Shashlik (Russian Shish Kebabs)

Shashlik is a type of shish kebab commonly found in Russia and the former Soviet republics. It was likely brought to Moscow from Central Asia in the 19th century. Today, it’s a popular summer food cooked over an open fire at social gatherings. It’s traditionally prepared with lamb, but chicken, pork, and beef variations are becoming increasingly prominent.



  • 1/2 lamb shoulder (2lbs)
  • 2 medium onions, blended
  • 6 cloves garlic, blended
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tsp)
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  • Step 1

    Cut the lamb into 2" chunks, and place in a non reactive bowl or ziploc bag.

  • Step 2

    In a blender or food processor, blend the onion, garlic, and water. Combine with the bay leaves, apple cider vinegar, pepper, oregano, and lemon juice and pour everything into the non reactive bowl or ziploc bag. Marinate in the fridge for four hours.

  • Step 3

    After four hours, skewer the lamb pieces (if using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes first) and warm up your grill on med/high heat.

  • Step 4

    Grill on direct heat, rotating the skewers with a pair of tongs every few minutes, and sprinkle the salt over the skewers as they cook.

  • Step 5

    When you have a hard time looking at the skewers because they are so delicious, remove them from the grill. Should take about 10 minutes altogether.

  • Step 6

    Let the shashlik rest for five minutes and serve. This dish is commonly served outdoors in Russia, with fresh, lightly-salted vegetables like tomato, mushrooms, or cucumbers as its only accompaniment. Enjoy!