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Kapana Recipe – Grilled Beef Strips- Authentic Namibian Street food

Kapana Recipe – Grilled Beef Strips- Authentic Namibian Street food

Learn how to make this kapana recipe in your own kitchen and you don’t have to wait to go to Namibia to enjoy it. Kapana, Namibian grilled beef Strips over open fire is one of the most popular street foods in Namibia.

If you’ve been to Namibia before, you’re probably familiar with it. It’s juicy,  beautifully tender, smoky, cheap, readily available all year round, and can be consumed any time of the day. 

In Namibia we eat a lot of meat and grilling over open fire (locally known as braai) is part of our Namibian culture. You could say we are proud of our free-range premium – grade meat, free from antibiotics and hormones.

My husband’s 1st visit to Namibia can attest to two things; how much meat we consume and the quality of the Namibian meat.

For the first time in his life, he was tired of meat and had voluntarily eaten something else other than meat.

Where to eat Kapana in Windhoek

One of the most famous street food markets where one can eat Kapana in the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek, is Oshetu market (also known as single quarters). Oshetu market is in Katutura township, a township of that was established in the 1950s during the apartheid to force the ‘black’ population of the capital city to relocate there.

At Oshetu Market you will find grill masters, mostly men, at various stands, grilling kapana on a metal grill over an open fire. Each grill stand has an old carton, with kapana spice mix, chili, and salt next to it. People from all over Windhoek meet here, just to indulge in freshly grilled kapana.

Beef is usually cut into strips, grilled without any seasoning, and then cut into bite-sized pieces depending on how much a customer wants to buy. When I’m making kapana at home on the other hand, I always lightly marinate the beef strips with homemade kapana spice for at least one hour before cooking.

Kapana can be eaten either on site, by simply taking the bite-sized pieces straight from the grill, dip them in any spice of your choice and eat.

Or as Kapana to go, wrapped in an old newspaper and sprinkled with kapana spice.

When you are at the market, you will quickly become overwhelmed, especially Kapana newcomers, who often have problems finding the right stand.

Because every time people walk by, the grill masters call out, “Hello, sister or Hello brother, here is Kapana sample for you.”.

It’s a bit tricky though, because if you try the meat at each stall and buy it somewhere else, they often complain. And Kapana newcomers in particular are expected to buy kapana at the stall where they sample.

Ingredients used to make grilled steak strips Namibian style

  • about. 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) well marbled beef steak
  • 2 teaspoons kapana spice mix
  • about 2 tablespoons of sunflower or olive oil

Beef:  When choosing steak for this kapana recipe you want to choose well marbled high-quality beef with more fat running throughout the steak. Because fat means flavor and lean means dry kapana. I have used entrecote steak aka. ribeye cut to make my kapana.

How to make Namibian grilled beef over open fire

Cut the meat into long interconnected strips. Normally when we’re cutting a giant steak into strips back home, someone is always holding the meat while the other person cuts it into strips. Just to speed up the process.

  • For beginners, I will recommend you cut the meat into about 1 cm (0.40 inches) thick slices first, before cutting into long strips.

Place the beef strips, in a casserole dish or similar. Add kapana spice and oil. Using your hands rub the meat very well. Cover with cling film and chill for about 1 hour.

In the meantime, make the fire and let the grill heat up. About 10 minutes before grilling the meat take it out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature.

Then place the meat on the grill, our grill had about 175 °C (347 °F). After about 3 minutes turn the strips and grill on the other side for 3 minutes.

Then turn it again and grill for about 2 minutes. Turn and grill again und grill for about 2 minutes or until the meat has perfect shear marks.

Notes

  • Please bear in mind that the grilling time differs based on the thickness of your beef Strips, your grill type, the cooking temp, the beef cut you chose and how well you like your steak cooked. So your kapana may cook faster or slower than the time provided.
  • Kapana tastes best grilled over the fire, but I also made it in the oven and on an electric grill and it still tasted delicious.

What to serve Namibian style grilled meat with:

The guests always get a small bowl with kapana spice mix. The meat is always juicy, tender, smoky (since it’s it’s grilled over the fire) and flavorful, just like kapana back home.

Kapana recipe – grilled beef strips – Authentic Namibian Street food

Learn how to make this kapana recipe in your own kitchen and you don't have to wait to go to Namibia to enjoy it. Kapana, Namibian grilled beef Strips over open fire is one of the most popular street foods in Namibia. If you've been to Namibia before, you're probably familiar with it. It's juicy,  beautifully tender, smoky, cheap, readily available all year round, and can be consumed any time of the day. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Finger food, Main dish, Snack
Cuisine: African, Namibian, Southern African
Keyword: African style grilled beef, braai in Namibia, kapana recipe, kapana Windhoek, smoked beef African style, what to eat in Namibia
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Ester | esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Charcoal grill

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) well marbled beef steak SEE NOTES
  • 2 teaspoons  kapana spice mix
  • about 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil

Instructions

  • Cut the meat into long interconnected strips. Normally when we're cutting a giant steak into strips back home, someone is always holding the meat while the other person cuts it into strips. Just to speed up the process.
    For beginners, I will recommend you cut the meat into about 1 cm (0.40 inches) thick slices first, before cutting it into long strips.
  • Place the beef strips, in a casserole dish or similar. Add kapana spice and oil. Using your hands rub the meat very well. Cover with cling film and chill for about 1 hour. In the meantime, make the fire and let the grill heat up.
  • About 10 minutes before grilling the meat take the meat out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
  • Next place the meat on the grill, our grill had about 175 °C (347 °F). After about 3 minutes turn the strips and grill on the other side for 3 minutes. Then turn it again and grill for about 2 minutes. Turn and grill again und grill for about 2 minutes or until the meat has perfect shear marks. (SEE NOTES)
  • Kapana tastes best grilled over the fire, but I also made it in the oven and on an electric grill and it still tasted delicious.

Video

Notes

  • Beef: When choosing steak for kapana you want to choose well marbled high-quality beef with more fat running throughout the steak. Because fat means flavor and lean means dry kapana. I have used entrecote steak aka. ribeye cut to make my kapana.
  • Grilling time: Please bear in mind that the grilling time differs based on the thickness of your beef Strips, your grill time, the cooking temp, the beef cut you chose, and how well you like your steak cooked. So, your Kapana may cook faster or slower than the time provided.

Did you make this Kapana recipe? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a review and add rating to it.

Recipe Rating




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