How to make juicy kebabs of shrimp spiced with Nigerian suya (yaji) seasoning mix and cooked in just about five minutes the oven
You've just landed in an exceptionally delicious corner of the internet. Today, we're talking about how to make suya at home. If you know what suya is, your mouth is probably already watering. And if you don't know, here's a quick run down. Suya is an iconic West African street food that originated in northern Nigeria. It's grilled meat, usually beef or chicken--but sometimes shrimp or even fish--that's marinated in a smoky, fiery, nutty spice blend then grilled. Enjoying hot, sizzling, flavorful suya shrimps is an experience everyone should have. And this shortcut to one of my favorite West African recipes puts in in your hands in about 10 minutes total. Let's get into it!
If you enjoy Nigerian food, try these recipes, too:
What is Suya Made of?
To make suya, you'll need protein, in this case shrimps. You'll also need authentic suya spice. I use my homemade suya spice mix always because it's so easy and delicious. You can also buy it premade from African food stores or online. Suya pepper goes well on everything, even vegetables, and these suya shrimp skewers are truly a treat. Add these things to your shopping list:
How to Grill in the Oven
Traditionally, suya is cooked over open flame on a grill, which adds to the flavor. In this baked shrimp suya recipe, you can get a similar effect at home without firing up your grill. It's great for when the weather isn't ideal, if you don't have access to a grill, or simply don't want to go outside. To "grill" suya in the oven, follow these steps:
- Cover your middle oven rack with foil. This will catch any drips from the suya skewers.
- Spray down the top rack with non-stick cooking spray. This is where you'll place the shrimps.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Farenheit. You can even use the broil setting.
- Place the skewers directly on the prepped top oven rack to cook. You should hear them sizzle!
Cooking suya at home is really as simple as this. And you can use this same process with suya beef or chicken. The cooking times will just be longer. While you're here, get my grilled suya rib recipe, too!
Tips for Making Suya Skewers in the Oven
- How to soak skewers for the oven? Soaking the skewers before roasting or grilling helps them not to burn. To do it, place the skewers in a dish or pan with enough water to cover them. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes and pat dry after removing.
- Do I need to marinate suya? In this recipe you can season your shrimp without a marinating period and it will come out amazing. For even deeper flavor, you'll want to let your meat marinate for 30 minutes or so. Traditional suya marinates even longer.
- What kind of oil to use for suya in the oven? When roasting or broiling at 450 degrees, I recommend using an oil with a higher smoke point like grapeseed or avocado. It's not totally necessary with this recipe, though, since the shrimp is only in the oven for a few minutes. So olive oil works just as well.
- What to serve with suya? Suya is typically served with slices of red onion and wedges of lime. As a street food, it's often served in newspaper, which is an inexpensive and effective way to catch excess oil. You can enjoy it as a snack or appetizer or the protein part of a meal. I like eating suya with dodo and sometimes a side salad.
I hope you get this recipe in your life and enjoy very soon. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this oven-baked suya shrimp recipe on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
How to Make Suya in the Oven
Juicy, oven-baked shrimp with smoky, nutty, fiery flavor from Nigerian suya spice
- 2 pounds shrimp peeled and cleaned
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup suya spice
- 8 wooden skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
Cover the middle oven rack with aluminum foil. This will catch any drips from the shrimp as they cook. Spray the top rack with non-stick cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add shrimp to a large bowl and season with sea salt and suya spice then drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands or a large spoon, toss the shrimp until it's evenly coated.
Thread the shrimp through prepared skewers.
Place skewers directly on top oven rack. Cook for about six minutes or until they are a deep orange/coral color and no longer translucent.