Brik Is The Tunisian Deep-Fried Egg Pastry That Reminds Us Of Samosas

If you're looking to change up your typical routine of scrambled eggs in the morning, you can take plenty of inspiration from countries around the globe. From whipping up a robust Middle Eastern shakshuka, to attempting to delicately roll the perfect Japanese tamagoyaki, to creating a crowd-pleasing huevos rancheros spread, it's hard to go wrong with everyone's favorite breakfast food: eggs.

However, it's Tunisia that may have one of the most delicious and distinctive egg dishes out there that's perfect for your Sundays. For those that are a fan of crispy golden pastry, warm seasoned eggs, and a bit of meat in the morning, brik (pronounced "breek") is the breakfast for you. This famous North African dish dates back centuries, and has graced Tunisian tables since for events from Ramadan to casual family gatherings. We recommend making this dish for yourself, as we guarantee the unique combination of fillings will have you craving it every morning from now on.

History of brik

Like many ancient foods, not a lot is known about the origins of this dish. Although, there is evidence to suggest that brik dates back several centuries, marking its creation during the Ottoman Empire. While the word brik is possibly derived from the famous savory Turkish pastries, börek, it is thought that this dish was first made in Southern Tunisia by the nation's Jewish population.

Wherever the dish's roots began, brik has now become an important part of Tunisian culture. Piling brik on your plate when breaking your fast during Ramadan is a typical practice in the country. And those who grew up here often have fond memories of their relatives cooking brik for them on both casual and celebratory mornings.

Many people compare it to various dumplings and South Asian samosas, as most of these dishes have meaty fillings wrapped in a warm, crispy dough. However, brik is a unique dish unto itself that has a surprising yet undeniably delicious ingredient list.

Ingredients in brik

Brik is composed of a hearty filling delicately wrapped inside a crispy shell. The filling is typically made up of cooked onions, garlic, and tuna, along with an egg that gets fried inside the dough. Recipes will also usually include seasonings like salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and other optional spices to add flavor to the filling. However, some versions dress it up a little more by adding herbs (usually parsley or green onion,) feta cheese, and even potatoes into the mix. Sometimes tuna is substituted for another meat, but fish is the most traditional protein.

The ultra-thin crispy wrappers that hold all the ingredients together are called malsouka or warqa. However, if you're attempting to make this dish outside of Tunisia, you'll be hard-pressed to find this specific kind of dough. Filo dough will work great as a replacement, or even egg or spring roll wrappers.

Harissa is a staple spicy sauce that gets drizzled on top of the finished brik. With an added sprinkling of chopped cilantro and some lemon juice, you have a completed breakfast ready to eat.

How brik is made and eaten

Brik is definitely better enjoyed as an indulgent weekend meal, as it can be a bit time-consuming to make. However, if you're willing to spend 1 to 2 hours of your Sunday morning in the kitchen, it's worth attempting to make this flakey, savory treat.

Everyone's process varies slightly when making this dish, so feel free to get creative in the kitchen. But a typical first step is to sauté your onions and tuna together in a hot, oiled pan with some salt, pepper, and herbs of choice. Once everything is combined and cooked down, it's time to stuff the wrapper.

This part can be a bit tricky for first-timers. The best way to do this is to fold in the edges of the wrapper so it becomes a square shape. Then, the filling gets spooned onto one corner, about an inch away from the edge. An entire egg is then added to the opposite corner, and the square is then folded in half. After lightly sealing the edges, the brik is slid into a pan with hot oil. It should deep fry until both sides are golden brown and crispy. Then, it can then be removed and cooled on paper towels. When you're ready to enjoy your brik, make sure to pair it alongside a warm tea and plenty of harissa, a squirt of lemon, and a sprinkling of cilantro for the perfect North African breakfast.