United Arab Emirates – Shish Taouk

by Adelina Aida

This is a dish from Middle East Cuisine. It is loved and serves in many regions like Dubai, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, etc. This is actually a skewered chicken that is marinated with different spices and herbs to get the flavors with full zeal and zest. This marinated chicken is in small chunks shaped and when marinated, the spices and ingredients invaginate completely into it. Then after some time of marination, the chicken is arranged into bar b que wooden sticks or steel skewers and then grill over the pan.

This middle east dish is very similiar with the one of the Persian dish named as Jujeh Kabab.

Jujeh Kabab

This is the Persian dish which is almost the same in ingredients and cooking methods. Taste is also almost very similar to the Shish Taouk. This is also a marinated grill skewered chicken which is served on the plate of Iranian-style cooked rice.

On the skewers, marinated chicken with some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, onions or capsicum are also cooked. This grilled chicken and cooked vegetables are served on the plate of cooked rice.

The servings of the Jejuh Kabab is different from the Shish Taouk. Although the taste and flavors are super same

The meaning of the word SHISH TAOUK is very difficult to find out because it is a dish from different regions and the meaning of the word is different in different languages. So scholar after many pieces of research and from the cooking method and use of ingredients in the dish came up with the meaning like :

”SHISH”, means skewers in Turkish Language. The word ”SIKH” similar with SHISH in Persia also means SKEWERS.

‘TAOUK”, in Old syrian Arabic means CHICKEN

So as the dish is, Skewered Chicken is the meaning of the Shish Taouk.

This dish as it is from the various regions, It has different modes of serving like the following :

Different serving methods

  • This dish can be eaten in the sandwich, it is either served on the side of the sandwich plate.
  • In Persia, this dish is served with a plate of rice having some grilled vegetables, and Shish Taouk.
  • In Turkish cuisine, this is a platter of Shish Taouk with grilled vegetables, some sauce, yogurt, and rice.
  • In Syria, it is served with the special garlic sauce known as Toum.
  • Sandwiches version of this dish is with lettuce, pickle, tomatoes and different different sauces

There are varieties of sauces made which can be served with Shish Taouk are the followings :

1. Toum

This is special Lebanese garlic dip served with many dishes like shish Taouk etc.

This include raw garlic, some salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Blend to form this kind of smooth paste to serve with different dishes.

2. Hummus

It is a proper Arabic dip in which boiled white chickpea with some seasonings, olive oil, salt and sesame seeds blended together and served to make dishes more with flavors.

3. Tabbouleh

It is a salad dip in which different vegetables chopped into very finely textured and mixed together. They seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, etc. Vegetables like onions, parsley, tomatoes, mint leaves, bulgurs, cucumber etc is used.

4. Tahini sauce

Tahini is a sauce of blended Sesame seeds with olive oil.

Cuisine : Middle east cuisine

Origin : United Arab Emirates

Course : main dish

Time : 1 hour

Yield : 6 to 8 person

Temperature : hot servings

Ingredients of Shish Taouk

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 2 lemon juice
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil/ vegetable oil
  • 4 Chicken breast pieces ( cut into small cubes )
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoon green chilies paste


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons rosemerry powder
  • 1.2 teaspoon oregano

Chicken marination

Take a huge bowl and mix all the ingredients into a bowl to form a smooth thick textured paste. Now add chicken chunks into the mixture and marinated for 1/2 hour.

Cooking Method

  • This dish is grilled on the stove either over the charcoal.
  • Now this marinated chicken is arranged on the skewers like 4 to 5 chunks on 1 skewer.
  • Heat the grill pan, drizzle some oil over it.
  • Cook chicken from one side for at least 5 minutes, and then from the other side.
  • Chicken pieces are small so they tendered and cooked easily.
  • Drizzle some oil if you need more color for the chicken. It gives a nice brown color to the chicken.
  • Enjoy this dish with a sauce like tahini and hummus etc.
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