This recipe is a combination of cuisines. In Thailand, I got inspired to use oyster mushrooms as a juicy meat alternative, and in Israel I learned to love the smell of shawarma. Combining the two creates a mouthwatering dish that is one of my most popular recipes among family and friends. Take a bite of the warm pita filled with creamy hummus, tahini, salad, tangy amba and crispy mushrooms, and fly to heaven!   Reprinted with permission from The Traveling Vegan Cookbook by Kirsten Kaminski, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2021. Photo credit: Kirsten Kaminski.

Mushroom Shawarma [Vegan]

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  • 35 oz (1 kg) oyster mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon barbecue spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the mushrooms by pulling them apart into strings. (The bigger the strings, the chunkier the mushrooms—they shrink a lot while baking.) Place the mushroom strings in a large bowl and add the oil, soy sauce, spice mix, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and pepper. Mix it all together with your hands and gently massage everything into the mushrooms, then evenly spread them out on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (stirring twice), until they’re brown and crispy. The longer you bake them the less juicy they get, so you want to find a good balance between crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
  3. When the mushrooms are done, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool down a bit. While you wait, warm your pitas for a few minutes in the oven.
  4. When you’re ready to eat, cut about a quarter off one end of each pita and carefully open it with your hands or a knife. Inside the pita, smother the two sides and bottom with the prepared tahini and Creamy Hummus, then layer in some Arabic Salad, shawarma, more tahini and hummus, shawarma, salad and a drizzle of amba on top.


Amba is a pickled mango condiment that’s particularly popular in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Outside of the Middle East, amba can often be found in kosher or Indian grocery stores, where you might find it labeled as mango pickle. You can also find it online.


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