Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sigara Borek

Growing up in a Middle Eastern family I was exposed to many great foods at a very young age.  My Father is from Beirut, Lebanon and my Mother learned to cook authentic Middle Eastern food from my Grandmother and Aunts. And, I was lucky enough to have my Mother teach me.

Borek was something we often had at family gatherings. I would snack on them all day long- to the point that I was not usually hungry when dinner was served.  They can be made in many variations; the ones we had were usually cheese filled.  They are such a wonderful treat and I have not had one since going vegan.

I decided that there must be a way to replicate these wonderful snacks so I set out to concoct a recipe of my own.  Tasting these brought me straight back to my childhood.  They taste great, a crispy, flaky outside and creamy, cheesy inside. As far as I remember, they are very close to the original.

Many people are intimidated by phyllo dough- don't be. Even though it is delicate it is actually pretty forgiving to work with.  And the end result is always so pretty!

Sigara Borek

10 oz vegan cream cheese, softened (I used Tofutti brand)
1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 plus cup olive oil
1/4 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
Salt and pepper to taste
3 sheets phyllo dough* thawed according to package directions

Preheat oven to 430 degrees.

Mix the cream cheese, Daiya, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir until well incorporated. Set aside.

Mix the olive oil and non dairy milk together and whisk to incorporate.

Take the phyllo sheets, still stacked and cut them in half.  Then cut each half diagonally to create two even sized triangles. Take one  phyllo triangle and lay it on a flat surface with the short side closest to you.  Place a tablespoon of the cheese mixture toward the bottom of the short side of the triangle and spread until it almost reaches the outside corners.  Fold the corners in around the filling and roll the sheet until it creates a cigar shape. Seal the tip of the cigar with a little bit of water. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush liberally with the olive oil and non dairy milk mixture. Repeat until all triangles of phyllo are used.

Bake at 430 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown.

Serve hot or warm.

*Note: when working with phyllo be sure to keep the sheets you are not working with covered with a damp towel so it does not dry out.


  1. Looks great! I've never heard of Borek but I love phyllo so I'm sure I'd like them.

  2. How wonderful that you could veganize a recipe from your childhood. These look absolutely delicious! ^_^

  3. Vegan borek? How exciting! I cannot wait to make this—thank you, Lee!

  4. Hi Lee, these look fantastic! I have always found phyllo fairly intimidating but will need to try it out.

  5. I LOVE Lebanese food (you are so lucky to have grown up with that food!) and used to love "sigara borrek" - so it is good to know that there is a good vegan version!

  6. also gonna share this on my blog... sooooo good :)

  7. thank you for this recipe - hopefully it will help fill the hole left by not being able to eat tiropita at my Greek husband's family gatherings!

  8. I've never heard of borrek before, but I would absolutely love to try one of those!