During the pandemic, Michael Symon started a new show called Symon’s Dinners Cooking Out. Joined by his wife Lizzie and their friend Liv, he prepared meals outside exclusively on the grill. While this recipe for souvlaki is perfectly suited to the grill, he also made unexpected things, like cakes and pastas.
In Hawaii we can grill year-round, but if you live in area that will soon be turning colder, celebrate the waning days of summer and make this recipe before you put away your grill for the season.
What is souvlaki?
Souvlaki is Greek street food, typically grilled pork on a skewer that may be served as is or in a pita (skewer removed). It seems that there as many recipes for souvlaki as there are families in Greece. This is the version that Michael Symon shared on his show.
One thing I didn’t know was that souvlaki is traditionally made with pork. I have often seen it as either chicken or lamb, but never with pork. The first time we made souvlaki we made the recipe exactly as written, using pork tenderloin and chicken breast. We loved it. The next time we decided to try it with shrimp – not sure how traditional it is to use seafood, but we loved it too.
Teamwork makes the dream work
This is a dish that can easily be made by one person but it’s great when you have someone to work with. In our house, my sister is the grill master. Whether it’s a quick grill like souvlaki or ribs cooked low and slow, she is the queen. I serve as the sous chef, bringing what she needs from the kitchen.
My sister starts the process when we make souvlaki – she preps the proteins and the marinade, then takes a short break before prepping the grill. The proteins only need an hour to marinate, although you could marinate the chicken or pork overnight, not the shrimp.
While she is prepping the grill, I’m on skewer duty. By the time I’m done, the grill is ready. In all, the proteins need about 10 minutes on the grill, the shrimp, usually less. In that time, I’ve got the accoutrements ready – shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, tzatziki sauce. Once the proteins are cooked, we are ready to eat.
Enjoy souvlaki year round
In Hawaii we can grill year-round. In most areas that experience defined seasons, this is a dish that could be made at least three seasons out of the year, four if you cook under the broiler. I wouldn’t opt for cooking under the broiler only because there is flavor that only the grill can impart, but if you’re hankering for souvlaki and there’s a foot of snow outside, the broiler is the way to go.Print
Delicious Greek marinated and grilled meats are served with a cool, herby, yogurt sauce for a perfect summer meal.
For the souvlaki
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast; pork tenderloin; or 16–20 shrimp
1 large red onion, sliced into 1/2” slices
For the marinade
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
For the tzatziki
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the souvlaki
If using wooden skewers, soak in water with a little salt for 1 hour
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients.
To prepare the proteins – cut chicken breast or pork tenderloin into 1” pieces; peel and devein shrimp.
If using different proteins, place each protein in a separate mixing bowl. Place the sliced red onion into its own bowl. Split the marinade evenly between the proteins, reserving a little for the red onion. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. If marinating shrimp, marinate for 1 hour, maximum, do not marinate overnight.
While the proteins marinate, prepare your grill for indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, build the coals on one side only. If using a gas grill, heat one side only.
Remove the proteins from the marinade and thread onto skewers. Keep the proteins separated as they cook at different speeds.
Place the skewers on the direct-heat side of the grill to char on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Then move to the indirect-heat side of the grill, cover with the lid and cook until the chicken and pork are cooked through, about 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees F and the pork reaches 145 degrees F. Grill the shrimp for about 2 minutes per side. Stack the skewers on a platter.
Place the onion slices on the direct-heat side of the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or to the desired doneness.
Serve with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pita, and tzatziki.
For the tzatziki
Combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill, mint, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Inactive Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Main Dishes
- Cuisine: Greek
- Calories: 838.48
- Sugar: 4.26 g.
- Sodium: 880.5 g.
- Fat: 63.95 g.
- Saturated Fat: 9.35 g.
- Carbohydrates: 8.78 g.
- Fiber: 1.4 g.
- Protein: 56.75 g.
- Cholesterol: 148.9 g.
Keywords: pork, shrimp, Michael Symon