A shish kebab is a favorite meal or appetizer among many in the world. Its origins, however, lie around the Mediterranean and Middle East. While the dish's exact origin is not known, the word shish kebab seems to have originated from the Turkish word siskebabiu. Sis means skewer, and the word kebab means meat. The term also seems to have some roots in the Arabic and Persian word kebab.
Often, a shish kebab is prepared using any of a variety of meats and vegetables. Often lamb or pork, along with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and peppers are skewered onto a thin stick. It's then roasted over an open fire, or in in some parts of the world, a barbeque or grill.
While there are suggestions as to which meat and vegetables should be included, the overall creation of a shish kebab is really up to individual imagination. One might choose chicken or beef and eggplant or mushrooms for their meal, for example. Many people choose to marinate or otherwise season the meat before adding on to a skewer.
Typically, only one type of meat is used on a kebab. That can be lamb, beef, chicken, pork, fish, or shellfish. All meat shish kebabs are common. Chicken satay, for example, is a popular Thai dish containing only skewered chicken. Kebabs with alternating meat and vegetables is also common. For the vegan or vegetarian, all veggie kebabs are a great option with vegetable options ranging from onions to tomatoes to squash to eggplant.
Making shish kebabs can be fun and, quite often, they're a terrific way to entertain guests. All guests, in fact, can be involved with the preparation, and the amount of time to create and cook them is minimal.
Stainless steel or wooden skewers are often the best choice when making the perfect shish kebab. When using wooden skewers, soaking the sticks in water before skewering on the meats and vegetables is a good idea to help prevent the stick from burning over the open flame.
When cooking kebabs, some recommend spraying the skewer with cooking oil to prevent the food, especially the meat, from sticking to the skewer. When it is time to serve your dish, you may opt to serve the meats and veggies still on the skewer and over a bed of rice or you might remove the food from the stick as doing so at the dinner table can get a bit hairy. You may also choose to serve a dipping sauce to add extra flavoring. Possible sauces are endless but can range from tahini to tsatziki to barbeque to peanut sauce.
If you are not the imaginative type and wish to follow a recipe, finding shish kebab recipes online is very easy.