30 Minutes BBQ!

The other day I finished work quite late and my wife was working from home and very busy. We were starving so I wanted something quick but I wasn't in the mood for a take away. I wanted something that tastes of home.

So on my way back
I went to tesco for some inspiration. In the meat isle I found chicken breasts ready cut into cubes. Nothing could possibly cook quicker. Perfect choice but what to do with it? I walked into the vegetable isles and I found these most beautiful Ramiro peppers. I love these peppers, sweet and delicate, I especially like them grilled. I got an idea. I am going to make a barbecue!

Not a full barbecue at seven in the evening in the middle of winter of course, but one Syrian variety, Shish Tawook.

Shish Tawook is a chicken breasts kebab very popular in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey were the name originates. There are many different recipes on marinading the chicken but they all share an essential ingredient, yoghurt.

In Syria Shish Tawook is always served with Toum, a delicious garlic sauce/dip that marries beautifully with all grilled chicken varieties. Due to time restrains I didn't make a proper Toum (I will post a recipe sometime in the future) but I made my super-fast Toum instead. Shish tawook is either served as a part of a barbecue platter with bread, mezze ... etc. or, quite often, as a sandwich in a flat bread roll or a bun.

Shopping is done. Now I am walking home, almost seven, and I set myself 30 minutes target from start to finish.

Walked through the door, stop watch started. Oven turned on to 200 degrees, Arabic bread out of the freezer.

Started to marinate the chicken, yoghurt, paprika, salt .... etc. Red onion and red pepper chopped.

Griddle pan on the cooker on maximum temperature. Meat and vegetables started to go onto the skewers.

Pan still not hot enough. I should start preparing the salad.

Finally, chicken is on the griddle pan. Salad chopping still going.

Chicken nicely charred on one side. Turned to the other side and the pan into the oven. I am still on time, chicken needs 12-13 minutes in the oven.

Vinegar, sumac, olive oil, lemon juice ... salad is ready. Now to the garlic sauce.

Chicken still needs another minute or so in the oven. I will slice the cucumber pickle and get the sandwiches ready.

Chicken out of the oven. I only have a couple of minutes to take a decent photo for the blog.

Photos taken. Sandwiches ready. Salad in the plates. 45 seconds to spare.

Here is my home made shish tawook recipe:
Chicken breast cubes 400g

Red onion

Red pepper

For the Marinade:
Yoghurt 2tbsp
Vinegar 1tsp
Paprika 1tsp
Chilli powder 1/2tsp
Garlic powder 1tsp
Black pepper 1/2tsp
Olive oil

Super-fast Toum sauce:

Mayonnaise 4tbsp
Greek style yoghurt 2tbsp
White wine vinegar 1tsp
Garlic 3-4 cloves, crushed

Mix all the marinade ingredients, add the chicken and ideally leave in the fridge for a couple of hours. Cut the red peppers and the red onion into 1 inch squares. You can use green peppers or mushrooms if you wish. Once the chicken is marinated start to put it on the skewers alternating between a pieces of vegetables and chicken.

If it is summer cook on a coal barbecue in the garden. Otherwise heat a griddle pan till very hot. Put the chicken skewers and don't turn till one side starts to char to give the beautiful barbecue flavour. Once one side is ready turn the skewers and put the pan in a 200C hot oven to finish cooking for around 12 minutes. You can cook it fully on the griddle pan if you wish but I find the meat becomes too dry this way.

Mix all the ingredients of the Toum sauce with Salt and lemon to taste.

Serve the shish tawook with Arabic bread, toum, salad and whatever mezze you like. Or simply spread some of the toum sauce on the Arabic flat bread, add pickles and tomatoes if you wish and roll. In Turkey they serve the shish tawook with white rice and salad.


Unknown said...

SO impressive! And delicious!

Victor E. Sasson said...

You are a man after my own heart -- dinner in 30 minutes is about my limit, too. I have a big container of sumac in my freezer. Had no idea it could go into a salad dressing. Thanks.

Kano said...

Thank you for the nice words as always.

Kano said...

@victor sasson
Sumac is perfect for Arabic salad and fattoush. Give it a go.

SHAKUEY201 said...

Kano, great recipe, I made it on the grill last night (yes on the grill outside, it was rather mild for December in New Jersey)

Kano said...


Lucky for some! It is snowing here in London.

I am glad you liked the recipe.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Delicious super-fast meal!

My husband was keen to get the barbecue out at lunchtime today. In the 3" of snow on our back lawn. I said no.

Kano said...


you should have said Yes! It would have been fun.

16gb pro duo said...

I love this. And main thing its time saving and more tasty so, love it the most.Thanks for sharing!

Laura said...

I'm making a different version of this for dinner tomorrow. Yours looks wonderful. Great blog.

Kano said...


Sorry for the late reply. I just came back from 2 weeks holiday in Syria.

Thanks for the nice comments.

I really like your blog especially your granddad, looks like a great guy.

Sana Hurzuk said...

I made the toum to go with some grilled chicken. It was yummy but as I used regular yogurt instead of greek style it was a bit on the thin side. Can you please give the actual recipe it? I mean not the super fast one :)

Kano said...

@Sana Hurzuk

So sorry for the late reply. I will make Toum sometime in the future and publish but till then check these recipes from fellow food bloggers:





This last one is very interesting and completely different from the others. It asks for corn starch rather than the usual oil emulsion.

Sana Hurzuk said...

Hi Kano, thank you for the recipes. will surely try them, I made the shish tawook. it was delicious. also made hummus but not from your recipe and no surprises that it was a flop heheh will try your recipe next time.

Kano said...

@Sana Hurzuk

That will teach you! ;)

Ahluuul said...

I tried the Shish Tawook (I used thigh fillet). I marinated it for about four hours. It was very yummy. My husband said I needed to cook it over coal for more of a smoky Syrian taste - as you said you would do if it were Summer not Winter when you made it. I merely put it under the grill, not on a griddle.

I made the fast toum - usually I just mix salty crushed garlic with good egg mayonnaise, you can call it super-lazy toum :p - but with apple cider vinegar as I had no white wine vinegar on hand. I liked the tartness of the lemon and vinegar in your recipe.

Anonymous said...

another recipe for toum
1 boiled potato
4 cloves of garlic 3 tablespoon plus of canola oil
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon of salt
in a food processor mix potato a, garlic and salt add the oil slowly when it get creamy add the lemon it is dairy free and refrigerate well for few days

Kano said...

What are you cooking next?

You reminded me of my mum Toum recipe. she used to use boiled potato.

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