October 25, 2011

Homemade Shakshouka aka Tomato Sauce Poached Eggs (Recipe by Marina)

Traditionally, shakshouka is a dish of Middle Eastern descent, which is made up of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, and often spiced with cumin. It’s really popular in Israel and many Israelis have taken this dish abroad to their expat restaurants. In fact, that is exactly how I came upon it.

While my parents were vacationing in the Carribean, they came upon an Israeli restaurant that served this dish for breakfast. My mother loved it and was able to recreate it upon her return. I then stole it from her and have made my own version of it. While it is typically baked in the oven, slowly, over a period of twenty minutes, I have been able to get the same results stove-top in under ten.

Here’s my version of Shakshouka.


  • 3-4 large tablespoons of your favorite tomato sauce. I use Hunt’s because it’s consistent and cheap.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons good, fresh salsa. I prefer the kind that is transparent where you can actually tell what’s in it. It should have fresh diced tomatoes, fresh chopped peppers, fresh diced onions, fresh chopped cilantro, and crushed garlic. I like to use salsa because it already has all the ingredients I need all nicely chopped up for me. It also has some heat to it and this dish thrives on good spices. Canned diced tomatoes also work as a substitute but then you need to add your own onion and garlic. You could also just chop up a tomato for the freshest variety.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • Cumin (optional)
  • Fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, or parsley. The herb depends on what tomato base you use. If you do salsa, use cilantro or parsley. If you do canned diced tomatoes, use basil or parsley. If you do fresh tomatoes, use parsley.

To make:

  1. Heat a medium sized pan on high
  2. Add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds
  3. Add tomato sauce and heat for 30 seconds on medium heat
  4. Add salsa and chili flakes. Heat on medium heat for 1 minute, stirring the mixture so it doesn’t catch the sides.
  5. Crack each egg into the tomato mixture carefully, about 2 inches apart, just as you would if you were poaching an egg.
  6. Let the mixture bubble for 1 minute.
  7. Spoon a little of the outside tomato liquid over the eggs. Do this gently so the yolks do not break.
  8. Chop up a few sprigs of fresh herbs and add to the pan. You may also add a dash of cumin at this point(about 1/2 teaspoon).
  9. Cover the pan and simmer on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. 
  10. Eggs should have a thin white coating but not be too firm.
  11. Carefully plate the dish or serve directly in the pan.
  12. Only add salt if it is not to your taste. Be carefully with seasoning.
  13. Serve with good bread for sopping up the tomato juices at the end. 

So so so delicious! Try it!

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