I have been researching African recipes for our next Family Dinner Book Club, specifically Nigerian food, and one of the recipes I have seen over and over again is called Suya. It is a popular street food which can be any type of skewered meat from chicken to beef to tripe and it is coated in a spicy seasoning made of a peanut, or groundnut, base.
From what I gather, the term suya actually refers to the spice mixture itself, and no two street vendors have exactly the same mixture. Also, there is no recreating this dish at home. If you want true suya, you must get it from the street food vendors in Nigeria.
So that’s why today we are making Spicy Beef Skewers – not Suya. I have never been to Nigeria, or any part of Africa, but after all my research I would really love to try some authentic dishes. Though I’m not sure I could handle the heat. These skewers do not have nearly as much spice as all the recipes for suya that I found, and when I took my first bite I exclaimed, “Whoo! That is spicy!” I can’t imagine adding more peppers. I do like spice, but I would say I am close to the wimpy end of what I can handle on the spicy meter.
How do you take your spice? “None thank you” “steam must come out of my ears!” or somewhere in between?
- 8 wooden skewers
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) roasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 454 grams (1 pound) sirloin steak
- chopped parsley or cilantro
- lemon wedges
- Soak the skewers in water while preparing the recipe to prevent them from burning during cooking.
- In a food processor, add the peanuts, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt. Process to a fine powder.
- Thinly slice the beef into 1-2 inch strips and place in a mixing bowl.
- Add the peanut/spice mixture to the beef and toss to coat the beef well. You may need to press the beef into the spice mixture to get it to stick well. Skewer the beef.
- Turn the oven on to broil, or use an outside grill to cook the beef skewers until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro, and serve with lemon wedges.