Shakshuka is a North African and Middle Eastern meal of poached eggs in simmering tomato sauce with spices. Its easy, health and takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Ingredients for servings
45 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large red pepper, stems, seeds, and ribs removed, thinly sliced
1 fresh small hot chili I used Sriracha instead
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
15 g sweet Hungarian or smoked Spanish paprika
8 g whole or ground cumin seed
800 g can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed see note
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
large handful minced cilantro, parsley, or a mix
sliced oil-cured black olives, feta cheese, or artichoke hearts, for serving all optional
crusty bread, for serving
Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet or straight-sided sauté pan over high heat until shimmering. Add onion, red pepper, and chili and spread into an even layer. Cook, without moving, until vegetables on the bottom are deeply browned and beginning to char in spots (see note), about 6 minutes. Stir and repeat.
Continue to cook until vegetables are fully softened and spottily charred, about another 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add paprika and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Immediately add tomatoes and stir to combine (see note). Reduce heat to a bare simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in half of cilantro or parsley.
Using a large spoon, make a well near the perimeter of the pan and break an egg directly into it. Spoon a little sauce over edges of egg white to partially submerge and contain it, leaving yolk exposed.
Repeat with remaining 5 eggs, working around pan as you go.
Season eggs with a little salt, cover, reduce heat to lowest setting, and cook until egg whites are barely set and yolks are still runny, 5 to 8 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining cilantro or parsley, along with any of the optional toppings. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
To crush the tomatoes, transfer to a large bowl and squeeze through your fingers to create a chunky purée. Alternatively, leave whole, add to the pan, and use a pastry blender to cut the tomatoes directly in the pan.
Charring the peppers and onions gives them another dimension of flavor.
Whole canned tomatoes have better flavor than diced, and are more consistent year-round than fresh ones.
Spooning the tomato mixture over the egg whites helps them set faster, allowing you to leave the yolks runnier.