Suya Yaji Skewers

Suya Yaji Skewers

Robert Moreland
Suya is originally from Northern Nigeria and typically are thin strips of beef or ram that is threaded onto a skewer and seasoned with a peanut based dry rub. This is an extremely popular street food in West Africa, and often it’s common to encounter several stands on a stretch of road only a couple of miles long.

The preparation for this dish is extremely simple, to say the least. We use sirloin steak, but really any protein you’re fond of that’s suitable for skewer threading is an option. By far the easiest way to season your cubes is to transfer your sirloin to a bag helps to ensure that you can spread your blend evenly and make sure you can really massage in the spices. Usually Suya is only meat, but we decided to make half of our skewers with alternating small cubes of steak and onions to help create an entire meal. Remember that the smaller and thinner your ingredients are the faster they will cook, so try to keep everything a consistent size.

Our Suya blend is nutty, moderately spicy, and garlick-y. Its spices work well with smoky outdoor grilling and create a great crust as your sirloin is seared on the grill. Nuts in a seasoning blend tend to catch some people off guard, but the peanuts in this add an irresistible toasted flavor and depth that would complement beef or ram (goat), but might overpower milder and more neutral proteins like chicken or tofu. If you’re looking for something beyond the simplistic or one-dimensional dishes, that might be a good thing.

It’s a good idea to soak your skewers for an hour beforehand so you can avoid them charring or burning. Once your grill has been pre-heated to a medium-high heat, you can add your skewers. We have an indoor grill for our test recipes that is non-stick, but if you have a traditional outdoor grill you might want to brush your grates with vegetable or peanut oil to avoid anything sticking. After about 8-10 minutes, you can flip your skewers, but the time may differ depending on the cut or thickness of meat you use.

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