Nigerian Beef Suya

Picture of Beef Skewers Grilling on Grill Pan

Nigerian Beef Suya

Picture of Beef Skewers Grilling on Grill Pan

The aromas of spicy Nigerian Beef Suya fill the air as it grills.

Beef Suya is a popular street food found in Nigeria.  According to various sources, the street vendors will marinate and cook the meat on skewers earlier in the day and then rewarm over grills when they set up their stands in the evening.  Street vendors probably do the advance cooking so they can more quickly serve crowds in a more timely fashion.  I’ve only cooked and served them.  If you plan to grill in advance and rewarm, I’d suggest giving a good quick char over high heat so they don’t dry out when rewarmed.  At home you can cook these in a broiler if you don’t have a grill or grill pan to do them on.  It is usually served with a garnish of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage and onion as a cooling component to the spicy flavor of the spice blend.  If you’re serving this as a main course, you can skewer several pieces of meat on a long 12” metal or bamboo skewer.  If using it as an appetizer, 1 strip of meat should fit nicely on a 6” bamboo skewer.  Soaking bamboo skewers in water will help to keep them from burning under the broiler or on a grill.  This recipe is from the cookbook “Tuesday Nights” by Milk Street Cooking School.

When I prepared this on my Facebook Live show we paired it with Moroccan Carrot, Date and Grape Salad.

Picture of beef skewers with carrot salad

Nigerian Beef Suya paired with Moroccan Carrot, Date and Grape Salad


Yield:  4 Servings


1 ½ lbs. flat iron steak (flank steak or skirt steak could be substituted

1 teaspoon kosher salt


½ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Bamboo or metal skewers (soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 min. if putting under the broiler or on grill)

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 lime, cut into quarters for serving and garnish


Place meat in the freezer for about 1-2 hours until it’s just starting to feel firm, but not frozen solid.

When the meat is mostly firm, remove and slice across the grain into ½-inch thick strips that are just a bit less than ¼” thick.  Place meat into a bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.  Massage the meat to coat and mix with the salt.


In a food processor, combing the peanuts, paprika, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, Kosher salt and black pepper.  Process until mixture is finely ground.  Reserve 1/3 cup of the spice mix and then add the rest of the spice blend to the meat.  Add the oil to the meat and spice mixture and massage and mix to coat the meat evenly with the spice mixture.

You may marinate for several hours at this point or skewer and cook immediately.


Thread the meat onto skewers, weaving the skewer in and out and spreading out the meat so it lies nearly flat on the skewer.


Cook skewers in a preheat broiler, about 2-3 min. per side, or over a hot grill or grill pan.  Transfer skewers to a plate or platter.  Brush with lime juice and sprinkle with reserved spice mixture.  Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the top.

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