Its name has roots in the Middle East, but today shish kebob means has a global reputation as a skewer full of mouth watering food.
Several sources site Turkish and Armenian as the original languages of the term shish kebob or shish kebab, but it s linked to an Arabic word meaning cooked meat in small pieces and an Aramaic word meaning to char. Whatever its word roots, the top 5 ways to build a shish kabob spell out delicious in any language.
Lamb shish kabob.
This classic dish is probably closest to the original recipe that sparked so many culinary inventions. Lamb shish kabob consists of pieces of lamb alternating with green peppers, large mushrooms, cherry tomatoes or slices of medium tomato and white or red onions. Lamb is cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes and marinated in oil and spices of choice, then threaded onto the skewer with vegetables and grilled until done.
Beef shish kabob.
This version substitutes beef for lamb in an otherwise classic recipe. Sirloin is the preferred meat cut for a beef shish kabob because it will hold together well on the skewer. Beef often lends itself to some experimenting with the marinade to create interesting new tastes. Cooks have traded out the traditional oil marinade of lamb kabobs for soy, wine or even Japanese teriyaki for beef kabobs.
Chicken shish kabob.
Chicken shish kabobs offer cooks the opportunity to get really creative with flavors and spices. Only white meat chicken is used for this type of kabob. Marinades have featured pineapple juice mixed with dry mustard, brown sugar and soy sauce; a Japanese yakitori version with soy sauce, sake, molasses and grated onion; and a spicy shish taouk featuring lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Shrimp shish kabob.
Shrimp on the Barbie has become an Australian cliché, but it s still one of the most popular forms of shish kabob. A classic version uses no vegetables at all. Instead, one pound of shrimp is marinated two hours in olive oil with garlic, lemon, pepper and chopped parsley, and then grilled for just five minutes. Devotees report this recipe bursts with flavor.
Fruit and/or veggie kabobs.
While it may be sacrilege to meat lovers, there are vegetarians out there who love nothing better than skewer full of grilled fruit or vegetable slices. Here s where there are no holds barred to the recipe. Simply cut up favorite veggies and fruits, season as desired and grill until lightly charred on the edges. Kabobs of this kind are often served with a sweet or savory dipping sauce.
Veteran kabob cooks add that the kind of skewer used for kabobs is very important. Most prefer stainless steel skewers rather wood ones because they say the meat and vegetables will cling better to metal. However, wooden skewers have their fans as well. Whatever type of skewer is used, coating it lightly with oil before threading the meat and vegetables will help the meal slide easily onto the plate.