essential to making them is the round thin pastry sheets called brik which can usually be bought at markets catering to middle eastern food and/or sephardic jewish clientele. they are larger than a dinner plate and have a thicker texture than that of phyllo. in the absence of availability of brik, one can use spring roll wrappers but the brik will have to be shaped differently and much smaller than shown below. if using spring roll wrappers, i'd suggest using hard boiled eggs which have been chopped rather than the whole raw egg as it just wont fit in a spring roll wrapper properly.
brik take no time to make once your filling ingredients are ready. the way i cook them uses very little oil and they are ready in only a few minutes with quite decent results.
brik au thon
spicy hot harissa, sour preserved lemons, salty wrinkled black moroccan olives and several briny capers, along with the simple addition of some tuna and an egg make a wonderful filling — all encased in a crispy wrapper. serve with some wedges of lemon and perhaps extra harissa if you're daring, this makes a light delicious meal or snack.
3 sheets brik pastry, 2 whole & 1 cut in half
1 can tuna, packed in oil or water
1 wedge preserved lemon
several moroccan (wrinkled type) black olives or kalamata
1 tbsp capers in brine or salt (washed well)
1/4 onion, chopped small
parsley leaves, whole or chopped
harissa paste, to taste
1 egg per brik
salt and pepper
egg wash, optional (not necessary in my opinion)
prepare the lemon and chop the olives. make egg wash, if using.
place the ingredients on a plate near your workspace.
in a LARGE non stick frypan, add 2 to 3 tbsp vegetable or regular olive oil and heat over medium heat. the pan must be hot when you add the brik or it will suck up a lot of oil.
with the pan heating, cut 1 sheet of brik in half. place 1/2 a sheet in the middle of 1 full sheet as shown below. this is done so as to make a more stable wrapper — think of it as an insurance once you bend the brick over. if the brik is slightly dry, it will snap and leave a spot where it may seep. it also prevents the filling from cooking too quickly before the rest of the pastry is fried.
place the tuna, preserved lemon, olives, onions and capers in the center of the pastry.
add salt and pepper to taste and harissa paste. you can add the parsley, too.
make a little well and carefully break a whole egg, pouring it in the little well.
if using the egg wash, paint a semi-circle around the top edge. i don't use any as the pastry will seal itself with the heat when frying. if your new to this then use the egg wash.
carefully transfer the pastry to the hot pan and cook each side for 3 to 4 minutes. it should be golden brown on each side.
if you like your egg a little runny then cook for 3 minutes per side.
serve with wedges of lemon.