I've been experimenting with kebab seasoning lately, and I'm stuck on trying to amp up the flavor.

Any ideas as far as spice inspiration? So far my mix includes coriander/cumin/cayenne/paprika/oregano/cinnamon/black pepper/garlic powder. However, it's still missing prominent backbone flavor. I want to amp the flavor, but I'm not sure what else to add in there.

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4 Comments

James D. April 29, 2014
I've tested this recipe using ground pork shoulder with some additional fat added to the mixture, then I used Activa RM to bind the mixture in order to form a cylindrical sausage shape. After slow poaching to firm up, I then gave it a quick pan sear to obtain some color. However, the end product still ends up a bit dry.
 
EmilyC April 29, 2014
A few thoughts, after my own recent experiments with spice mixes: are you adding enough salt? I sometimes add salt directly to my spice mix, but other times salt the meat first (so I can get the right amount), then apply the spice mix on top. When I don't use enough, the overall flavor is lacking so maybe that's the culprit? And then of course the freshness of your spices will make a huge difference, especially the ones you're using in largest quantity. For cumin and coriander, I'd recommend freshly grinding it since the pre-ground stuff loses its flavor so quickly.
 

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pierino April 29, 2014
Depending on what meat you are skewering you might think about a marinade of yogurt. The enzymes help tenderize the meat and add a tang to it. Works well with chicken or lamb. I see nothing wrong with your spice mix but amping up the heat doesn't add the "backbone" that you are after.
 
Meaghan F. April 29, 2014
It's not exactly a spice, but you could try incorporating lime at some point to get some acid... I love spicy foods and find that an acid often serves to clarify and emphasize the individual flavors of a rub or marinade. I wish I could find a link, but a while a back I saw a recipe somewhere that called for doing multiple half-portion skewers that were each rubbed with one of three spices (I remember cumin and oregano but not the third one). The idea was that the flavors still get a chance to mingle when eaten together, but each element has a chance to shine on its own. I never tried it but it stuck with me.
 
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