Souvlaki

Souvlaki

Souvlaki is Greek streetfood. The word means skewered meat. I also have a pan version that’s a bit quicker and easier. But for best results use skewers on a grill.


In Greece, souvlaki is served in a pita bread, often with tzatziki and fried potato wedges.


The marinade/dressing, called “ladolemono”, is key for the authentic street food taste. It only tastes authentic when using wild oregano from Greece.

Ingredients (for either versions)

  • 2 pounds of meat (chicken breast/thigh or pork tenderloin are most traditional)

  • Cooking oil if doing the pan version, I use avocado oil spray

  • Optional: 2 red onions for skewer version

  • Marinade ingredients

    • 5-6 tbsp good olive oil, ideally from Greece

    • juice and pulp of 2 lemons

    • 2 tsp kosher salt

    • 1 tsp ground black pepper

    • 1-2 tbsp dried greek wild oregano

    • 5-10 cloves crushed garlic

  • Dressing/basting ingredients

    • 3 tbsp good olive oil, ideally from Greece

    • juice of 1 lemon

    • 1 tsp dried greek wild oregano

    • 2 thinly sliced cloves of garlic

Preparation, one day before serving

    • Combine dressing/basting ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate

    • Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold meat and let sit while preparing the meat

    • Trim meat, cut into 1 inch cubes.

    • Add meat to bowl with marinade, mix very well until all meat is covered evenly.

    • Cover tightly, and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes, better 2 hours, best overnight.

Cubed meat (before the marinade is poured over it), marinade, and dressing/basting

Pan Version

Preparation, 1/2 hour before

    • Remove meat and dressing from fridge and let come to room temperature

    • Gently stir meat to evenly distribute marinade that might have settled

Cooking

    • Heat non-stick skillet on medium heat until hot

    • Spray pan with avocado oil spray, wait for oil to heat up, and gently place a few meat cubes into pan without crowding it

    • Rotate cubes every minute or so until all surfaces are evenly browned and chicken is cooked through

    • Remove each cube when it’s ready and place into clean bowl that’s large enough to hold all meat, until all cubes in batch are done.

    • Spray again with avocado oil, add more raw meat cubes and repeat, until all meat is cooked.

    • If any marinade is left over in the raw meat bowl after all meat is cooked, pour into pan (with all the cooked meat removed), cook until pasteurized, then pour over cooked meat.

Serving

    • Optional: remove garlic slices from dressing

    • Pour dressing over cooked meat, toss gently

Skewer assembly. Leave room on both ends!

Skewer version

Preparation, 2 hour before

    • Soak wooden skewers in water for a couple of hours, or use metal skewers

Preparation, 1/2 hour before

    • Start your grill fire if you're using charcoal. Set up for even, direct heat.

    • Remove meat and basting liquid from fridge, gently stir meat to evenly distribute marinade that might have settled

    • Put meat cubes on skewers, don’t crowd or push together. For added awesomeness, put pieces of red onion between each meat chunk. Remember to leave space at both ends of skewer to be able to handle it.

    • If you have leftover marinade, meat and onion bits (if you cut up too much onion): add all to a pan, with some fun spices like cayenne and chili powder. Heat until liquid is boiling, then turn down heat to medium and cook until lemon juice has evaporated and meat is done. Makes a delicious snack with some carrots.

Cooking

    • Remove garlic slices from basting liquid

    • To prevent sticking, spray griddle with avocado oil spray, or baste grill grate with avocado oil

    • Once meat is at room temperature, cook on griddle (medium heat) or grill until chicken is done (about 15-20 minutes), constantly rotating to allow for even browning.

    • Use the dressing to baste the meat with a heat-proof brush (once the outside of meat is pasteurized)

Serving

    • If any dressing is left over after basting, drizzle rest over cooked meat

Garnish ideas

    • Thinly sliced red onion

    • Thinly sliced tomatoes

    • Thinly sliced cucumber

    • Greek olives

    • Pita bread

    • Greek salad

    • Tzatziki



The finished product, skewer version