Shakshuka is a north African dish made of tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and spices simmered down to a sauce. Then, eggs get poached directly in the sauce. The whole thing is served with plenty of bread to mop up the sauce. It's long been a fixture of Israeli cuisine and is a beloved dish both made at home and ordered out at restaurants, for brunch or dinner.
Making shakshuka is easy; it's just a matter of chopping the vegetables and letting them simmer away. You'll need a skillet with a lid in order to poach the eggs—the lid allows the whites to cook through, since they eggs aren't turned.
For this merguez shakshuka, the first step is browning the sausage, but otherwise it's a standard shakshuka: brown the onions, cook the garlic, add the veg, season and simmer. When the sauce is nice and thick and broken down, add the eggs and cover until cooked through, with runny yolks.
About merguez sausage
Merguez sausage is a richly spiced, usually lamb or beef sausage from northern Africa. It's popular in Israel and in many Jewish communities, so you may be able to find it fresh or frozen at a kosher supermarket. Mine sells it in both spicy and mild versions, so you don't have to be a fan of heat to enjoy it.
If you can't find it, you can make merguez sausages yourself--you'll need to get friendly with a butcher and figure out a path towards lamb or beef fat, but otherwise, it's pretty easy. Or forget about the fat and use ground beef or lamb with merguez spices for a decent approximation.
Not feeling the meat? Leave it out and hey, you've got the base recipe for a classic Dr. Shakshuka shakshuka.
Looking for more Israeli street food?
- Arayes—You've got to try these meat-stuffed pitas. So easy to make at home and you won't believe how delicious they are.
- Jerusalem Mixed Grill—If you're not feeling brave enough for the traditional offal, my recipe also includes instructions for making this street food favorite with just chicken.
- Shawarma Chicken Meatballs—Shawarma, minus the giant rotating spit. Get all the flavor, in a meatball.
Dr. Shakshuka's Merguez Shakshuka (meat)
- Skillet with a lid
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1-2 merguez sausages
- 1 large onion - diced
- 10 garlic cloves - minced
- 8 medium tomatoes - diced
- 1 red bell pepper - diced
- 1 Tbsp sweet or spicy paprika
- ½ tsp Aleppo chili pepper flakes - or to taste
- salt - to taste
- 4-6 eggs
- Start by dicing the onion, tomatoes, and bell pepper, and minced the garlic.
- Heat the olive oil in a lidded skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown on both sides.
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook until softened and beginning to brown, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes and peppers. Season salt, to taste. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables break down into a thick sauce, about 10 minutes.
- Add the paprika and Aleppo pepper flakes, and stir well.
- Crack an egg into a small dish or measuring cup.
- Using a spoon or spatula, make a well in the tomato sauce. Carefully tip in the egg. Repeat for each egg.
- Cover and pan and cook until the egg whites are set, about 5 minutes.