Tourist Tip #30 / Shakshuka

Despite its funny name, Israelis are serious about this beloved breakfast dish, made from sizzling tomatoes, poached eggs, and an endless array of extras.

Some say that a visit to Israel isn’t complete without a taste of one of its most beloved breakfast dishes: the shakshuka. Meaning “all mixed up,” shakshuka is a nutritious, nourishing mix of eggs poached in a tomato sauce with garlic, spices and olive oil. It's so popular that it is served in restaurants all day long, and no matter where you travel in the country, you're likely to find it on the menu.

This North African dish was introduced into Israel by Tunisian Jews, and is traditionally served in a cast iron pan, with ample bread on the side for dipping and scooping the flavorful sauce. But be careful – shakshuka is served sizzling so make sure not to touch the pan!

Although it’s eaten all year round, shakshuka is especially comforting in the winter as a hearty, warming meal. And as it’s a very versatile dish, with endless varieties gracing our menus. Shakshuka can, and is, served with almost any type of extra, from spicy sausage (in the Spanish version), to a sizzling scoop of skhug (a spicy chili and coriander paste) in its Yemenite interpretation.

It’s also a fun dish to enjoy with your fellow diners, and many restaurants offer family-sized portions. So grab a hunk of bread and dig in. Just don't forget to wipe the tomato sauce from your face once you've cleaned your plate.