Tofu shakshouka

Tofu shakshouka

V is for Vegan

I visited Israel in 2012, and whatever you think about the politics, the food is downright amazing. These people like to eat and know what to eat. One of the most popular breakfasts is shakshouka, which is a dish of eggs cooked in a spicy red tomato sauce. I visited a vegetarian/ vegan restaurant there called Ornella and Ella, and I had the tofu shakshouka. I was supposed to share it with my companion but it was so delicious that I scoffed the lot in one sitting. I’m a big fan of tofu for taking on flavours so willingly. Silken tofu provides a delightful textural contrast here.


Quantity Ingredient
good slug of olive oil
6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
5 spring onions, chopped into rounds, preferably purple
spring onions, sliced lengthways, to garnish
5 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
400 g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
saffron strands
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, to taste
sea salt, to taste
scoop soya yoghurt, to serve (optional)
400g silken tofu, drained and cut into cubes
warm pitta bread, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a good-quality frying pan, ideally non-stick. Then add the cherry tomatoes and the red pepper strips and fry until slightly golden. Add the spring onions. Ditto.
  2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, paprika, ground coriander, cumin, saffron, chilli flakes and salt. Stir briefly to combine. Now add the tofu but don’t stir, otherwise you might break it up – it’s delicate. Leave to cook over a medium-high heat for 20–30 minutes until all the tomatoes seem cooked through and the tofu has sort of poached into a silky wobbliness but still retains a cube-like shape. Add some more water or tomato liquid if the mixture becomes too dry.
  3. Add a quenelle of soya yoghurt, if you like, and some purple spring onions on top. Eat with warm pitta. Really, this is a dish to convince non-veggies.
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