Cameroonian Soya Without Skewers
Published Feb 21, 2023
Updated Sep 29, 2023
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Cameroonian Soya is the mother of all street food grilled meats! You can’t miss the flavors in this spicy smoky Cameroonian Soya. This insanely good appetizer or snack is ready in 30 minutes!
Soya is one of my favorite things to make at the end of the week when I want to enjoy my life. Grab a bottle of something to drink and let’s make some soya!
This version of soya which I recently learned from a friend is made without skewers, cutting down the time spent trying to thread the meat unto skewers. It is so easy!
Don’t miss the soya recipe video on the recipe on the recipe card below.
Table of Contents
What Is Cameroonian Soya?
Cameroonian Soya is grilled meat that is sold on the streets and is popular all over Cameroon. The meat is either grilled on skewers or in steaks which are then cut into bite-size pieces.
Soya, along with Puff Puff and Beans are popular street foods sold all across the country.
Known in French as Les Brochettes, the meat is loaded with flavors from Soya Spice or Soya Pepper: a blend of peanuts, ginger, hot pepper, and other flavors.
Soya is said to have originated from the Hausa tribe in Northern Cameroon and Northern Nigeria.
Ingredients For Cameroonian Soya
The main ingredients for Cameroonian Soya are beef, soya spice, and oil. However, for maximum flavor, use these ingredients:
- Beef: Use a cut of beef that has a good amount of fat marbling. The fat adds to the flavor of the beef. I love using Beef Chuck Steak or Beef Chuck Roast.
- Soya spice or soya pepper: Soya spice, colloquially known in Cameroon as “kankan” is the spice blend that gives Cameroonian soya its unique taste. You can buy soya spice online, from an African store, or make homemade soya spice.
- Olive oil or any neutral-tasting oil: The oil adds moisture to the meat. Any flavorless oil like vegetable oil or canola oil would work.
- Dried spices: A blend of garlic powder, ginger powder, and onion powder packs flavor into the meat.
- “Contri onion” powder: The spice known as “contri onions” in Cameroon is called Rondelles in English. It is round and when blended to a powder, it is a pale white color. Contri onion has a unique ethnic flavor that adds deliciousness to soya. In the United States, you can get it from local African stores or online African stores.
- Bouillon powder: Chicken or beef bouillon powder really takes the flavor profile of this soya to the next level, adding an extra depth of flavor.
- Salt and ground black pepper or white pepper: I preferably use white pepper whenever I have it at home.
Important note: Soya spice contains peanuts so if you are allergic, you could leave it out.
See the quantities of ingredients on the recipe card below!
How To Make Cameroonian Soya Without Skewers
1. First cut the beef into thin bite-size pieces then add the oil and spices to the beef.
2. Toss well to combine so that the seasoning evenly coats the beef.
3. Place a rack on top of a baking sheet and evenly distribute the seasoned beef across the rack.
4. Place the beef into a preheated oven set to the BROIL function on low. Let it cook for 15 minutes then remove the sheet pan and flip the beef to the other side (as much as you can) and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
The fresh onions pair well with the grilled meat. And with the pepper sauce, you will find it hard to stop eating.
- Make sure you set your oven to the broil function on low. The broil function uses the top heating element of the oven and the high temperature mimics the meat being grilled on the outside grill.
- When using the broil function of your oven, be sure to keep an eye on the meat as it could burn pretty quickly.
- The meat you use should have a good amount of fat in it as well. This makes for great-tasting soya!
Fun fact: the fat in beef is locally called “tandong” in Cameroon.
African soya is meat that is grilled on the streets and sold either on skewers or chopped into bite-size pieces. This street food is smoky, spicy, and known in Cameroon as “soya” while Nigerians call it, “suya”.
Yes, you could use chicken to make soya. You could even use pork as well.
You could make soya spice at home (here is my recipe for homemade soya spice). You could also make soya without soya spice and it will still be delicious!
P.S. Check out my Epic Grilled Chicken Wings made with soya spice.
More Cameroonian Recipes
I am so glad I get to share the foods I grew up eating with you! I feel so happy whenever I see someone make something from my culture because I posted it! Thank you for being here! Here are more Cameroonian recipes to try:
- Cameroonian Jollof Rice (my mama’s recipe)
- Sweet Fried Plantains (a breakfast staple)
- Groundnut Soup (a hearty peanut stew)
- Poulet DG (insanely good chicken and plantains)
More Beef Recipes To Try
If you make this Cameroonian soya recipe, please leave a star rating and comment below. I love hearing from you!
- 3 pounds beef chuck steak with a lot of marbling
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 2 teaspoons soya pepper or soya spice
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder
- 1 teaspoon "contri onions" powder rondelles* note 1
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- More soya spice for garnish
- Thinly sliced onions for garnish
- Preheat oven to Low Broil. (The broil function of the oven uses the top of the oven to grill the food.)
- Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil then place a wire baking rack on top.
- Cut the beef into thin slices.
- Place the beef in a large bowl and add the olive oil, soya spice, ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder, bouillon powder, salt, and black pepper. Toss to combine.
- Arrange the beef in a single layer on the prepared baking rack.
- Place into the preheated oven and let it broil on low for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the beef slices to the other side. Place it back into the oven and let them broil for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the pieces of meat and place them on a serving platter. Place the thinly sliced onions and soya spice on the side and serve warm.