These unbelievably delicious vegan gyros are made with spiced jackfruit and served in pitta breads or wraps with chips, salad and a creamy vegan tzatziki sauce.
What is gyros?
Gyro or gyros (I tried to find out which was accurate but got nowhere – if you know do let me know in the comments) refers to the meat that is traditionally used in this Greek dish. It’s cooked on a vertical rotisserie – much like the meat that you’ll see cooking in kebab shops all around the world. The meat is served in a pitta bread with salad, tzatziki and sometimes chips (fries). According to Wikipedia it began life as a Greek version of the Turkish doner kebab and by the 1970s was commonly known as a gyros.
Gyros is often served as street food in Greece. I can only imagine how this works as the gyros that I’ve tried have been supremely messy – the tzatziki sauce gets everywhere!
How do you make vegan gyros?
You could make a great vegan kebab using seitan strips – I have it in mind to try this very soon. On this occasion however I’ve made my gyros with jackfruit. Jackfruit breaks down perfectly when cooked – it’s often described as resembling pulled pork – and is a great ingredient to use when adding lots of spices as it takes the flavour really well. Once you have the jackfruit cooked you just need to cook some chips, make a salad and serve with vegan tzatziki in a pitta bread or vegan flatbread. Ok the chips are optional but I think they’re a great addition!
It seems to me that jackfruit, cooked with spices, and served in bread is vegan heaven. Try these smoky pulled vegan tacos if you’re yet to be convinced.
How to make jackfruit gyros
Vegan gyros with jackfruit
For the jackfruit
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 x 482g tin jackfruit in water or brine
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp water
- Juice of half a lemon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 small lettuce shredded
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 1 cucumber chopped
- tzatziki to taste
- 4 flatbreads or pitta
- Handful of chips optional
- First prepare your jackfruit. Once you’ve drained it give it a good rinse and slice it thinly. If you wish you can remove the harder part of the jackfruit pieces and discard. I usually keep mine and cook it with the rest.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the sliced red onion and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft and golden brown.
- Add the garlic, stir well and cook for a further minute.
- Add the herbs and spices, stir, then tip in the jackfruit. Add the soy sauce and 3 tbsp water.
- Stir well and fry for a few minutes then cover and reduce the heat. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the jackfruit starts to break down.
Add more water if it starts to stick.
Season with salt and pepper and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
Serve with salad, chips and tzatziki sauce in pitta or flatbreads.
If you like this you might like these baked Greek beans.