Vegan Adana Kebab
Kebabs of all kinds are common in Turkish cuisine. This type of kebab is named after the city of Adana in Turkey, where it is believed to have originated. Adana Kebab is traditionally made from minced lamb, but for this recipe I’ve used plant-based ingredients to create the most succulent and delicious vegan Adana Kebabs.
What is Adana Kebab?
Most people are familiar with Doner Kebab, and although their names are similar, these two kebabs are nothing alike. Adana kebab is one of the most popular kebabs in Turkish cuisine. It’s traditionally made of a combination of finely chopped lamb, spices, onion and parsley. The kebabs are mounted on a flat skewer called ‘Adana Kebap Şişi’ and are grilled over charcoal.
How to Serve Vegan Adana Kebab?
Adana Kebabs are typically served with warm lavash bread, Turkish style salad and bulgur pilaf. Most restaurants also include a side serving of grilled green peppers and tomatoes, but you can serve them with any grilled vegetable of your choice.
Equipment You'll Need
For this recipe, you'll need five metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes. I prefer to use metal skewers as the heat from the metal helps the kebabs to cook through more evenly.
Ingredients for the Vegan Adana Kebab
Vegan minced meat – I’ve used a combination of the Meatless Farm plant-based mince and rehydrated soya mince. The Meatless farm mince doesn’t have much bite to it when cooked, so the addition of the soya mince gives the vegan Adana Kebabs a meatier and more succulent texture. The Meatless Farm mince has a paste-like texture, so it’s main role in this recipe is to act as a binder.
Tapioca starch – the purpose of the tapioca starch is to help the ingredients bind together. If you’re unable to find tapioca starch, you can use potato or corn starch instead.
Onion and Garlic – The onion and garlic add a delicious aroma and depth of flavour to the Adana Kebabs.
Liquid smoke – The liquid smoke gives the vegan kebabs a meaty, charcoal flavour.
Smoked paprika – I find that the smoked flavour of the paprika gives a delicious, savoury taste to the kababs.
Aleppo chilli flakes – The Aleppo chilli flakes add a slow-building heat and a delicious earthy, fruity taste to the dish. You could use different types of chilli flakes, but bear in mind that different types of chilli will have different levels of heat, so make sure to add it accordingly.
Fresh parsley –The fresh parsley adds a delicious, fresh herby taste to the kebabs.
Vegetable bouillon – Used for seasoning the vegan mince.
Oil – The plant-based mince doesn’t contain any oil, so you’ll need some oil in this recipe to help the kebabs to brown and to give them a more succulent texture. I’ve used vegetable oil, but you can use any of your choice.
Red pepper paste – I used a spicy red pepper paste, but if you’d like your kebabs a little more mild, you could substitute this with sweet red pepper paste or tomato paste.
How to Make Vegan Adana Kebab
Add the dried soya mice to a large bowl and pour about 250ml boiled water over the mince. Cover the bowl with cling film and set the soya mince aside for 5 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
Finely chop the onion, garlic and parsley and add them to a large bowl. Add the Meatless Farm mince, red pepper paste, tapioca starch, oil, liquid smoke and all the herbs and spices to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
Once the soya mince has absorbed most of the liquid, drain it using a mesh strainer and press the mince down firmly with your hands to get rid of as much of the excess water as possible. Add the soya mince to the bowl with the other ingredients and thoroughly combine with your hands. To check that the mince is the right consistency, take a small piece and see if you can roll it into a ball without it crumbling apart, if it is still too crumbly, you can add 1-2 tbsp more tapioca starch.
Moisten your hands with water and make equal sized balls of the mixture. Take a metal or wooden skewer and make long, flat kebabs on it. Don’t worry if the mince starts to crumble apart – simply take it off the skewer and squeeze the mince mixture with your hands so the ingredients bind together better and try again. Alternatively, you can shape the kebabs without using a skewer; squeeze a handful of the mixture into a sausage shape and then place on the baking tray and flatter slightly with the palm of your hand.
Once you’ve shaped your kebabs, place them on a flat baking tray, spray them with oil on both sides and cook each side under the grill for about 5-7 minutes, or until charred. Alternatively, you can cook kebabs in the oven; if you’re going to cook them in the oven, I’d recommend using small wooden skewers rather than the big metal ones so you can fit the inside an oven. Once the Adana kebabs have cooked, brush them with a little more oil and serve them with lemon wedges, flatbread, bulgur pilaf and Turkish Salad
The traditional way is to cook the Adana Kebab is on a charcoal grill. The Smokey flavour of the charcoal gives the kebabs a distinct flavour, but I know it can be a bit of a hassle cooking on charcoal, so the easier option is to add some liquid smoke to the kebabs (to give them that that charcoal flavour and aroma), and to cook them under a grill. you can also bake the kebabs; if you’re going to bake them, I’d recommend using small wooden skewers rather than the big metal ones so you can fit the inside an oven.
How to store Adana Kebabs
Place any leftover Adana kebab in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 days. To reheat, place the kebabs on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes until heated through. To freeze the Adana kebabs, place them in a freezer bag after they've cooled down completely, then store in the freezer for up to a month.