While studying abroad in China a few years ago, I not only got introduced to a whole new world of chinese cuisine (I promise you, you'll have trouble finding kung pao beef or a crab rangoon anywhere on the continent), but I also ate some of the best food I've ever had.  One of our favorite places to go was up a narrow little street to a tiny little Tibetan restaurant that served food so fiery hot that you could hardly eat it, but so good that it was worth every moment of punishing pain.  The best part of this place, though, was after the restaurant closed.  A man would set up his long, skinny grill and start cooking up piles of juicy/fatty/crispy/spicy/savory/smoky goat kebabs.  By handing over just a few yuan, you could walk away with both hands full of these amazing delicacies.  I don't know if it was all the cold, watery beer consumed or the thrill of sneaking off of campus after curfew through a hole in the wall and creeping through the bushes giggling to get to them, but those things were amazing.

I've been craving that juicy, salty, smoky flavor for years and have been looking everywhere for a recipe.  Just a few days ago, I was searching again and found that I'd been looking in the wrong place.  I thought they were a Tibetan food, since the man set up outside of a Tibetan restaurant- turns out, they're just regular old street food, and I'd just managed to somehow not see them anywhere else.  Oh, silly me.  I might have just been distracted by some of the other grilled street food in Beijing, which is nothing to write home about unless you delight in grossing people out with the things you've eaten, which I do.  So, while I was dutifully eating pig's ears and duck's feet and jellyfish and brains and snakes on a stick in order to properly gross out my friends and family, I missed out on eating more of these amazing little skewers of meat magic.

Anyways, long story sort of short, these things are amazing.  I found the recipe here and tweaked it a bit.  I also used chicken, as goat is hard to come by around here.  I'd recommend trying it with a fatty beef cut, though, which I'll try as soon as I get around to it.

The Man tried these and declared them "really, really good", which is pretty good for a super-German guy who likes his meat and potatoes and likes them "normal".

makes: four skewers
time: about 2 hours, including the marinating
1 lb. chicken breast or 1 lb. fatty cut of beef, pork, goat, or lamb
1 T. olive or peanut oil

For the dry rub:
1 1/2 T. ground coriander
1 T. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper*
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika*
1 tsp. kosher salt*
1/4 tsp. cayenne (more or less to taste)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic

*or regular, if that's all you have
Pat down meat with paper towel to dry it a bit, then cut the meat into pieces appropriate for skewers and place in a large bowl. 

In a small bowl, mix all spices together for dry rub.  Rub onto meat pieces and let sit for up to 2 hours (you can grill them right away, the flavor just won't be as intense)

String the meat onto skewers, drizzle them with the oil, and grill over a very hot grill.  If your grill has a sear burner, cook them over that- if using a charcoal grill (which is really ideal) cook over hottest part of coals.


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