Scroll down for 5 fabulous kebab recipes!
Whether you’re having a South African sosatie or an Asian satay,
spiedies from New York or shashlik from Russia, braaiing is much more
fun if your food is threaded onto a skewer.
This is to Greece what the hamburger is to America. Usually whole cuts
of beef, pork, mutton or chicken are cooked on huge vertical skewers.
The cook slices the meat from the outside as it cooks and serves it in
a pitta along with lettuce, tomato, onions and tzatziki. When making
sou-vlaki at home thread smaller cubes of meat onto skewers.
Sosaties were introduced to South Africa
by slaves from the East. The marinade for a traditional recipe
contains milk which helps to make the meat wonderfully tender.
Spiedies are like skewered hamburgers. Meat cubes
are threaded onto a skewer, braaied and served between two slices of
Italian bread with a sauce. Spiedies originated in the central part of
New York State where they’re just as popular as hamburgers are in the
rest of America. The word spiedie is derived from “spiedo”, the Italian
word for a meat spit.
These huge Russian kebabs resemble Turkish shish
kebabs. Shashlik stalls popup everywhere in Russia in summer. Large
meat cubes of lamb, mutton, beef, game,pork, goat and even camel are
threaded onto metal skewers, sometimes with vege-tables, and braaied
over an open fire or coals.
Espetada can be found in nearly every restaurant in
Portugal. These giant kebabs are so popular a special vertical metal
stand has been devised with a hook to hang the skewer and a small drip
bowlat the bottom.In Madeira the islanders head for the mountains for a
braai on weekends and holidays with only coarse salt, a few garlic
cloves and olive oil in their picnic baskets.En route they stop at the
butcher to buy the best-quality meat. The meat cubes are threaded onto
bay twigs picked right therein the forest, sprinkled with salt and
chopped garlic and brushed with olive oil while cooking over the coals.
12 Secrets of successful skewered food
* If using wooden skewers or twigs such as rosemary or bay, soak the min water overnight to prevent burning.
* If you don’t have time for soaking wrap the exposed ends in aluminium foil.
* Cut meat for skewers into fairly large cubes to allow for
shrinking and pre-vent it drying out. Thread the pieces tightly
together, it helps to keep the meat juicy.
* Meat should be cooked only until medium done so it isn’t tough and tasteless.
* Unlike meat, chicken and fish cubes
should be cut into smaller cubes and
loosely threaded to ensure they cook
* Remember to baste food with marinade
* If threading various ingredients on
a skewer ensure the food is cut so
everything will be done at the same
time. For instance if you’re using
cherry tomatoes, cut onions, peppers
and meat into smaller pieces so
they’re done at the same time as
* Insert skewers into the thickest part
of the food. If the food is large or wide,
such as prawns, use two skewers to
prevent them swivelling around the
skewers as you turn them during
* Cook kebabs over a medium to
* Try to move the skewered food as
little as possible during preparation
and cooking. This will prevent the
food from slipping off the skewers.
* Discard wooden skewers after use.
* If you make kebabs often invest in flat
metal skewers, they’re reusable and
the shape means food won’t swivel
when you turn them.
8 kinds of skewers
Wooden skewers for kebabs
Long wooden skewers for espetada
Short wooden skewers for satay
Metal skewers for espetada and shashlik
Long rosemary twigs, cleaned and stripped of leaves
Thin bay twigs, cleaned and stripped of leaves
Sugar cane, cleaned
Lemongrass stems, cleaned
5 Things to do with kebabs: