Souvlaki is arguably the most popular street food in its country of origin, Greece, but it is much loved in Australia as well.
The word ‘souvlaki’ means ‘meat-on-a-skewer’, but Greeks tend to refer to all pita wraps as ‘souvlakia’ whether they contain gyro, skewers or kebabs.
Sometimes, however, it’s a bit tricky to find the original souvlaki recipe and to ensure the quality matches your expectations.
Homemade souvlaki is the best way to take control of what you eat and make your family and friends happy.
Souvlaki can be a very healthy dish for people on a diet and, of course, your children, if cooked properly.
The first step for a delicious souvlaki is the tzatziki. For an easier version, you can substitute the tzatziki sauce with some fresh yogurt, but there’s nothing like the original recipe. Therefore, it’s better to put in the effort and go all the way.
For the tzatziki sauce you will need:
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
500g of Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To prepare, pour the olive oil and garlic in a blender together, and blend until the garlic is dissolved. Into a large bowl, grate the cucumber, remove the juice, and season with salt and pepper. Set it aside for 10 minutes.
Then add the blended garlic and oil, yoghurt, lemon juice and red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and mix well. Store it covered in the fridge until you serve.
All the tastiness lies in the way you season and marinate the meat, not to mention the method of roasting.
Using good quality pork or lamb with as little fat as possible is essential for the gyros – preferably slices of tenderloin.
Put some milk in a large pan with a honey and vinegar marinade, and season with a selection of Greek spices like oregano, thyme, rosemary garlic and onion.
Wrap the pan and leave it in the fridge to rest, soften, and adopt the aromas of the spices for about two hours before you grill or roast it.
Put a large non-stick pan on high, and when it’s really hot, add the meat pieces along with the prepared marinade, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the meat turns a dark gold colour and looks crispy. Place the meat on a kitchen paper towel to absord excess oil, and leave it in a slightly warm oven.
You will also need some parsley, sliced ripe tomatoes and red onions, as well as potato chips, as the original Greek recipe includes that, too.
Make sure you get fresh puffy Greek pitas for your souvlakia and avoid deeply frying the bread in excessive amounts of oil.
Opt for a healthier bake on a grill or even in a non-stick pan. You won’t need more than two minutes on high.
Once your pitas are ready, grab a large piece of baking paper or foil and place the pita on top. Spread tzatziki and then add the meat, followed by the onion, tomato and chips.
Garnish with some salt and paprika, sweet or spicy.
Another secret to a mouth-watering and enjoyable souvlaki is ensuring everything stays in the pita.
There is nothing worse for the definition of the flavours than stuffing large amounts of meat or potatoes in.
As impressive as an extra-large souvlaki may seem, struggling to get a full bite in your mouth steals some of its charm.