I’m BAAAACCCKKK!!!! After a nearly 3 week hiatus from this project to travel around California and just a get a handle on a new fiscal year, I’m back at it with new country #47 and I think with a bit of a hustle, I can reach my goal of 60 countries for the year.
As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to do a bit of research in advance to plan out these dishes. Sometimes I’ll look ahead for a month and see what seems like a good balance of meals to make by region or my protein (I don’t eat a lot of red meat so I really try to keep that to once a month when possible). Or I’ll look at what ingredients I have around the house that I want to use up. I typically keep pretty good records of what I’ve made. But as I purchased the ingredients for last night’s meal (which I put on my list 2 months ago), found the recipe I wanted to use….I then looked at my large map of the world and lo and behold, there was a pin already in Nigeria. I went back to my records and I had made Joloff Rice months earlier. Somehow I misremembered. So I was faced with the challenge-should I just repeat and be behind by one country? Should I find another beef dish from a neighboring country and pivot? Or should I see if this dish “belongs” to another country? I did a little bit of everything and decided to attribute this dish, beef suya, to Ghana…which also claims it (along with Joloff Rice, haha!) One thing I’ve learned with many of these countries, especially when clustered together…border lines of cuisine definitely are crossed. Many countries have their own version of the same dish, or claim its their national dish. While the majority of the sites I looked to for recipes claimed this was from Nigeria, a handful also discussed Ghana, so that’s where I landed.
This dish is incredibly easy to make and uses one of my top 5 discoveries of ingredients from a region: peanuts. You make a peanut paste by grinding peanuts and a bunch of spices, with a bit of oil and citrus juice to make this marinade, which you then marinate the meat in for several hours or over night.
Weather was not on our side last night with a steady downpour of rain so our initial plans to make this dish on the grill as kebabs, which is what was traditional, was stymied. So we adapted by bringing it in to a grill pan in the oven and served with a sweet potato. Simple meal, but just what was needed to get back into the swing of things. And I’m going to take a closer look at my recordkeeping system…my Type A tendencies will be thrilled.
Here’s the recipe I ended up using: https://food52.com/recipes/12359-nigerian-beef-suya
Overall Level of Effort: 1
Skill Level: Beginner
Would Make It Again? Absolutely (but on the grill next time!)
Additional Notes: I think making a bit more of the marinade and keeping some to the side for a sauce would be a good modification here. This dish reminded me of chicken satay from Thailand and is incredibly easy to make. If you want to do something a little different with beef skewers, this is your dish. And it’s not particularly spicy and you can adjust the cayenne pepper in the marinade according to your tastes.