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., May 2022


Credit: Photographer: Greg DuPree; Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey; Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Recipe Summary

20 mins
45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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

2 tacos
368 calories; protein 24g; carbohydrates 29g; dietary fiber 4g; sugars 2g; fat 19g; saturated fat 6g; mono fat 6g; poly fat 2g; cholesterol 74mg; vitamin a iu 454IU; vitamin b3 niacin 2mg; vitamin b12 1mcg; vitamin c 10mg; vitamin d iu 5IU; vitamin e iu 1IU; folate 109mg; vitamin k 12mg; sodium 118mg; calcium 126mg; iron 3mg; magnesium 55mg; phosphorus 292mg; potassium 362mg; zinc 5mg; omega 6 fatty acid 1g; niacin equivalents 6mg; selenium 2mcg.