Sweet and Sour BBQ Beef Kebabs

Last modified on January 25th, 2019 at 11:56 pm

BBQ Beef Kebabs marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil, and are what summer grilling dreams are made of.

When Philip and I attend a BBQ or grill on our own, we hardly ever reach for a kebab. To us, it’s one of those odd food combinations; raw meat and veggies served on a stick and slathered in a mystery sauce. Not only is it unappealing, but it’s sort of a lazy cook’s take on BBQ (meat + stick) – I mean, how do your meat and veggies cook to the same temperature and timing?

Close up of BBQ Beef Kebabs on a plate with red onions

With record high temps in Toronto this summer, we’ve been looking for cooking alternatives that allow us to easily cook outdoors. Whether at a friend’s BBQ, camping or picnicking in the park, any recipe that means we don’t have to turn on our oven and stove is good one. Enter the return of the kebab, more specifically the beef kebab. Easy to prep, cook and serve, the beef kebab has made a 2018 return and is a tidy little meat and veggie package, easy for transporting.

Ingredients flat lay for bbq beef kebabs
Two BBQ Beef Kebabs on a white plate before grilling

No mystery about the sauce, we opted for as Asian-style slather over our BBQ Beef Kebabs with sweet and sour flavours. Marinating for almost two hours, we skewered the meat on our metal sticks and instead of loading up with raw veggies, we include quarters of a red onion, giving off additional flavour to the beef before BBQing. Once cooked, top with sesame seeds and additional scallions.

What you’re left with is a kebab worth grabbing at your next BBQ. Oozing in sesame, garlic and ginger, each piece of the kebab highlighted notes of sweet and sour, and was an explosion of flavour on a stick. Serve over a salad, rice or with sides of additional BBQ veggies.

Close up of Sweet and Sour BBQ Beef Kebabs garnished with Green Onions and Sesame Seeds

How to Make Sweet and Sour BBQ Beef Kebabs:

1. Make the marinade in a medium sized bowl. Cut the beef into one inch cubes, add to marinade, toss to coat, then place in the fridge for a minimum of two hours. If you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them for at least two hours so they don’t catch fire.

2. Cut your onion into one inch squares and separate the layers. Thread your ingredients onto the skewers. Preheat your bbq on high.

3. Grill the kebabs, turning, until the ingredients are charred and cooked to desired doneness, 2-3 minutes per side, 10 minutes total. Finish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and scallions.


Sweet and Sour BBQ Beef Kebabs

Overhead of BBQ Beef Kebabs on a grey plate

Easy to prepare and quick to cook, our Sweet and Sour BBQ Beef Kebabs are what summer dreams are made of. Sweet from the brown sugar, sour from the vinegar, and an explosion of flavour from the ginger and garlic, will have you wanting to make these for every bbq or camping trip.

  • Author: Chef Sous Chef
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Food and Drink, Main
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • 2 lbs beef sirloin steaks, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 red onion
  • 23 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


No. 1 | In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, and ginger until combined and sugar is dissolved. Add the meat and toss until it’s well coated. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 8 hours.

No. 2 | Peel the red onion and cut off the top and bottom. Slice in half lengthwise, then slice again lengthwise so you have 4 pieces. Cut each quarter in half crosswise, so you have about 1 inch square pieces. Separate each layer of the onion.

No. 3 | Using metal skewers, thread two pieces of beef, then a piece of onion and repeat until the skewer is full. Repeat with each skewer. It should make 6 skewers in total.

No. 4 |Preheat your barbecue or grill pan on high. Sear each side of the skewer for 2-3 minutes, basting with the additional marinade as they cook. Once all four sides have nice char marks, remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

No. 5 | To serve, sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.


  • If using wooden skewers, ensure to soak them in water for at least two hours prior to barbecuing, to prevent them from catching fire and burning.

Keywords: Beef kebabs, summer bbq recipes, grilling recipes


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  • Reply
    August 10, 2018 at 8:25 am

    We made these kebabs when we camping and they were awesome. Just cooked them over the fire with extra long skewers. They were so flavorful!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      August 10, 2018 at 8:29 am

      They would be amazing on the fire. Thanks for sharing!

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