Tunisian Brik A L’oeuf

One of my favorite foods from Tunisia is the  brik.  It is made with malsouka dough which unfortunately I have not found in stores. The malsouka dough has the consistency of phylo dough and spring roll dough which can be used to make brik.  My preference is to use phyllo dough because I like the crispy flaky taste, and it is easy to find.  A Tunisian brik is usually shaped like a triangle and filled in the middle with a raw egg, or other fillings such as hard boiled eggs, canned tuna, boiled potatoes, capers and parsley. If you have all of the ingredients prepared ahead of time, a brik can be made in less than 2 minutes. 

Makes 4 serving
Olive or canola oil, for frying
12 phyllo sheets (3 for each brik)
4 whole eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 sprigs fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Lemon wedges

1.  Keeping the phyllo from drying: Be sure to follow instructions on the phyllo dough box on how to keep the phyllo dough from drying out.  I usually put damp towels on my counter under and over my phyllo dough. Each time I remove 3 phyllo dough sheets to make a brik, I cover the other phyllo immediately.  In order for the process and the recipe to be successful, prepare all of your fillings and ingredients ahead.  Then you can stuff and fry the brik one at a time. Next, have a platter with lots of towel paper ready to absorb any excess oil on the brik.

2. Preparing the brik with the filling : You need to do 2 things simultaneously to make a good brik. One is to keep the oil hot and two is to fold the phyllo and add the filling very quickly to keep the dough from drying.  I suggest reading my directions and practicing once or twice. Then you will see immediate success.

3. In a large skillet, at medium heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, about ½ inch deep.

4. Take 3 phyllo dough sheets together and make a square.  Since the phyllo usually comes in rectangles, you may need to fold the ends on two sides to make the square.  Place the phyllo dough square on a plate and get close to the frying pan. Quickly crack an egg in the middle of the phyllo square and add salt ant pepper.  Next, fold two ends of this phyllo square to make a triangle. Approach the skillet with the hot oil, and slide the brik a l’oeuf in gently, so you will not splash the oil. Stay close to the skillet because it is going to take less than a minute for the bottom of the brik to turn golden. As soon as the bottom turns golden, turn it over gently with two large spatulas and cook the other side. The other side will also cook it less than a minute. When both sides are golden, gently lift the brik from the hot oil. Let some of the oil drain back in the skillet, and then move the brik to the platter with the towel paper to drain any excess oil.  Remove from this platter and move to another platter and squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and some fresh chopped cilantro.

How to eat a brik a l’oeuf: The trick is to hold the triangular brik over the plate with the point up and biting into it without letting the egg run down your chin. That’s why you you have the plate.  If the egg runs on the plate, soak it up with the other parts of the brik.  Either way, you will enjoy this recipe.

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