Shawarma is a common dish from the Middle East which became popular in many parts of the world. Here in the Philippines, lots of restaurants and food stalls serve shawarma to people from all walks of life. It is essentially a sandwich made of either beef, chicken, lamb, goat or turkey. A sandwich can also have a mixture of several meat types.
Understandably, pork shawarma is not served in the Middle East, but can be served in other parts of the world, including the Philippines. Pita bread is used for the sandwich, which is stuffed with cucumber, tomato, onions, shredded cabbage and the choice of meat. The ingredients will vary depending which country you are in. Predictably, Pinoys sometimes eat their shawarma with rice.
The meat is cooked by placing strips of it on a spit, where the skewered meat is slowly rotated to make sure that all sides are roasted evenly. When the meat is already cooked, the server will shave some of the meat off using a large knife. The shaved meat will be retrieved from the circular tray below and stuffed into the pita bread.
A serving of shawarma will not be complete without the dressing. There are different kinds of dressings available for shawarma. The common ones are the tahini, hummus and Amba sauce. The best type of dressing will depend on the kind of shawarma that you are eating. Chicken shawarma is usually served with hot chili sauce, toum or garlic mayonnaise.
In the U.S., shawarma is usually sold at stalls and restaurants located near the Jewish and Arab communities. States like Chicago, Baltimore, Florida and New York are home to many Arabs and Jews, which makes shawarma a common dish in these places.