Shish Taouk

Şiş tavuk, Tavuk şiş or Shish taouk is a traditional Turkish shish (brochette), which can also be found in Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian, Lebanese, Egyptian, Israeli and Iraqi cuisines, but is made in kabab houses in many cities around the world. The dish originates from the Middle East, namely Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. A similar dish in Persian cuisine is the traditional jujeh kabab.

Shish Taouk
The dish consists of cubes of chicken that are marinated, then skewered and grilled. Common marinades are based upon yoghurt and lemon juice or tomato puree, though there are many variations. Shish taouk is typically eaten with toum (garlic paste).
Cuisine: Turkish
Recipe type: Kebabs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 900 g skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes or kebab sized chunks
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small slice lemon with the peel (optional, don't put too much)
  • 15 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 tablespoons Greek style plain yoghurt
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
For serving
  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together (except for garlic sauce) then thoroughly combine with the chicken
  2. Place chicken and marinade into a container, cover, and let marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  3. Skewer the chicken pieces just before grilling
  4. Grill on medium heat for 12-18 minutes (maximum, do not overcook)
  5. As soon as you remove the skewers from the grill place them in a large warm saucepan or container with a lid, cover with the lid tightly, and let rest for 8-10 minutes - this helps the chicken to moisten (this step is optional)
  6. Spread garlic paste along one edge of a pita bread, add some cucumber pickles, grilled tomatoes or capsicums, the grilled chicken shish tawook, roll up and enjoy. You could also toast the sandwich roll in a panini grill for 2-3 minutes.

Methods of serving Shish Taouk

  • The Turkish version is generally served with rice and a garlic paste along with vegetables.
  • The Lebanese version is usually served with hummus and tabbouleh. The sandwich version comes in a flat bread or pita seasoned with garlic paste, frequently accompanied by lettuce, tomatoes, and pickled turnips.
  • It is widely eaten in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, and Israel, either as a sandwich or on a platter with vegetables, sometimes with chips/French fries.

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