These deliciously spiced, Nigerian beef suya skewers have grown quite popular over the last few years. This mouthwatering street food is traditionally made with beef, and we are here for it!
What is Suya?
- Suya is a popular West African spicy beef, chicken, mutton, or organ meat skewer. These skewers are seasoned with a flavorful spiced peanut powder suya spice called yajji. While this mixture is primarily used for suya, it makes a great spice rub for grilled or baked pork ribs, fish, shrimp, and vegetables like cauliflower steaks or smaller items such as brussels sprouts and carrots.
- Typically, suya meat is cut into thin strips then weaved onto skewers. This is similar to the technique used for Indonesian satay. However, some cooks will use cubed meat instead. We recommend tri-tip, chuck, or sirloin beef roasts for this recipe.
What does Suya Spice Taste like?
Suya spice or yajji imparts a smoky, nutty, and savory flavor to meats and vegetables. The ground peanuts give it a uniquely delicious taste, and the red pepper adds a nice kick of heat. In Nigeria, suya can be quite hot! For westerners, it’s advised to use a small bit of cayenne pepper and increase the amount once acclimated.
Ingredients for Beef Suya Skewers:
- Tri-tip, chuck, or sirloin tip roast
- Green onion
- Red onion (garnish)
- Roasted peanuts
- Cayenne pepper
- Salt and black pepper
- Granulated garlic
- Onion powder
How to Make Beef Suya:
- Pulse roasted peanuts in a food processor 8-10 times, or until they have a meal-like consistency.
- Transfer to a baking sheet, and add remaining rub ingredients. Add more salt as needed.
- Cut beef into 1 ½” cubes, and thread 5-6 pieces onto each skewer. Do not overcrowd.
- Brush meat with oil, front and back, and dip each beef suya skewers into the baking sheet with peanut mixture. Turn over, and dip the other side.
Grilling Beef Suya Skewers:
- Place beef suya skewers onto the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, turn and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the beef suya reaches 150-165 degrees F. Check several pieces before removing from the grill.
- Set beef suya skewers onto a platter and garnish with sliced red onion (optional). Serve immediately.
- Store leftover beef suya skewers: Remove them from skewers and store meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- *Substitute with other types of meat. If using chicken or turkey, cook meat until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. If using meat replacements, including extra firm tofu or seitan, use package recommendations for doneness temps.
Beef Suya Skewers
- 3 pounds beef roast (tri-tip, chuck, or sirloin tip roast)
- 8-10 skewers (presoak wooden skewers for 30 minutes in tepid water before using.)
- 1/2 small red onion sliced (garnish)
- Spice rub:
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper use less or more if preferred
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Place peanuts into a food processor and pulse ten times or so until it forms a meal-like consistency similar to cornmeal. Transfer crushed peanuts to a baking sheet, and combine with the remaining rub ingredients. Taste for salt content and add more if needed.
- Preheat grill for medium-high heat (375 degrees F.). When the grill is ready, oil the grill grates using tongs and folded paper towels. Dip the paper towels into the oil and make several passes to create a non-stick surface. You can also use an oiling spray specifically designed for grills grates.
- Cut beef roast into 1 ½” cubes, and thread 5-6 pieces onto each skewer. Do not overcrowd. Brush the meat with oil on both sides.. Dip each skewer into the baking sheet with peanut mixture. Turn over, and dip the other side.
- Place skewers onto the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, turn and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches between 150-165 degrees F. Check several pieces before removing the kebabs.
- Set grilled skewers onto a clean serving platter and garnish with sliced red onion. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers by removing the meat from the skewers and storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days after preparation.
- *You can substitute the beef with other cuts of meat like lamb and pork. Adjust cooking times for your desired doneness. Always cook fish and seafood to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Chicken and turkey must be cooked to 165 degrees F. If using meat replacements, including extra firm tofu or seitan, use package recommendations for doneness temps.