Stickless Shish-Kabobs

Full recipe and step-by-step directions at How To Cook Like Your Grandmother

The first kebabs — and I can’t even write that without hearing it in Jamie Oliver’s voice — were made by soldiers cooking meat by skewering it on their swords and holding it over camp fires. Well, that’s what the Arabic tradition says anyway. But like anything popular, everyone is trying to claim it.

Use the sword if you’ve got it. Or use this method that doesn’t require a sword … or an open fire … or any cooking skill whatsoever.

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What Readers Are Saying

I'm always so gung-ho to start and I do well after the first week, then I get lazy, I don't bring the right food to eat at work, I end up going out for food and before you know it, I'm back to my old bad habits.


  1. says

    The damn sticks have stopped me many times. What do I look like a soldier in the field? thanks Drew for taking the mystery away and for the great recipe. can’t wait for more.

  2. Mike Huber says

    I really can’t imagine a serious soldier abusing his weapon’s surface by putting food on it, and then risking the weapon’s temper by putting it over a fire.

    I’m not sure what kind of sword was involved, but most are really too wide for skewering veggies. The rapier the only sword I know of that would make a good kebab. It is a very late weapon, and mostly used for dueling, not war.

    Extra tent-stake or whatever, sure. But I really doubt a sword.

    • says

      Mike, if you use bigger hunks a sword would work just fine. And I think soldiering was a much less “professional” activity in the time we’re talking about.