Shakshuka ish

Created by Locally Seasoned for DEEPER Retreats in Baños, Ecuador

Breakfast isn’t the only time to delight in the comfort of eggs poached in simmering tomatoes, peppers and onions. Shakshuka boasts many variations throughout the world. The name Shakshuka began in North Africa and quickly spread throughout the Middle East. Versions of this ultimate comfort food show up as stir-fried tomatoes and eggs in Asia; eggs-in-purgatory in the United States and perico in South America. Could this combination be any more perfect?

That’s why I had to make a luscious version of it while working as a personal chef in Baños, Ecuador. The combination of adventure, introspection and compassionate eating truly makes DEEPER RETREATS unique. It’s both a joy and a challenge cooking in remote areas around the world. I start with a plan every time. It isn’t long before that plan is out the window, replaced with the thrill of creating something entirely new. Ingredients can be swapped for locally sourced alternatives creating any number of unique variations. So we’ll call it Shakshuka-ish. Shakshuka-ish is amazing any time of day. We’re delighted to share the recipe and some photos with you.


Serves 8


  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1 large onion, cut into long strips
  • 2 cups bell peppers (any color), seeded and cut into long strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 6 cups tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • (optional) your favorite hot sauce


  1. In a large skillet on medium heat, add oil and saute onion and peppers until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, both paprikas, cayenne, tomatoes, salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until juices are beginning to thicken.
  3. Using the back of a wooden spoon, gently press one well for each egg into the tomato pepper mixture and crack an egg into each well. Do not stir.
  4. Turn heat down to medium low. Cover tightly and simmer for 7 to 9 minutes. Less time for runny yolks and more time for firmer yolks.
  5. To serve, drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with crumbled feta, fresh cilantro and a few glugs of your favorite hot sauce to taste.


  • Feel free to double this recipe. Remember DO NOT DOUBLE the cayenne or black pepper! Leave those spices the same and increase only after tasting.
  • This goes well with a hardy toasted bread and butter too!
  • If you don’t have much time you can use chopped hard boiled eggs in place of cracking and simmering eggs.
  • Don’t like chunky peppers and onions? Chop instead of slicing in long strips. It’s all up to you!
  • MAKE AHEAD and FREEZE: Make a large batch of the tomato pepper mixture (before adding the eggs) and freeze in portions. When you’re hankering for some comfort food pull it out and bring it to a simmer on the stovetop. Finish with your eggs, feta, cilantro, olive oil and hot sauce.

MORE ABOUT DEEPER RETREATS: Equal parts external adventure and inward introspection, DEEPER Retreats provides adrenaline pumping and thought-provoking experiences at international getaways for those interested in personal development on all levels – physically, mentally, and spiritually. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DEEPER RETREATS.

Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.

anthony bourdain

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