The first time I fell in love with shish tawouk was on the beaches of Tyre, Lebanon. If I had to pick a favorite dish, as a Lebanese, Shish Tawouk is probably number one. Shish Tawouk is a perfect example of Lebanese cuisine as it is filled with flavor from the popular Shish Tawouk spices, as well as a rich garlic-y, aromatic taste from the marinade and toum. While originally a kebab of Turkish origin, it is now found throughout most of the middle-east and northern Africa.
Traditionally, shish tawouk are bite-sized chicken cubes marinated in a combination of spices. These are then skewered and then grilled on an open flame — this adds a delicious smokey touch! This recipe however is an easier and more doable on a budget — especially if you are college student like I currently am!
Usually in Lebanon we eat Shish Tawouk in a pita bread wrap, with pickles and other vegetables of your choosing, and topping it with a drizzle of toum sauce, the recipe to which can be found here. And of course like I always say – it’s not a real Shish Tawouk sandwich unless the sauce is dripping down your chin! <3
This meal would go great with hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, or any other side of your choosing! The spice mixes can either be ordered online, or made at home.
I recently started trying to make vegan, or at least vegetarian, versions of as many recipes as I currently can — and this is one of them! Tofu shish Tawouk is absolutely delicious. It has a really tender middle, crispy outside and is bursting with flavor. For the vegan option, use drained and chopped tofu instead of chicken cubes.
This recipe serves 3.
- 1 chicken breast (or tofu eq.)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons plain Greek yoghurt (unsweetened & unflavored!)
- 1 ½ tablespoon Shish Tawouk spice mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- Cut the chicken breast into small cubes, and rinse well
- Mix in the tomato paste and garlic cloves.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, yoghurt, spices, salt and paprika to the chicken
- Using a spoon stir continuously until mixed well and looks like a thick paste.
- Refrigerate chicken in a zip-lock back for 4-6 hours or overnight. The longer the better — this recipe requires for slow marination for most flavor.
- Wrap chicken in aluminum foil and place it in a preheated oven of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 180 degrees Celsius.
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chicken will take approx. 20 minutes longer than the tofu. Take out when sauce is thickened, making sure not to dry up chicken or tofu.
- Serve in wrap bread of your choice with vegetables of your choosing, using the toum as a spread.
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How can I make the Shish Tawouk spice mix?
Check out how can you mix your own Shish Tawouk spice mix at https://www.iga.net/en/inspiring_recipes/recipes/shish_taouk_spice_blend
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