Moorish Pork Kabobs (Pinchos Morunos)

Moorish Pork Kabobs (Pinchos Morunos)

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 8 Serves 8.

Pincho, or pinchito, the diminutive, translates as 'little thorn' or 'little pointed stick,' so pincho moruno roughly means Moorish mouthfuls impaled on a thorn or skewer. Of course, the Moors were Muslims and did not eat pork, so Christian Spain took the Arab seasonings traditionally used on lamb kabobs (qodban) and applied them to their beloved meat.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbs. sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges for garnish


In a small fry pan, combine the olive oil, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric, oregano, the 1 tsp. salt and the black pepper. Place over low heat until warmed through and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place the pork pieces in a bowl and rub with the spice mixture. Add the garlic, parsley and lemon juice and toss well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat, or prepare a hot fire in a grill.

Thread the meat onto skewers and season with salt. Place on the grill pan or a grill rack and grill, turning once, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Spain & Portugal, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 2000).
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