Shakshuka is a traditional middle eastern dish that rivals humous and falafel’s popularity in Israel. It’s incredibly delicious and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
What is it?
Basically, shakshuka is eggs poached in a tomato sauce. It is traditionally eaten with bread. There are MANY variations on the basic recipe… which include adding eggplant, lime, goat cheese etc.!
I make my own sauce, but if you want to be really fast, you can always make it with a store-bought sauce, though it won’t be nearly as tasty!
Basic Tomato Shakshouka
You’ll need a large nonstick frying pan for this (cast iron works too). Fry up one large chopped onion in olive oil. When it’s just starting to be cooked, add five minced garlic cloves and cook together until it starts to brown (if you really like garlic, add some extra!). Add three tomatos, chopped, and let it cook until the tomatos start to stew (about 5 minutes). Add a small can of crushed tomatoes, and two heaping tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir it all up. Add a teaspoon of sugar (to balance the acidity of the paste), half teaspoon of oregano and a teaspoon of paprika. Salt/pepper to taste (can also be added when it’s done.)
Now it’s time to poach the eggs! For a large frying pan, you can usually fit 6 or 7 eggs comfortably. Use a spoon (wooden or otherwise) to move aside the sauce so you can crack the eggs in. This can be easily done with two people (one moves the sauce while another cracks in the egg) but is doable for one person as well! Fit the eggs in a circle in your pan, doing your best to make them not touch (if they do, no biggie). Finally put one in the middle. It’s best to cover the pan while they cook (can be done with a sheet of tinfoil if you don’t have a cover). Let simmer for about five minutes until the eggs are done. I personally like them to be a bit runny in the middle so test it with a spoon to see how done they are. If you prefer your eggs to be fully cooked, leave it a bit longer. The one that you cracked in first will be done first, so serve them accordingly. Serve immediately.
Shakshuka is best enjoyed with a good piece of fresh, warm bread. Bete’avon!
(Shakshuka with eggplant and olives added to the basic recipe – minus crushed tomatos/paste/sugar.)
I highly recommend that you try these variations (together or on their own… use your common sense). They are so yummy!
Olives – try adding some sliced olives to the sauce. Be careful not to add too much salt because the olives take care of most of the salt on their own!
Baked garlic – bake a head of garlic (instructions are easy to find on the internet) and squeeze all or some of it into the sauce.
Limes – courtesy of my husband’s best friend. Slice up half a lime very small and thin, and add to the sauce. Yes, including the rinds. It’s very tangy… one of my favourite ways to make shakshuka!
Eggplant – whenever I make baked eggplant (see my recipe) I always make at least one extra one to use for baba ganoush or to add to shakshuka. If you decide to make it with eggplant, you don’t need the crushed tomatos/paste/sugar. The eggplant gets very mushy and saucy… sooo good!
Roasted red peppers – I often make roasted red peppers for a side dish (roasted in the oven with olive oil). Use leftovers and add it to the sauce! If you want, try both eggplant and red peppers… you can totally eliminate the crushed tomatos/paste/sugar if you do this.
Meat – try using chunks of chicken instead of egg. Or brown some ground meat and add to the sauce.
Cheese – I love adding goat cheese to shakshuka. I add it just when it’s served, so the cheese melts. You can also try various other shredded cheeses.
(Shakshuka with roasted red peppers and eggplant.)