The Mediterranean Kebab is a late night catering option that has been increasing in popularity. It’s available in almost all major cities and towns and consists of small pieces of lamb meat, grilled on an open fire. It is typically served with thinly sliced onion, tomato sauce, garlic sauce, salad vegetables and french fries. A typical kebab stand offers the meal as a set for $8-12 depending on the location.
Mediterranean Kebab first appeared in the United States in the early 1960s, introduced by immigrants from Greece and Turkey. It then rapidly spread throughout many of the big cities with a large Greek & Turkish population. Nowadays it can also be found in countries all over Europe (e.g.: Germany, France, Spain, Italy etc.), as well as other parts of the world where there are significant populations of expats from those countries.
The kebab is often sold by street vendors from small carts or trucks. Some small restaurants may also serve it as their late night fast food option.
The hardest part when eating a kebab is choosing the sauce to enhance the taste of the meat. To stay traditional, the easiest sauce to make yourself is the unmissable white sauce. You will need: Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, sweet pepper, garlic, shallots and parsley. Mix everything, add a little salt and pepper and you’re done.
Traditionally, kebabs are cooked on an open grill with a fire underneath (similar to a barbecue), though many modern shops use a portable gas barbeque instead. Many modern recipes include lamb, chicken, and even seafood which adds variety beyond the traditional beef variety. It is also considered one of the major fast foods of the Mediterranean region in general.
On this occasion, I decided to prepare a typical kebab of the Mediterranean region. They are usually served as an appetizer but you can use them for many other things such as soups, salads, etc.
The Mediterranean Kebab with Beef
For the marinade
Up to 20 skewers may be prepared. If you're going to use bamboo or wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least an hour before using them.
To make a spice rub for the cubed beef, combine all of the spices in a mixing dish.
Combine the spices with the meat cubes and toss well to uniformly coat the meat.
Prepare the marinade and add the meat cubes that have been seasoned. Combine the marinade ingredients of red onions, lemon juice, and olive oil in a big and deep bowl. Toss the seasoned beef into the marinade and work it in thoroughly with your hands. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes after covering (preferably 2 to 4 hours or overnight depending on the kind of meat you are using).
1 hour before grilling, remove the meat from the refrigerator.
Heat a gas grill for 10 minutes on high after lightly oiling the grates.
Using skewers, thread the meat and vegetables together. Alternate threading the beef, tomatoes, green peppers, and red peppers onto the skewers until you run out of meat (about 4 pieces of meat per skewer with the vegetables nestled in between as you see in the photos). Add more freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Do not throw out the marinade quite yet.)
Preheat the grill. Preheat the grill and place the shish kabobs on it. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating regularly, depending on how hot your grill is and how well-done you like your steak. As the kabobs cook, brush the meat with some of the marinade a couple of times as you transform the skewers.
Leave to cool before serving. Switch to a serving platter after removing from the sun. Allow the kabobs to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 273.7
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 10.6g17%
- Saturated Fat 3.4g17%
- Potassium 649mg19%
- Total Carbohydrate 8.4g3%
- Protein 31.2g63%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.