Cooking with Alison

Pork Souvlaki on Pita with Homemade Tzatziki

In Red Meat and Eggs on October 3, 2011 at am

First off, I should inform you that this pork souvlaki recipe is not authentically Greek.  It has soy sauce in it, but once the meat is cooked, you can’t tell that it was flavoured with soy sauce.  I’ve tried more authentic pork souvlaki recipes in the past, but this is our favourite.  It’s easy to make and the meat can be marinated ahead of time for entertaining.  It is best cooked on a charcoal BBQ, but any grill or cast iron pan will work.

When it comes to tzatziki, I am extremely picky.  Tzatziki (yogurt cucumber dip/sauce) varies in consistency depending on the brand or restaurant, but in my opinion, the thicker the better.  My favourite store bought brand of tzatziki is Skotidakis and this can be found at some Costco locations.

Pork Souvlaki Recipe

adapted from

approx. 3 pounds of pork picnic shoulder, cut into 1 inch x 1 inch cubes

juice of 1 large lemon

4 cloves garlic, minced finely

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup soy sauce

1 tsp dried oregano

In a large ziploc bag, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, oregano, and garlic.  Taste the marinade and adjust the seasonings to taste.  I prefer a lemony marinade.  Then add the cubes of pork and mix well to ensure that all of the meat is well coated with the marinade.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.  Then skewer the meat onto wooden skewers.  The pieces of meat should be just barely touching on the skewer.  Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.  Alternatively, you could cook this meat, unskewered, in a cast iron pan.  Cook until just cooked through, turning a few times.  If you have any excess marinade, you could use this to baste the souvlaki during the cooking process.  Do not overcook or the meat will be dry and tough.  Remove the meat from the skewers and serve immediately.  I recommend serving pork souvlaki on warm pita bread with tzatziki sauce, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and diced red onion.  I also recommend serving pork souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, rice, lemon roasted potatoes, and Greek salad.

Tzatziki Recipe

1 cup plain Greek yogurt  (Note:  I recommend using a good brand of Greek yogurt, because some can have a gritty texture.  If you like a very thick and rich tzatziki like I do, try the brands Trader Joe or Fage.  If you prefer a runnier consistency, you could strain Balkan style plain yogurt at least once through layers of cheesecloth or paper coffee liners set in a strainer and placed in the refrigerator overnight.)

1/2 large cucumber, peeled with seeds removed using a spoon, and then finely shredded using a grater

1 to 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced then mixed with a small pinch of coarse salt and smashed with the side of a large blade repeatedly until you have a smooth paste

white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste

1/4 to 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

1/4 to 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

coarse salt

Place the shredded cucumber into a colander or sieve and sprinkle over a small pinch of salt.  Mix gently and allow this to sit for 30 minutes.  The purpose of this step is to remove some of the water from the cucumbers.  Gently squeeze out any excess water.  In a bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, salted cucumber, smashed garlic, vinegar or lemon juice, dill, and chives.  Adjust the ingredients to taste.  In my opinion, a good tzatziki is thick, and rich and creamy with slightly sour, salty, and garlicky flavours.  Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for several hours prior to serving as it will taste better over time.

  1. One of my addictions–I’ll have to try the soy sauce ploy, many thanks for the tip. Make my own yoghurt, let it sit for two days, then into cheesecloth for the quasi-cheese effect. I have been known to throw a little harissa in there on the rare occasion when I might possibly drink one (9) beer(s)….

    • Thanks for your comment! I Love that you make your own yogurt! I have not yet started experimenting with that or cheese making but would love to some day 🙂 Hope you like using soy sauce in your pork souvlaki 🙂

  2. This was probably one of the best souvlakis that I’ve ever had. Very delicious!

  3. Wow this looks incredible, cant wait to try it !

  4. Great recipe, i will try it together with my better half for dinner. Hope i get it right! Cheers

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