Small chunks of meat, fish or shellfish that are usually marinated before being threaded on a skewer and grilled over coals. Pieces of vegetables can also accompany the meat on the skewer. Also called shish kebab and shashlik.
In America, kebab usually refers to skewered meats or seafood with or without vegetables that broiled or grilled. In the Middle East, where the term originates (Persia), it simply refers to any meat cooked over an open flame. Traditionally, lamb is the favored meat, though almost anything may be used. Kebabs are often made with fruit, vegetables and even vegetarian tofu or falafel.
The kebab made its way from the Middle East to Europe by way of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and the Holy Wars of the Middle Ages, integrating itself into European cuisine under different names such as “brochette”.