Suya (Spicy Shish Kebab)

April 11, 2017
Nigerian suya, a spicy shish kebab with a spice blend of roasted peanuts and pepper. Perfect for grilling and irresistibly delicious!

Nigerian suya, a spicy shish kebab with a spice blend of roasted peanuts and pepper. Perfect for grilling and irresistibly delicious!

There are a few things in life I’d give up a kidney for, (no idea why I picked kidney lol) and suya hands down is definitely one of them! If you aren’t familiar with this dish, the simplest way to describe it is skewered meat or meat on a stick. However, I like to say it’s so much more than meat on a stick because of the flavor! Suya hands down is probably one of the most flavorful pieces of meat I’ve ever tasted, and I’m always craving more. I’ve loved suya since childhood. It’s the epitome of Nigerian street food, and every town has it’s go to suya spot.  You’ll see vendors out there all day, grilling meat with spices and the high orange flame and smells- it’s truly magical.

Eager to replicate this at home, I spent some time coming up with what I think are the best combinations for suya. A good quality piece of meat, and an even better spice blend. For the beef, I like to use a nice chuck roast or sirloin. You want a tender piece of meat that is easy to cut and not too tough or chewy.  I also like to pound my meat flat or thin; you can ask the butcher to do this for you if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself. From there you want to cut the beef into small, uniform pieces so that they all cook evenly on the grill.

For my spice blend; I think I have come up with the perfect blend. I roasted some peanuts (almonds work great) in the oven, and then tossed them in a blender with the skins on to grind into a powder. Then I mixed the nuts with some white pepper, smoked paprika, ground red pepper, garlic powder, and a chicken bouillon cube.

From there you just thread the skewers with the beef, brush the meat with oil after its on the skewer, and then pack the spices on to the meat. That simple! Grill for 15 to 20 minutes, and you have yourself some delicious spicy and tender suya! 

For more grilling recipes, check out these Sweet & Savory Black Bean Pork Kabobs

Suya (Spicy Shish Kebab)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Nigerian suya, a spicy shish kebab with a spice blend of roasted peanuts and pepper. Perfect for grilling and irresistibly delicious!
  • 2 pounds of sirloin or chuck roast
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts or almonds, ground
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne or groud red African pepper, add an additional tablespoon for more spice
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 chicken Bouillon cube
  • salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil to brush on the meat
  1. Soak the skewers in water for at least 20 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning on the grill.
  2. If preparing in the oven, heat the oven to 450°F. Lightly spray or oil baking sheet or roasting pan to prevent the suya from sticking to the pan. If grilling, prepare your grill as you normally would.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together all the spices and seasonings.
  4. Peel the roasted peanuts, and then grind in a coffee grinder or blender with the skin on, until finely crushed. Take care not to grind the peanuts into a paste. Add the ground peanuts into spice mixture.
  5. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Make sure it is completely dry!
  6. Slice the beef into a diagonal medium thin shape.
  7. Thread the beef onto the skewers about 4-5 per skewer.
  8. Rub vegetable oil on the beef so that the spice mixture will adhere.
  9. Rub the beef skewer with spice mixture; on both sides. Make sure to pack the seasoning onto each piece of beef ensuring that it is fully coated with the spice blend.
  10. If cooking in the oven, line a roasting or baking sheet with foil paper. Place skewers on cookie sheet , then place on the roasting pan or baking sheet.
  11. Bake on for about 12-15 minutes.
  12. If grilling, grill over high heat for 10-15 minutes.
  13. Serve with sliced onions and tomatoes!


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  • Swanky Recipes (@SwankyRecipes) April 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    You know the kebabs are good when they use chuck roast, yum! Can’t wait to try this next time it warms up outside to fire up the grill and try! – Jess

  • Deanna April 11, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    This looks sooo good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dorothy Reinhold April 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    That spice blend sounds fantastic!

  • Luci's Morsels April 11, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    That flavor; delicious! This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing! Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

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