Tunisian brik with parsley and egg
We've already brought you a shorba recipe this month, and if there's one other dish that screams Ramadan, it's brik ("breek"). This savory, stuffed "pastry" originated in the Ottoman Empire where it is known as borek. The delicacy made its way west, with some adaptations along the way, and is still eaten in North Africa today. Tunisian brik is typically triangular-shaped and in Algeria (where it's called borek), the pastries are oblong or tube-shaped like a Asian style egg roll.
Malsouka, the paper-thin wrappers used to make brik, aren't available in the U.S. At times we've purchased malsouka in Tunisia and then frozen them upon return. If you don't have that option, years ago, we discovered that Chinese egg roll wrappers will do the trick in a pinch. Even better, Filipino lumpia wrappers are thinner, with small holes, and more closely resemble a traditional brik. You can typically find lumpia wrappers at any Asian grocery store. Now that we've dealt with that bit of housekeeping- onto the fun part: the eating of brik! As soon as the brik are ready, squeeze some lime juice over the top and dig in. As you crunch into the fried wrapper, it should start to flake. Then the egg should coat your tongue as the brininess of the tuna comes into play. If you can't stop yourself from eating just one, don't worry. You're not alone!
Recipe for Tunisian Brik
malsouka (or lumpia or egg roll wrappers)
eggs (one for each brik you wish to make)
1 bunch parsley chopped
one bunch green onions or 1 medium white onion chopped
1-2 tbs Parmesan cheese
1-2 cans tuna drained well
pinch of salt and black pepper
1-2 large russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
Separate and fold the malsouka (or lumpia wrappers) into triangle shapes. Since these are round, the easiest way is to fold in 4 edges to make somewhat of a square, then fold one corner of the square across to the opposite one to create a triangle. Set these aside and keep covered well until ready to use so they don't dry out.
In a bowl mix together all the other ingredients and set aside.
Heat a frying pan with about a half inch of vegetable oil on just over medium heat and make sure its hot enough to fry before you start assembling your brik.
In a plate, place your square wrapper, and line two of the edges with the parsley/tuna mixture making sure they connect. This will serve as a border to keep the egg in place. Sprinkle the center of the wrapper with a little salt and pepper and carefully crack your egg right on top of the salt and pepper. Fold over the top of the wrapper and using the plate, gently slide it into the oil. Use a spoon to gently press the brik closed and to spoon some of the hot oil onto the side not submerged into the oil. While it cooks on one side, you can make a second brik and cook them at the same time.
Let the brik fry for about 2-3 minutes or until a nice golden brown before flipping to the other side and repeat.
*Note: Tunisian brik is traditionally made with a runny egg. To achieve this, you will want to be careful how long you leave the brik in the frying oil, and it will take some trial and error. If you prefer a hard cooked egg, leave it to fry longer.
Remove the brik and place on a paper towel lined plate and continue frying as many briks as you wish to make.
When finished, place on a serving dish and garnish with lemon or lime wedges (to squeeze over) and serve immediately. Enjoy!