Nigerian Suya Skewers

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This Nigerian Suya Skewers recipe is taken from our African Cuisine/Nigerian Cuisine page. Nigerian Suya Skewers are as popular in Nigeria as the hot dog and hamburger are in the USA. Every culture has its favored “fast foods” and treats that can be bought in the marketplace, freshly prepared by street vendors. This spicy, barbecued beef treat can be found everywhere in every city, town and village in Nigeria. And you can prepare it at home with your charcoal or gas grill and achieve authentic results with the following recipe.

Nigerian Suya Skewers

(Photo Attributed to Author: Honeybee5512)

Nigerian Suya Skewers Recipe-


You will need:

  • grilling skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 5 or 6 hours before preparing your suya.
  • a gas or charcoal grille.
  1. Using a very sharp knife, slice the beef lengthwise into very thin fillets.
  2. Depending on how long your cut of beef is, you may want to crosscut the fillets into smaller pieces, so they will thread onto the skewers and not flop about too much.
  3. Thread the fillets onto the skewers.
  4. Pour some peanut oil in a in a large, shallow bowl, add in a bit of salt and stir. Take a cooking brush and brush the peanut oil all over the threaded fillets, so the suya spice will adhere to the meat.
  5. Now take a wide dish, spread out the suya spice and roll the threaded fillets in the spice in such a way the the fillets are coated all over with suya spice.
  6. Put all the skewers, now loaded with spice coated fillets, on a large platter, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for at least a full hour. Do not refrigerate – traditional, authentic Nigerian suya is marinated at room temperature.
  7. Toward the end of the marinating period, preheat your grille to its high heat setting (for gas grilles – for charcoal, you want the coals to be white hot).
  8. Place the beef flat on the grille’s grid, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another 10 to 12 minutes. If using charcoal, have some beer on hand to douse the flame as needed if and when the meat starts to char. You want it well done, but not burnt.
  9. Next, brush on some more peanut oil on both sides of the fillets, and grille some more, about 3 minutes on each side.
  10. Serve your Nigerian Suya Skewers with sliced raw onions. Some like to also serve their suya with even more side condiments, like sliced tomatoes, chunks of cabbage, and sliced cucumber.

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8 thoughts on “Nigerian Suya Skewers

  1. I’m into all kinds of ethnic street foods, and I have a grille that does both charcoal and gas. I really want to try this suya ….. which do you recommend for BEST results – gas or charcoal?

    • Hans, both will work well, and it is my understanding that Nigerians themselves use either method of heat for grilling. So it is really up to your personal tastes. Me? I would use gas, with wood smoking chips. This gives you the best of both methods – the adjustability of gas flame, as well as that special smoky, woody flavor that good hardwood charcoal imparts into meats.

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