If you still had any doubts as to the true tastiness of shakshuka, one of Israel’s finest culinary delights, you might want to go and read the Boston Globe, which has a nice little article about Israel’s passion for shakshuka. Dr. Shakshuka gets a nice slice of fame and fortune in the article. I’ve taken an extract below, you can find the full article here.
Properly turned out, shakshuka hits sweet, fiery, and filling notes all at once. Considering its heritage, it’s not surprising that the best known venue for shakshuka in Tel Aviv is operated by a native of Tripoli. The owner, Bino Gabso, would appear to know what he’s talking about. The restaurant is called Dr. Shakshuka and sits amid the bustle of Jaffa, the ancient port city out of which Tel Aviv grew. It’s a place that’s on every Israeli’s gastro-radar.
Poll the average Israeli and it’s not difficult to find an opinion – many opinions, in fact – about the best way to cook shakshuka. It’s just that each of these opinions (and recipes) is different. At the same time, however, it’s easy – shockingly easy – to gather consensus on one thing. Everyone here loves shakshuka.
Dr. Shakshuka projects a highly atmospheric gestalt. Hundreds of braziers dangle from the ceiling and the lighting is low, romantic, possibly enigmatic. When the kitchen is humming, six burners are devoted to producing shakshuka. Flames jet up around the sides of the saute pans and a cook dances amid the heat, fire, and bubbling skillets, looking a little like a xylophonist relegated to hell. That is, until he gets his shift meal.
Though the restaurant’s idea of spices may strike an adventuresome palate as somewhat tame, one can still come away with an excellent trick, courtesy of the open-air kitchen. After cracking each egg on top of the tomato and pepper saute with a single hand, the agile, heat-blasted cook tips the pan forward, back, and sideways, allowing the egg white to fold into the vegetables. Instead of one ingredient piled atop another, the two are made to quietly and deliciously meld.
OK, OK, I’m convinced! I’m off for some shakshuka!