The Döner Kebab—Ingested in Turkey, Recreated in Seattle
A streamlined recipe of the European equivalent to the street taco.
After a fact-finding mission to Turkey, we returned with a newfound appreciation of the classic street food, the döner kebab. Find a simplified recipe for it below, alongside some additional findings.
2 chicken breasts
Olive oil (to taste)
½ grated onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
2 tsp oregano
A dash of paprika
A generous pinch of black pepper
Canned corn, drained (optional)
Sauces (optional—prepare them according to the steps below)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice chicken breast into thin strips—about an inch in length.
In a bowl, coat chicken with olive oil, onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, and pepper.
Serve any which way you like: I prefer topping a toasted pita with lettuce, chicken, corn, and sauces. Eat as a handheld or use a knife and fork—there’s no “wrong” way to enjoy a döner.
1 cup yoghurt
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp dried mint
4+ garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
Mix ingredients together. 🤷♂️
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ grated onion
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 red chilis, chopped
1 pinch of sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Optionally, water for a thinner consistency
Throw it all in a Vitamix or equivalent blender, and mix until you reach your desired consistency. I like mine to remain somewhat chunky.
During the nineties, the döner kebab was a mainstay in my fast-food arsenal. In Europe, it’s largely equivalent to a street taco or a burrito—you can easily find at least one kebab shop in most urban neighborhoods.
It had been a minute since I enjoyed a kebab, but the flame got reignited during a recent visit to Alaçatı, Turkey. (Further food findings from that city will be posted in a future edition of the Digest.)
Worth mentioning is that while “döner” suggests one particular type of kebab, it really is just a baseline. In other words, a döner is meat covered in a spice mix, cooked on a vertical rotisserie, served on or with a pita, usually with pickled peppers. Customization—which often is the norm—comes down to the cook’s whims.
Doner kebab. (2023, August 25). In Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doner_kebab