Spanish Pork Skewers


A delicious hot tapas classic is called pinchos moruños, or Moorish skewers—essentially, little kebabs marinated in Arabic (Moorish) spices and grilled, usually on a hot steel plancha. I use a cast-iron pan or griddle. Because Muslim Arabs wouldn’t eat pork, one presumes the original dish was made with lamb or goat. Now, however, in most Spanish tapas bars, small cubes of pork are seasoned with garlic, cumin, coriander, pimentón, and sometimes oregano. Once skewered, they need only about five minutes on a hot griddle. Best eaten standing.


  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • pounds pork tenderloin, cut into ½-inch slices
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sweet or hot pimentón
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges


Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Finely grind in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle.

Season the pork lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the cumin, coriander, pimentón, and oregano. Mix the garlic paste with the olive oil and drizzle over the meat. Rub the seasonings in with your fingers.

Thread the seasoned pork onto twelve short bamboo skewers. The skewers can be refrigerated for up to several hours.

When ready to cook, heat a large cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Cook the skewers for about 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Serve hot, with lemon wedges.