Seattle Kitchen recommends: The city's best kabobson July 27, 2012 @ 2:47 pm (Updated: 2:01 pm - 7/29/12 )
Traditional kebabs combine spices with chicken, pork, and lamb or goat on a skewer. Vegetable or fish and citrus fruit kebabs are also popular, eye-catching recipes for summer barbecues. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
By Jillian Raftery
In honor of summer barbecue season, the Seattle Kitchen Show pays tribute this week to the best kabobs in Seattle.
While some people love big chunky kebabs, Seattle Kitchen Show co-host Tom Douglas and Katie O love the thinner, Asian- style meat skewers, or satays, like those at Wild Ginger or Tom's restaurant, Lola downtown.
"They cut their meat maybe a quarter of the size of an Afghanistan kabob or a Persian kabob," says Tom.
Cooking meat thinner means that restaurants can marinate and roast meat for less time, which often results in more tender meats. Tom and co-host Thierry Rautureau both like to cook smaller pieces of meat in kabobs that can go right into your mouth without cutting it. They like flat cuts of meat that they can char over a grill.
Katie's favorite restaurant for Asian-style kabobs is the nearly hidden Showa restaurant (on the second story above Chiso Japanese restaurant) in Fremont, which specializes in small plates and long-roasted meats. Regulars say it's never very busy and that it has a great happy hour.
"It's a little Japanese bar. They play fun '80s music and have good cocktails, but their yakitori is quite tasty. They've got pork belly and chicken, and everything," says Katie.
Fans of big, juicy chunks of meat will love Kabul Afghan cuisine in Wallingford. They make the kabobs with chunks as big as two inches across, marinated extra- long for the thick pieces to absorb the flavor.
"Nice and garlicky, they season their stuff well," says Katie.
Upright kabobs, the large pieces of meat stereotypically seen hanging in restaurant windows, are especially popular and delicious. Berliner Doner has several locations in Seattle and is famous for those tender slices of meat in German-style flat bread sandwiches.
Likewise, Turkish Delight, a family owned restaurant in the Pike Place Market, also has good doner kebabs, although they can sometimes be dry. Turkish Delight dusts their doner kebabs with spices and serves them with a garlic yogurt sauce, vegetables, and rice.
Tom also loves the shaved meats in gyros, especially those at Mr. Gyro's in Greenwood and Ballard.
"They have the whole doner kabob angle of things. I like it because you're getting a shaving of the outside carmelization, it's delicious and it goes into a pita with a big smack of tzatziki," says Tom.
Listen to this week's Seattle Kitchen Show:
Seattle Kitchen can be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM on Saturdays from 2-4 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon. Available anytime ON DEMAND at MyNorth west.com.
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