Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Okra Suya and Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce


Rib-eye steaks are basted in butter seasoned with suya, a spicy, nutty, and smoky peanut-based West African spice blend, in this grilled dinner.

Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Okra Suya and Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce
Active Time:
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
4 to 6 servings

Carlton McCoy reconnected with his West African heritage during a trip to Nigeria. That connection inspired this grilled dinner, which uses suya, a spicy, nutty, and smoky peanut-based spice blend used to season meat and vegetable skewers. In this recipe, McCoy uses suya spice to season thick and juicy rib-eye steaks and skewers of speared okra and cipollini onion, making a suya-spiced butter to add rich flavor to the steaks and sprinkling the dry suya seasoning on the grilled vegetable skewers. (Look for suya spice mix at specialty spice shops or at Reverse-searing the steaks ensures a charred crust while the center stays perfectly tender and medium-rare. Served with a creamy cucumber-studded yogurt sauce, this entree can hold the center stage at any gathering.


Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk strained Greek-style yogurt

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 medium (12-ounce) English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)

Steak and Vegetables

  • 2 (2-pound) bone-in rib eye steaks (2 inches thick)

  • 12 ounces fresh okra, trimmed

  • 14 ounces cipollini onions (about 18 small onions)

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), softened

  • 3 tablespoons suya spice mix (such as Kovafood or Asiko), divided, plus more to taste

  • 4 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil (such as canola oil or grapeseed oil), plus more for brushing

  • Applewood chunks


Make the cucumber-yogurt sauce:

  1. Stir together yogurt, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Add cucumber, stirring to dress cucumber in yogurt mixture.

Make the steak and vegetables:

  1. Wrap steaks in paper towels, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high. Fill a large bowl with ice water; set aside. Add okra to boiling water, and cook until bright green and barely tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer okra to ice water, and let cool 2 minutes; remove from ice water, and pat dry using paper towels. Add onions to boiling water, and cook until skins begin to loosen, about 1 minute. Transfer onions to ice water, and let cool 2 minutes. Remove onions from ice water, and carefully trim stem and root ends; use fingers to rub and peel off skins.

  2. Stir together butter and 2 1/2 tablespoons suya spice mix in a small bowl; set suya butter aside.

  3. Unwrap steaks, and sprinkle all sides evenly with 4 teaspoons salt; let stand 20 minutes. Meanwhile, skewer okra and onions separately, spaced 1/2 inch apart, on 1/4-inch-wide flat metal skewers. Brush okra and onions all over with oil, and sprinkle evenly with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.

  4. Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them onto bottom grate of grill, and push to one side of grill. Scatter applewood chunks over hot coals. Coat top grate with oil; place on grill. Place steaks on oiled grate over side without coals. Grill, uncovered, flipping steaks every 5 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 105°F, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer steaks to grate directly over coals; grill, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 120°F (for medium-rare), about 2 minutes per side, or to desired degree of doneness, smearing top side of each steak with 1 tablespoon suya butter during final 1 minute of grilling time. Transfer steaks to a cutting board, and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place okra and onion skewers on grates directly over coals; grill, uncovered, until tender and charred in spots, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from grill.

  5. Remove okra and onions from skewers, and transfer to a platter. Remove bones from steaks; thinly slice steaks against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange steak slices and bones on a platter with okra and onions. Sprinkle okra and onions evenly with remaining 1/2 tablespoon suya spice mix (or more to taste). Serve steak and vegetables with remaining suya butter and cucumber-yogurt sauce.

Make Ahead

Yogurt sauce can be chilled in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Powerful, structured Napa Valley red: Burgess Cellars Alpinist.

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