” used – a meat-free substitute made with textured vegetable protein and spices. It’s got a firm, solid chew (none of that mushy texture) and a subtle umami flavor. The “yogurt sauce” used is also a vegan mayo substitute, which adds a nice creaminess to the dish.

The rice is tasty, and the freshly-sliced onions, tomato, and cucumber add a zing of freshness. It’s a whole meal on its own, and a satisfying one at that! Also, this vegan dish got some impressed “this isn’t meat?” comments from my non-vegetarian friends.

Other ingredients include vegetable oil, turmeric, annatto paste, salt, pepper, and soy sauce. You can also opt for a spicy version using sriracha vegan mayo.

Shirley’s Just Vegan’s vegan shawarma rice costs P250 for a solo meal and P1,100 for a tray that’s good for 3-4 people. The hub is based in Kamagong Street, Makati City. You can place your orders via Facebook. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.