How to make the perfect kebab - top chef shares secret recipe and top tips
If anyone is an authority on kebabs it is Önder. He has trained more than 500 chefs and one of his young waiters was once none other than British Kebab Awards founder Ibrahim Dogus. A kebab chef’s apprenticeship takes two years but Önder and Bekzod, who has been a chef for 14 years, have shared their top tricks so you can make the perfect kebab. Here's what you need, the best tips and preparation and how to make it.
What type of meat?
For chicken shish it is only breast meat and for lamb, it is mid-neck as that is the most succulent.
How to make the marinade
The perfect kebab is the result of marination. The lamb and chicken must sit in a marinade of onions, bell pepper paste, white pepper, garlic, long-life milk, olive oil, tomato purée and fresh lime for 24 hours.
Hazev serves 300 covers every day and marinates 40kg of chicken and 60-100 neck fillets in one go every day for the following day’s service.
Make sure the grill is hot
The charcoal must be allowed to turn white so it burns more evenly at a less ferocious temperature. It should be glowing but not on fire. When using smaller piece of meat, the coals you use should be smaller so the outside of your kebab doesn’t cook as fast compared to the middle.
What size does the meat need to be
Chicken and lamb should be cut between 20-30grams per piece, five pieces per skewer. Lamb is cut slightly bigger than chicken because it loses more moisture and fat, and shrinks more during cooking.
How long should you cook it for?
If it’s your first time cooking a kebab go for chicken first - it’s easier to check it’s cooked because, unlike lamb, you want to cook it all the way through and it won’t give too much if pressed between your fingers.
It should take between 5 and 7 minutes to cook your kebab, turning part way through cooking and basting with melted butter.
How to serve it
Kebabs are not traditionally served inside a pita but with rice or cous-cous. Cous-cous is more traditional and is said to aid digestion. It is associated with meals served outside the major cities where rice is more commonly served.
How to make the perfect kebab
1. Take the lamb neck and remove the fat
2. Add tomato paste, olive oil, milk and lime juice
3. Season with paprika, cumin and salt
4. Mix together and marinade for 24 hours
5. Repeat the same process for your chicken, cut it up.
6. Chop up some garlic, squeeze in the lime juice and a generous glug of olive oil.
7. Add some UHT milk. Mix it up.
Now the mince kebab...
8. Add onion, peppers, herbs to the mince.
9. Add cumin, salt, paprika and dried chilli.
10. Massage the mince.
11. Spread the mixture evenly on the skewer.
13. Skewer the lamb and chicken.
14. Make sure the coals are hot - and there are no flames.
15. Make sure it is cooked through but tender.
16. Keep basting with butter to stop it burning.
17. Serve them all with cous cous.