Inspired by Nigerian street food, this is my interpretation of Beef Suya. This version uses common ingredients respecting the same toasty, spicy profile with all of the aromatics. The cedar skewers are used in this recipe to enhance the flavor of the spices when grilling. It is traditionally served right off the skewer with slices of fresh tomatoes and red onions and a side of the spice mix. I prefer to use a grilled pita to bring it all together.

Total Time:


  • 6 Flat Cedar Skewers
  • 1 ½ lb boneless short rib
  • ⅔ C roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • ¼ C neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 fresh pitas

Chef's Tip

I chose to highlight the meat in a pita, but serve it how you want!  This is also fantastic on flour tortillas, or over flavored rice. If you’re paleo, that just means you’ll have to eat more skewers (darn!)


  1. Slice the beef into thin, long ¼” thick strips for the skewers. Make sure to slice against the grain to ensure that it’s tender when eating.
  2. For the spices: grind the peanuts in a food processor until very fine. Add the rest of the spice ingredients except for the oil to the peanuts and pulse to mix.
  3. Pour the spices into a bowl and mix with the oil, it should turn into a paste.
  4. Put the beef and the spice paste into a zipper bag and place in the fridge. Marinade for at least 2 hours.
  5. Soak the cedar wood skewers in hot water for about 20 minutes.
  6. Skewer the beef, using 3-5 pieces per skewer depending on the size.
  7. Heat your grill to high.
  8. Grill the beef for about 4 minutes per side, depending on how hot your grill is.
  9. Brush the pitas with oil and grill for 2 minutes on each side.
  10. Serve with sliced or roasted tomatoes and red onions for a traditional pairing. 


*Keep a spray bottle of water handy in case of flare-ups.

Used in this recipe:

Flat Cedar Skewers