Tasty Tuesdays Recipe: Tunisian Brik

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Brik is certainly one of my favorite Tunisian snacks! They're made from spring roll pastry, filled and fried in oil. Unfortunately, not a very healthy snack, though I'm sure you'll agree they're delicious and certainly go down well with the kids! We usually eat these when breaking fast during Ramadan (okay, I admit I don't fast with Hubby dearest, but I do still enjoy our evening meals during this time); though you can buy brik all year round from vendors in Tunisian streets.

Here's what you'll need to make around 8:

  • A pack of spring roll pastry (look in the freezer department of your supermarket, or try local Arab food shops)

  • A medium sized potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks

  • A small can of tuna, drained

  • 4 Medium eggs

  • About 2 dessert spoons of chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 dessert spoons of grated cheddar/parmesan cheese

  • A dash of salt and pepper

  • Oil for shallow frying

  • Lemons to serve

And here's how to make these delicious treats:

  1. Defrost at least 8 spring roll slices (perhaps add a couple more in case you tear them accidentally since they are rather thin!). This should only take about an hour; less if you can seperate them.

  2. Boil the potato chunks in slightly salted water until tender. Drain and leave to cool for a little while then mash lightly with a fork.

  3. In a mixing bowl, break the eggs and mix. Add the parsley, drained tuna, cheese and the mashed potatoes. Mix well.

  4. In a large frying pan, pour enough oil so that it's at least 1cm deep and heat gently.

  5. Now, take one of the spring roll slices (careful, they're easily broken!) and gently fold into a triangle across the middle to make the brik shape. Then reopen and spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into the centre of the triangle. Quickly wet the edges of the apastry to seal it together. Hold it by the corner opposite the long side and transfer to the frying pan.

  6. Brown the pastry in the oil, then flip over to brown the other side, ensuring the egg in the centre is cooked. Drain on kitchen paper while you cook the rest. Once you get confident, you can cook 2 or 3 at a time.

  7. Serve hot with freshly squeezed lemon juice on them.

Most Tunisians prefer the eggs to be broken on top of the other ingredients, and served so that the yolk is still runny when eaten. However, I prefer my method, as I hate the thought that the egg white may still be runny in places too (there have been so many times when I've had to abandon a brik because this has put me off!). An alternative to the lemon juice squeezed over the brik is to serve with spoonfuls of chopped boiled onions. Trust me, it's delicious!

Next week, I'll be posting my final Tunisian recipe: my version of Koucha, which is traditionally a small lamb roasted with vegetables and tomatoes in a stone oven. But don't worry, you won't need a whole lamb or an old fashioned cooker for this one! It's much easier the way I make it, and is probably my husband's favorite dish.

For more tasty Tunisian recipes, have a look at these previous posts:

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