Take a culinary trip to Lebanon using pork as your passport!

Chef Simone Saleh Lawson of Sassool Cafe in Cary brings us this delicious shawarma recipe. While pork is the number one protein consumed around the world, you don’t normally find it in Lebanese cuisine. Chef Simone gets creative and combines her Lebanese heritage with her Southern roots to create this delicious, savory dish.




Pulled pork

  • 1.5 pounds pork butt (before cooking)
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic whip (from Sassool)

Marinated onions

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (from Sassool)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon sumac (from Sassool)

Spicy tahini

  • 1/2 cup tahini paste (from Sassool)
  • 1/3 cup your favorite NC vinegar BBQ Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flake

Other components

  • Thin Pita wrap bread
  • 1/2 cup chopped Lebanese “mikti-style” pickles (from Sassool)



  1. In a stock pot, place your pork butt and then cover with hot water. Add into the stock pot, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic whip.  Give the ingredients a good stir to move them around the pot. Set your stove at medium high.
  2. Cover the pot and Allow the pork butt to simmer for 3.5-4 hours.
  3. The pork butt meat will be so tender and fall off the bone when it is ready
  4. Put the contents into a strainer and Strain any remaining water from the pot.  Allow the meat to cool slightly before you remove any fat that detached from the meat.  Discard the fat and then put the meat into a bowl.
  5. To prepare the marinated onions, chop the parsley and thinly slice the red onion.  Put both into a dish (or a mason jar!)
  6. Add the salt, pepper, sumac, olive oil, vinegar and pomegranate molasses. Shake (if in a mason jar) or stir the ingredients.  Ideally, prepare the onions a few days ahead of time to allow them to marinate properly and become tender and flavorful.
  7. Slice the pickles and set aside until needed.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini and NC bbq sauce. Add the red pepper flake.
  9. Before putting the wrap together, warm about 6 ounces pulled pork in a sauté pan if it is not still hot.  Add 1 tablespoon of the bbq tahini sauce to the pork and mix it up in the pan. Add in the pickles and onions and let cook together for about 2 minutes.
  10. To compose the pulled pork shawarma, lay out a pita wrap.  Put the shawarma contents in the center and spread slightly.  Fold in the sides of the wrap and then roll the pita wrap closed around the ingredients.
  11. Slice the shawarma wrap down the center and enjoy!  Serve tahini bbq dressing on the side for dipping the sandwich.

Pork Shawarma from Sassool, Cary