What is shish taouk?
Shish taouk (or shish tawook) is a dish of marinated chicken that is typically skewered and grilled.
The word shish, which comes from the Old Turkish word şiş, means “skewer”. And tawook means chicken. The Ottoman (Turkish) Empire ruled Lebanon for a while, which is why there is a Turkish influence on some Lebanese cuisine.
Where did shish taouk originate?
Shish taouk is believed to have originated in Turkey, though it is now commonly eaten in Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt and as a part of many Middle Eastern cuisines.
How is shish taouk made?
Shish taouk is typically made with chicken breasts or thighs that have been cut into small cubes and marinated in a mixture of yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and spices. The chicken is then skewered and grilled until cooked through and golden brown (the rich golden yellow hue is iconic of traditional shish taouk).
Shish taouk can be served as an appetizer or main course. A common way to serve shish taouk is on a bed of rice with grilled vegetables and a yogurt or tahini-based sauce. Another option is to serve it as wraps or sandwcihes along with fresh vegetables and your favorite dipping sauces. No matter how it's served, shish taouk is sure to be a flavorful and satisfying meal.
What spices are used to make shish taouk?
When it comes to shish taouk, there are a few key spices that are essential for giving the dish its signature flavor. The most important spice is paprika, which imparts a subtle heat and subtle smokiness on the chicken. Other common shish taouk spices include garlic, cumin, and turmeric. These ingredients work together to create a flavorful and aromatic dish. If you are looking to make shish taouk at home, be sure to use these key spices to achieve authentic results.
Why we love it:
The use of yogurt and lemon in the chicken marinade both give this dish a bright, citrusy flavor and result in ultra-tender chicken as the proteins and acid in the marinade break down the chicken. Pairing those zesty base ingredients with our bold spice blend including cumin, cinnamon, coriander and paprika give this dish a unique richness and zest that pairs perfectly with french fries, chopped vegetables, hummus and bright garlic aioli.
Check out our favorite shish taouk recipe here. Happy cooking!