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5 Interesting Steak Kebab Recipes That Dare To Be Different

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Steak kebabs are a BBQ classic. The moment someone mentions these savory skewers at a cookout, everyone knows exactly what to expect. 

The usual beef kebabs are made with beef cubes marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs, threaded onto a stick with grilled bell peppers and onions.

But, what if you throw a curveball and serve up grilled kebabs, unlike anything your guests have had before? Now, that’s an idea I can get behind.

So, if you’re ready to make something different, here are five odd kebab recipes that’ll turn this grilled staple from predictable to unforgettable.

1. Wasabi-Ginger Steak Kebabs

We’re starting on a powerful note with these wasabi-ginger steak kebabs. 

Have you ever tried eating wasabi all on its own? If you haven’t, let me tell you that it’s a wild ride. The tiniest amount of this condiment can send your tears rolling down your face. 

Imagine pairing that strong flavor profile with something that’s equally sharp and potent like ginger. That’s what we’re doing here.

To get started, get a quarter cup of salt-reduced soy sauce, a teaspoon of wasabi paste, one crushed garlic clove, a tablespoon of mirin, a tablespoon of sesame oil, and 500 g of trimmed beef rump steak.

On top of those, get a bunch of trimmed asparagus, 200 g of trimmed green beans, 20 g of pickled ginger, one red onion, and 75 g of baby spinach leaves.

From this ingredient list alone, you can already tell how bold the taste of this dish will be. So, if you’re all set, this is what you need to do. 

Combine your soy sauce, wasabi, garlic, mirin, and sesame oil in a ceramic dish or large glass. Next, cut your beef into strips and drop them into the marinade to coat. 

Cover the container and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour to absorb the delicious juices. 

Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients of your kebab. To do this, blanch your beans and asparagus in a saucepan of boiling water until they both turn bright green and a little tender.

Then, toss them in a marinade of soy sauce and mirin to coat. 

Once your beef is ready to grill, take the strips out of the fridge and thread them onto metal skewers or soaked bamboo sticks with the rest of your veggies. 

Place your skewers onto the hot grill and cook them for about a minute or two on high heat. Flip them over and do the same to the other side. 

Right before you serve it, add a spoonful of pickled ginger on top, and you’ve got an Asian-inspired steak kebab that will no doubt pique your guests’ interest.

2. Chocolate-Chili Steak Kebabs

The wasabi-ginger steak kebabs recipe is just the beginning. There’s definitely more where that came from…

For this next round, let’s take a closer look at these chocolate-chili steak kebabs. 

Here’s the thing: I’ve tried chocolate and chili before. I’ve also tried chili and steak before. But never have I ever thought to combine chocolate, chili, and steak in one dish until I came across this recipe.

This time around, you’ll need two pounds of tri-tip steak, a quarter cup of ground coffee and Dutch-processed cocoa powder, and two tablespoons of chipotle chili powder, brown sugar, and salt.

On top of those, you’ll also need a tablespoon of cumin, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of ground black pepper, and a side of homemade chocolate-chili sauce.

This recipe is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is cut the steak into smaller pieces and create your chocolate-chili rub.

To make this blend, just combine your ground coffee, cocoa powder, chipotle chili powder, brown sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, and black pepper in a bowl. Then, slather the mixture all over your meat. 

Thread about three or four of your seasoned steak cubes onto your skewers, and grill for about three minutes per side. The result is a flavorful meat that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

While you can serve it as it is, you can take it a step further by dipping it into your homemade chocolate-chili sauce. 

Here’s how you make this at home: get one large red onion, five garlic cloves, 10 button mushrooms, a three-fourths cup of red wine, and 20 g of 85% bitter dark chocolate.

To this list, add 10 g of dark chili chocolate, one dried chili, one beef stock cube (dissolved in a cup of water), and a teaspoon of Madras chili powder. 

You’re going to start the process by sautéing your onion on low heat before adding in your garlic, mushrooms, wine, and chili. 

After a few beats, add your beef stock slowly to keep a runny consistency, similar to a gravy’s. Then, let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, adding stock every few minutes to maintain the same texture. 

Once the timer’s up, throw in your chocolate bars and stir them around to melt completely. Add some salt and pepper to taste, and you’ve got a delicious chocolate-chili sauce perfect for your kebabs.

I know this recipe is totally out of the box, but I’m telling you, it’s worth trying at least once in your life. And maybe — just maybe — when you take a bite, you’d want to make this dish over and over again. 

3. Pesto Steak Kebabs

Before we proceed, am I going too far, too fast? Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself with these wild combos, so let’s take it down a notch. 

Let’s check out a recipe that’s out of the ordinary but can still be within your comfort zone.

These pesto steak kebabs only need four ingredients, and they take only 10 minutes to prepare. Now that you know what you’re in for, let’s jump right in.

You’ll need eight whole small sweet peppers, two ribeye steaks (cut into small chunks), eight parboiled creamer potatoes, and a cup of store-bought pesto sauce. 

Start by threading your ingredients onto your skewers, alternating between steak, potatoes, and peppers. 

Then, place them on your hot grill and cook for eight to 10 minutes, depending on how done you want your steak to be. Halfway through, turn your skewers around to cook the other side. 

While they’re cooking, brush your pesto sauce all over your meat. This will help infuse more flavor into your dish.

Once they’re grilled to the ideal doneness, just add a dollop of your remaining pesto sauce and serve! How simple is that?

4. Blue Cheese Steak Kebabs

This next recipe has hints of Mediterranian influences, but we’re putting our own spin on it by adding a touch of blue cheese, fresh thyme, and some date syrup. 

So, get a pound of beef tenderloin (or top sirloin), two tablespoons of avocado oil, a quarter cup each of tamari and date syrup, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and a tablespoon of ginger paste.

But that’s not all. You’ll also need four ounces of button mushrooms, one medium red onion (cut into wedges), two chopped Medjool dates, two tablespoons of blue cheese crumbles, and some fresh thyme leaves.

With the ingredients all laid out on your work surface, let’s grill!

First things first, cut your meat into 1” chunks and set them aside. 

Then, grab a bowl and whisk together your avocado oil, tamari, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and half of your date syrup. 

Bring your beef back to centerstage and toss them into the same bowl to coat. Let the flavors marinate in the fridge for 15 minutes or more, if you can wait a little longer.

If you have any marinade left over, brush your onion and mushrooms with them. 

When you’re set to start grilling, remove the beef chunks from the marinade and poke them onto your skewers with your seasoned veggies. 

You can mix up the order of the ingredients, but it’s a good idea to switch between the meat and vegetables. That way, each bite will have a mix of both.

Before placing your kebabs on the grill, sprinkle them with some salt and pepper. Now, they’re ready to cook! 

Cook each side for four to six minutes or until the meat starts to caramelize. At that point, take the sticks off the heat and let them rest for five to 10 more minutes. 

For the final touch, drizzle everything with the rest of your date syrup and sprinkle them with your chopped dates, blue cheese crumbles, and thyme. 

Side Note: If you can’t get your hands on date syrup, or if you prefer something else, honey, maple syrup, molasses, or agave nectar are good substitutes. 

5. Green Tea Steak Kebabs

Now, we’re heading to our final recipe and I saved my favorite for last. These are the green tea steak kebabs. 

I was introduced to green tea at a very early age. I remember visiting Singapore and getting myself a green tea ice cream when I was just seven years old.

I initially selected that flavor because of the pretty green color, but the flavor eventually grew on me. A few years later, I got a taste of matcha latte, which I instantly fell in love with.

Since then, I’ve been looking out for food items with either matcha, green tea, hojicha (roasted green tea), or any variety of this flavor.

So, imagine my surprise (and excitement) when I stumbled upon these green tea steak kebabs. I was hesitant at first, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to give it a shot. 

And if you’re curious enough to know how this dish tastes, I suppose you’re going to have to make it yourself. 

To start, grab two pounds of beef tenderloin, two tablespoons of soy sauce, two tablespoons of furikake seasoning, one stem of lemongrass (finely chopped), and a tablespoon of ginger (grated).

Then, get two tablespoons of green onions (finely chopped), a teaspoon of matcha green tea powder, and two tablespoons of a spicy sauce you like.

Minus the beef, mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl to make your marinade.

After that, chop your beef into very small pieces and drop them into the marinade. 

Mix well until all the beef pieces are covered with the sauce. Now, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

That should be enough time for the flavors to infuse into the meat. But to play it safe, leave it to chill longer if you can.

When it’s time to grill, take your beef out of the bowl — letting the excess liquid drip — and thread them onto your skewers. 

Place the sticks on your grill grates and cook for about four to five minutes per side. Once they reach the desired doneness, remove them from the heat and sprinkle some more of your furikake on top. 

And if you’re feeling a little daring, you can pair this dish with green tea-infused rice. To me, both the green tea kebabs and rice pair well together. But for some, there’s just too much green tea going on.

I guess you’ll just have to find out for yourself. 

Going Beyond the Basic Kebab

Let’s get one thing straight: there’s nothing wrong with the classic beef kebabs. It’s a timeless recipe that will always have a spot on the table during the grilling season. 

But sometimes, it’s nice to have some variety to keep you and your guests on your toes. With everyone getting ready for a backyard barbecue, you have to find ways to stand out, you know?

And I think being creative with your steak kebabs is a great place to start. So, why wait? Try these five recipes out!

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