Döner Kebab

Berlin’s most popular street food.

4-6 servings

Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Ethan ChlebowskiBy Ethan Chlebowski

Germany’s most popular street food, and in my opinion, one of the greatest sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.

If you want to make your own Pide bread, you can find my recipe for that here.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Shaved chicken meat

    • chicken thighs
      8~2 lb / 900 g
    • salt
      to taste~1% / 9 g
    • cooking oil
      as needed
    • rosemary
      , minced
      a spoonful5 g
    • onion powder
      a spoonful5 g
    • garlic powder
      a sprinkle2 g
    • dried parsley
      a sprinkle
    • dried oregano
      a sprinkle2 g
    • cumin
      a sprinkle2 g
    • paprika
      a sprinkle2 g
    • msg
      a sprinkle2 g
  • Herb sauce

    • mayonnaise
      225 g2 parts
    • yogurt
      115 g1 part
    • salt
      to taste~ 5 g
    • msg
      a sprinkle2 g
    • dried dill
      a sprinkle2 g
    • dried mint
      a sprinkle2 g
    • dried oregano
      a sprinkle2 g
    • garlic powder
      a sprinkle2 g
    • onion powder
      a sprinkle2 g
    • agave syrup
      a spoonful7 g
  • Spicy sauce

    • ketchup
      50 g1 part
    • sambal
      50 g1 part
    • harissa paste
      50 g1 part
  • Salad components

    • purple cabbage
      , thinly shaved
    • salt
      to taste
    • lemon juice
      1/2 lemon
    • olive oil
      a drizzle
    • tomatoes
      , chopped
    • iceberg lettuce
      , thinly sliced
    • red onions
      , thinly sliced
    • cucumbers
      , thinly sliced
  • Bread

    • pide (turkish bread)
      4-6 slices


Step 1: Prep the chicken meat

If your chicken thighs are bone-in, remove the chicken skin and bones.

  • Optionally save the bones for stock and render chicken skin in a pot over low heat. The fat can be used for cooking the chicken later. If you have boneless chicken thighs, proceed from here.

Generously season the chicken on all sides with a sprinkle of salt.

  • If you want to be exact, use 1% salt by weight relative to the total weight of the chicken meat. For example, 900 g of boneless chicken would need 9 g of salt.

Mix the remaining dry seasonings in a bowl. Evenly sprinkle the seasoning onto all sides of the chicken thighs, and then lay them flat on a baking sheet. Freeze this sheet tray (uncovered) for at least 2 hours (or overnight) to firm up the chicken for slicing.

Step 2: Shave the chicken

Once the seasoned chicken is frozen, pull out one piece at a time and slice the chicken as thinly as possible with a knife. This should make almost translucent shavings that will mimic the texture of döner meat when cooked.

  • You’ll need a very sharp knife for this. If it’s too difficult, you can thaw the meat for about 10 minutes on the counter, which will soften it slightly. You need the meat to be mostly frozen, however, to make thin shavings.

Once you’ve thinly shaved all of the chicken, you can cook it right away, or add it to gallon bags and freeze it for later use. The shavings are so thin that they can be cooked straight from frozen if needed.

Step 3: Sear the chicken

Preheat a griddle or cast iron pan over high heat. Add a drizzle of cooking oil (or rendered chicken fat, if using) to coat the cooking surface.

Add a single layer of shaved chicken straight from the freezer and undisturbed on high heat until on one side.

  • The chicken slices are so thin that they will cook through without flipping. The sear on one side mimics the cooking from the kebab spits.

Repeat as needed.

Step 4: Mix the sauces

Make the herb sauce: Set a bowl over a scale to measure all the ingredients. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Make the spicy sauce: Mix the ingredients and taste. Add more of an ingredient if desired.

Step 5: Prep the salad components

Make the cabbage slaw: Add the thinly sliced cabbage to a bowl and dress with a sprinkle of salt, lemon juice, and a drizzle of oil. Taste and adjust as needed. This gets better as it sits over time.

Prep the remaining vegetables and optionally season with a sprinkle of salt.

Step 6: Assemble & serve the sandwich

Warm the bread: Place a triangle or serving of Pide (Turkish bread) in a wet paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds. Then, toast in a pan and flatten with a press or another pan before assembling.

  • This gets you a crispy exterior with a warmed interior ready for serving.

Assemble: Slice or tear the triangle of Pide bread open so it can be filled. Slather one side with herb sauce, and the other side with spicy sauce. Add a serving of seared chicken, and then a handful of the vegetables and cabbage slaw.

Close the döner, optionally wrap or serve with parchment paper. Enjoy.



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