When I first decided (admittedly, with little thought) to take part in Vegan MoFo 2011, I knew I needed a theme. A theme would keep me motivated, and would break up the monotony of me constantly taking photos of the same old mac and cheese. One theme immediately sprang to mind- street food!
Chadwiko and I both love street food a little more than anyone really should. We’ve each had our fair share of painful, disruptive or just embarrassing stomach bugs from eating the stuff, but that can’t keep us away. Whenever we travel, the food we find in carts on busy street corners or an otherwise deserted stretch of road is always one of the things we look forward to most.
To kick things off, I decided on a Greek favourite that’s found late-night infamy across Australia. Some call them gyros, some call them kebabs, but those that know best (that is, those from South Australia) know them as yiros.
Yiros are a familiar sight to the Wiko family. Our first apartment was across the road from a yiros shop owned by an often unhinged Greek man by the name of Makis. Makis made great falafel, and fortunately for us, Makis loved us. He didn’t feel quite as positively about others; he once yelled that he would kill our friend Laura for daring to order hot chips, and I also once saw him chase a guy down the street, screaming incomprehensibly, for taking too many napkins from the counter. In honour of Makis, and in honour of the remarkable fact that we were never gravely injured or made to fear for our lives while eating at his shop, I knew that my first street food post would need to feature yiros.
The recipe itself comes from Tami Noyes’ American Vegan Kitchen. I originally picked up this book as part of the Cookbook Challenge earlier this year, and despite hearing great things about her recipe for Greek-Town Gyros, it somehow slipped by me. But no more! This recipe (or rather, recipes- there are separate recipes for the seitan, salad and tzatziki sauce) was a hit, with Chadwiko immediately declaring that this needed to be a household staple meal. I was particularly impressed with the seitan recipe- it’s now my favourite seitan I’ve made to date. The flavours and texture are perfect. I think I’ve finally overcome my reluctance to make home-made seitan, because I would happily eat this every week.
If only I could actually find seitan yiros like these on a street corner near me. I’ll have to pass the recipe onto someone… just maybe not Makis.