Michael Symon's Souvlaki with Tzatziki

During the pandemic, Michael Symon started a new show called Symon's Dinners Cooking Out. Joined by his wife Lizzie and their friend Liv, he prepared meals outside exclusively on the grill. While this recipe for souvlaki is perfectly suited to the grill, he also made unexpected things, like cakes and pastas.

In Hawaii we can grill year-round, but if you live in area that will soon be turning colder, celebrate the waning days of summer and make this recipe before you put away your grill for the season.

Pork and shrimp souvlaki platter

What is souvlaki?

Souvlaki is Greek street food, typically grilled pork on a skewer that may be served as is or in a pita (skewer removed). It seems that there as many recipes for souvlaki as there are families in Greece. This is the version that Michael Symon shared on his show.

One thing I didn't know was that souvlaki is traditionally made with pork. I have often seen it as either chicken or lamb, but never with pork. The first time we made souvlaki we made the recipe exactly as written, using pork tenderloin and chicken breast. We loved it. The next time we decided to try it with shrimp - not sure how traditional it is to use seafood, but we loved it too.

Souvlaki plate

Teamwork makes the dream work

This is a dish that can easily be made by one person but it's great when you have someone to work with. In our house, my sister is the grill master. Whether it's a quick grill like souvlaki or ribs cooked low and slow, she is the queen. I serve as the sous chef, bringing what she needs from the kitchen.

My sister starts the process when we make souvlaki - she preps the proteins and the marinade, then takes a short break before prepping the grill. The proteins only need an hour to marinate, although you could marinate the chicken or pork overnight, not the shrimp.

While she is prepping the grill, I'm on skewer duty. By the time I'm done, the grill is ready. In all, the proteins need about 10 minutes on the grill, the shrimp, usually less. In that time, I've got the accoutrements ready - shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, tzatziki sauce. Once the proteins are cooked, we are ready to eat.

Pork souvlaki on the grill
Pork souvlaki and marinated onions on the grill

Enjoy souvlaki year round

In Hawaii we can grill year-round. In most areas that experience defined seasons, this is a dish that could be made at least three seasons out of the year, four if you cook under the broiler. I wouldn't opt for cooking under the broiler only because there is flavor that only the grill can impart, but if you're hankering for souvlaki and there's a foot of snow outside, the broiler is the way to go.