Beef Suya Tacos


Suya, grilled skewers of thinly sliced meat spiced with ground peanuts, ginger and chiles, originated with the Hausa and Fulani people in northern Nigeria, but they are now a popular street food, wrapped in newspaper to go, throughout the country. Nigerian American chef Simileoluwa Adebajo, owner of Èkó Kitchen in San Francisco, created this dish one day when she sliced suya hot off the grill and placed them in fresh tortillas made by a friend with a cooking school in Mexico. For the best flavor, Adebajo recommends making your own tortillas, but here we use store-bought for simplicity.

beef suya tacos
Photo: Photographer: Greg DuPree; Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey; Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 2 pounds beef chuck roll or rib-eye steak, trimmed and thinly sliced

  • 1 cup suya spice plus 2 tablespoons, divided (see Tip)

  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic

  • 1 teaspoon Cameroon pepper (see Tip)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup roasted peanut oil

  • ¾ cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 18 corn tortillas, warmed

  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage

  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced

  • ½ large red onion, diced

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Place beef in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup suya spice, granulated onion, granulated garlic, Cameroon pepper and salt. Add oil and massage the mixture into the beef with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 12 hours.

  2. Preheat grill to medium-high or preheat broiler. (If broiling, put a baking sheet on the top rack to heat for 5 minutes.)

  3. Whisk sour cream, lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons suya spice in a small bowl. Add water, if needed, to thin to a sauce-like consistency.

  4. Grill or broil the beef until lightly charred, 4 to 8 minutes. (If grilling, flip the beef halfway.) Let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the beef into bite-size pieces. Serve the beef in tortillas with the sauce, cabbage, tomatoes, onion and cilantro.

To make ahead

Marinate beef (Step 1) for up to 12 hours.


Suya spice, which usually includes hot peppers, paprika, ginger and ground peanuts, is often used on skewered beef or chicken. The spicy skewered meat is generally referred to as suya throughout West African countries.

Cameroon pepper is made by grinding fiery dried Scotch bonnet chiles.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

368 Calories
19g Fat
29g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 9
Serving Size 2 tacos
Calories 368
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 24g 48%
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Vitamin A 454IU 9%
Vitamin C 10mg 11%
Vitamin D 5IU 1%
Vitamin E 1mg 4%
Folate 109mcg 27%
Vitamin K 12mcg 10%
Sodium 118mg 5%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 55mg 13%
Potassium 362mg 8%
Zinc 5mg 45%
Vitamin B12 1mcg 42%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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