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Chicken Sheesh Tawook served on a white plate with naan bread and salad.

Shish Tawook

Shish Tawook or Shish Taouk is a popular Middle Eastern chicken recipe which is found at most fast food restaurants in the Middle East. The name Shish Tawook quite literally translates to grilled chicken on skewers. It is mostly served with pita bread, but I think it also pairs quite nicely with a simple and delicious Lebanese Rice.
Course Main, Main Course, Main Meals
Cuisine Arabic, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, turkish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 291kcal


  • Iron Skillet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden skewers


  • 2 lbs Chicken Breast boneless and skinless, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt I used regular yogurt, but Greek yogurt would be great too
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8-10 wooden skewers soaked in water


  • Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix so that the chicken is coated well.
  • Marinate for at least 30 minutes or upto 24 hours. While the chicken is marinating, you can soak the wooden skewers in water.
  • Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers. My skewers were meidum sized, so I threaded about 4 to 5 pieces on each.
  • Shish Tawook can be served with pita bread and salad. It can also be served with this delicious Lebanese Rice.
  • Heat oil in an iron skillet or girll pan to meidum high heat.
  • Place the skewered chicken and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. I do this in batches of 4 skewers as to not crowd the pan.
  • Serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. I love serving it with pita, Lebanese rice and a side of fresh salad and sumac onions.


  • Chicken: Traditionally chicken breasts cut into cubes are used for this recipe. But boneless, skinless chicken thighs are also a great option here. 
  • Yogurt: I use plain yogurt but you can also use greek yogurt. Low fat or skim is also fine. 
  • Lemon juice: Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
  • Garlic: I use a garlic press to mince the garlic cloves. 
  • Sumac: This is a Turkish spice. It's dark red and has lemony flavor. If you don't have it you can use paprika powder.
  • Tomato paste: Some recipes don't call for tomato paste, but I like to add it for color and extra flavor. 
Best Skewers for Grilled Chicken 
The most common skewers are the long round wooden skewers. I don't personally prefer these as the chicken pieces move around too much and don't cook evenly. I recommend using flat wooden skewer or flat metal skewers. 
Alternate Cooking Methods: 
Grill: Sheesh Tawook is usually made on large grills, and you can also use your BBQ grill for it. Just cook on 3-4 minutes on each side. 
Bake: You can also bake the marinated chicken in the oven, but there's more chances of the chicken drying out. I suggest using chicken thighs for this method as it doesn't dry out easily. 


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 961mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 161IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg