Savor the Streets of New York: Authentic Halal Guys Beef Bowl Recipe

The Halal Guys Beef Recipe brings the essence of New York City’s street food scene right into your kitchen. This culinary gem has its roots in the bustling corners of Manhattan, where the famous Halal Guys food carts first started serving up their now-iconic dishes. It began in 1990, not with the beef bowls we know and love, but with humble hot dog stands. Realizing the city’s hunger for Halal street food, they shifted gears, and soon their chicken and gyro over rice became a sensation.

 The beef bowl, in particular, has won over countless foodies with its rich spices, tender meat, and an irresistibly tangy white sauce. When you cook up this recipe, you’re not just whipping up a quick meal; you’re bringing a slice of New York’s vibrant street food culture into your home. Let’s embark on this flavorful journey together, creating a dish that’s a tribute to the city’s diverse culinary heritage.

How To Make Halal Guys Beef Bowl Recipe Overview

This recipe is a heartwarming mix of spiced beef, fragrant rice, and a creamy, tangy white sauce. It’s a feast for the senses and is surprisingly easy to prepare. The cooking process takes about 30 minutes, and this recipe serves about 4 people. We’ll start by cooking the beef with aromatic spices and then prepare the rice with a touch of vermicelli for an extra layer of texture. The dish is completed with fresh lettuce, tomato, and a homemade white sauce that’s absolutely divine.

Ingredients for Beef and Rice Bowl:

Halal Certified Ground Beef or Lamb (1.5 Pounds): I usually go for a leaner mix, like 90/10. It’s just the right amount of fat for flavor without being too greasy.

Unsalted Butter (3 Tbsp): This adds a lovely richness to the rice. It’s all about that buttery goodness!

Vermicelli (1/3 Cup): It’s not just for soups! Vermicelli in this dish gives an interesting texture contrast.

Short Grain Rice (1 Cup): Make sure to rinse it well! It’s the base of our bowl, so we want it perfect.

Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (2 Cups): This is what we’ll cook the rice in. It adds so much more flavor than water.

Cardamom Pod (1): It’s a small touch, but it makes a world of difference with its unique aroma.

Turmeric (3/4 Teaspoon): For that beautiful golden color and a warm, earthy taste.

Garlic Powder (3/4 Teaspoon): Because what’s a savory dish without a hint of garlic?

Kosher Salt (3/4 Teaspoon): Just the right amount to enhance all the flavors.

Black Pepper (1/2 Teaspoon): A bit of this to add a slight kick.

Shredded Lettuce (3 Cups): This adds a fresh, crunchy element to our bowl.

Tomato (1 Large, Diced): For a burst of freshness and color.

Harissa (3 Tablespoons): Or any red chili sauce you like for that spicy zing.

For the White Sauce:

Mayonnaise (6 Tablespoons): The creamy base of our sauce.

Plain Yogurt (6 Tablespoons): Adds a nice tanginess to balance the mayo.

Sumac (3/4 Teaspoon): This is a bit unique, but it gives a lovely, lemony flavor.

Lemon (Juiced): Fresh lemon juice for that zesty kick.

Salt and Pepper: Adjust these to your taste. They’re the final touch to our delicious sauce.


  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef or lamb over medium heat until browned. Drain excess fat.
  2. Stir in turmeric, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add vermicelli and rice; sauté until the vermicelli is golden.
  4. Pour in chicken broth and add the cardamom pod. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes.
  5. For the white sauce, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, sumac, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. Assemble the bowls: start with a base of rice, add a layer of cooked beef, followed by shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and a drizzle of harissa.
  7. Generously top with white sauce.

Nutritional Value (per serving)

Calories: 600-700

Protein: 35g

Carbohydrates: 50g

Fat: 30g

Fiber: 3g

Sodium: 800mg (approx.)


Can I use a different type of rice?

Absolutely, you can use a different type of rice for this recipe. Basmati rice is a great alternative. It’s known for its delightful aroma and light, fluffy texture, which pairs well with the spices and flavors of the dish. Just remember to adjust the cooking time and water ratio, as basmati rice might cook differently than short grain rice. It’s all about finding what works best for your taste and the ingredients you have on hand. Feel free to experiment and make the recipe your own!

How can I make this recipe spicier?

Making this recipe spicier is easy and fun. You can start by adding more harissa, the red chili sauce, to the beef while cooking. If you like it really hot, try a teaspoon of cayenne pepper or even some diced fresh jalapeños. Another option is to sprinkle in some red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Adjust the amount based on how spicy you like your food. Remember, it’s easier to add more spice later than to fix a dish that’s become too hot, so start small and taste as you go!

Is there a substitute for sumac in the white sauce?

If you don’t have sumac for the white sauce, no worries! A good substitute is lemon zest. It adds a similar tangy, citrusy flavor that complements the sauce well. Just grate a little zest from a fresh lemon and mix it into the sauce. Another option is a splash of lemon juice for that zesty tang. These alternatives won’t exactly replicate sumac’s unique taste, but they’ll still give your sauce a delightful, zingy twist. It’s all about improvising with what you have and enjoying the process of cooking!

Can this recipe be made ahead of time?

Sure thing! If you’re planning ahead, this recipe is perfect for that. Just cook the beef and rice whenever you’ve got some time, and pop them in the fridge. They’re good for a few days. Then, when hunger strikes, just reheat them and you’re good to go. Oh, and the white sauce? You can whip that up ahead too. I actually think it tastes better after a day or two, once all those flavors get to know each other. It’s a real time-saver for those busy days when you need a quick, yummy meal.

What are some serving suggestions?

For serving, you can get creative. A popular way is to pair this beef bowl with warm pita bread. It’s perfect for scooping up the rice and beef. Adding sides like hummus or tabbouleh salad can turn it into a more filling meal. If you’re into veggies, a side of grilled vegetables works great too. For a bit of freshness, you could top it with some chopped cucumbers or a squeeze of lemon juice. These additions bring a nice balance to the dish and make it a full, satisfying meal. Enjoy your culinary creation!


This Halal Guys Beef Recipe is more than just a meal; it’s a culinary journey that brings a piece of New York’s street food culture to your table. It’s a perfect blend of flavors and textures that will leave you and your guests craving for more. Enjoy the process of making it and indulge in the delicious results!

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