Chicken skewer Shish Taouk
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Chicken skewers - Shish Taouk

Spring is finally here and I'm getting more and more into the grilling mood every day. Luckily, the Lebanese are a barbecue-mad people and therefore there are also some recipes that I don't want to deprive you of. After the smoky aubergine salad, this week I would like to introduce you to a Lebanese classic from the grill: Shish Taouk.

These delicious chicken skewers are marinated in yoghurt, a little vinegar, lemon and spices. The name Shish Taouk (or Shish Tawook) originally comes from the Turkish şiş tavuk. Tavuk means chicken in Turkish - and şiş means skewer. I have absolutely no idea how and why the name was adopted - but one thing is certain: this grilled delicacy is an absolute classic in Lebanon, Syria and Israel and should not be missing from any barbecue adventure.

The acid makes the meat tender and keeps it wonderfully juicy when grilled. I always find it particularly nice to hold the chicken skewers against a piece of flat bread and dab them with it while grilling. That way, some of the marinade and barbecue juices end up in the bread. The flavoured flatbread is then passed around as a snack before the grilled meat is done.


And because Lebanese flatbread has such a great round shape, you can also make it into a kind of plate or barbecue mitt. The skewers, which are still hot, can be wrapped in a flatbread and transported - and when you arrive at the place, you simply unroll the bread again, have your skewers in it and add some purple sumac onions, some hummus and taboulé on top. If you don't want to eat at the place, just wrap it all up and have a brilliant barbecue wrap - but don't forget to pull the meat off the skewers first before you bite into it 😉

Sumac onions - the perfect companion

What are sumac onions? They are raw onion rings that have been rubbed with a generous amount of sumac, giving them their beautiful purple colour and a strong tangy flavour. This goes perfectly with shish taouk.

Other delicacies from the grill are kafta and kafta in pita bread.

What are your absolute barbecue classics?

Recipe for Shish Taouk

Chicken skewer Shish Taouk
Print recipe
Preparation time 20 minutes
Preparation time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Servings 6 Skewers

Cooking utensils

  • Grill skewers


  • 500 g Chicken breast fillet

For the marinade

  • 5 TBSP Yogurt
  • 3 El Olive oil
  • 1 TBSP Lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 TBSP Red wine vinegar
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • Lemon zest of half a lemon
  • 2 TSP Salt
  • 1 pinch Pepper
  • 1 pinch cloves ground
  • 1 pinch Cardamom ground
  • 1/2 Tl Sumac
  • 1/2 TL paprika noble sweet
  • 1 TSP Tomato paste


    For the purple sumac onions


    Shish Taouk

    • Cut the chicken breast fillets into cubes.
    • Peel the garlic and crush it in a mortar.
    • Stir all the ingredients together to make a marinade, add the chicken cubes and mix everything thoroughly.
    • The chicken should marinate for at least 2 hours.
    • Now put the chicken cubes on skewers and grill them all around on the barbecue.

    Sumac onions

    • Peel the onion, cut it into rings and mix in the sumac.

    Serve shish taouk and onions on a pita bread with hummus and taboulé.


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      1. Soooo delicious 😋 😍 We are thrilled and totally stuffed. Thank you for this great recipe💐

        1. Hey Nancy, the next day you can also wrap them with hummus in a pita bread ❤
          Thanks for your great feedback.
          Many greetings

      2. Excellent! We tried it the other day at a barbecue with the neighbours. With the broad bean salad. We got a lot of praise for both 🙂 .

        That will probably happen more often in the future. Thank you!

        1. Hey Claudia,
          well, that sounds like a successful barbecue 🙂
          Best regards

      3. 5 stars
        Dear Rafik,
        many, many thanks for this delicious marinade! I found the recipe last night and my husband happened to have bought turkey for another recipe. We were both thrilled!
        And now I'm going to make myself comfortable and continue browsing your delicious suggestions ....
        Many greetings - also to your mother 😊

        1. Hello Ina,
          Thank you so much for your great feedback!
          I'm really pleased that you liked it. I am very happy to send you my regards 🙂

          Best wishes and have fun browsing and cooking,

        1. Hello Stefan,
          thank you very much for your great feedback 🙂

          Kind regards

      4. I love this recipe, is now a grill standard with us.
        Am anyway delighted to have discovered your site and all the tasty Lebanese dishes to be able to cook...since I always get grad homesick.

        1. Hello Diana,
          thank you very much for the great feedback 🙂 I'm really glad that you like it. Wish you still a lot of fun cooking and trying out. 🙂

          Kind regards

      5. Thank you so much for the great recipe. I tried it tonight with your taboulé. Both delicious!

        1. Hey Brit,
          I'm so glad you liked it 🙂 Thank you so much for your great feedback.

          Kind regards

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