Trader Joe's is finally bringing us some real food in addition to a whole bunch of snacks. So if Trader Joe's Shakshuka Starter is in any way unfamiliar to you, perhaps you are more familiar with a similar dish that can easily be made at home: eggs in purgatory. What's the difference you ask? Here, the difference is spice.
About this dish
In all fairness, let me back this discussion up a little bit. If you are unfamiliar with both, this is basically a tomato stew. Shakshuka is Middle Eastern in origins. But the addition of eggs might make this North African in origin as well. Eggs in purgatory might be the looser name for the same basic premise: a tomato stew with eggs cooked into it.
Taste and review
Premise aside, the key difference here is the spice blend. This particular shakshuka is mildly spicy. And while the ingredients don't list it, there is a good helping of cumin here. Or at least that was the flavor note that came through all the flavors here.
Basically, for $1.99, you are getting the pre-made tomato stew. If the name isn't clear enough, this is a starter, not a finisher. Everything else you'll need to add in. Eggs are the obvious answer, but you'll probably want some bread, naan, or Malabari paratha to dip into this to enjoy this more.
This is way more tomato than it is the bell pepper. So just be aware this is going to eat a lot like a thick pasta sauce.
Are you limited to just adding in eggs? I don't see why you would be limited to just that. Goat cheese, tofu, chicken or pretty much any other protein you have in the refrigerator would make for a satisfying mix in here. Just be sure to season that as well. If you notice the picture on the box, there is a really salted and peppered egg. That extra layer of flavor is totally worth it.
I made this on the stovetop and the directions worked perfectly. Except for the egg part. I was really wishing for a breakdown of how long to cook the eggs to get certain desired egg textures. Mine did take a touch longer than the 2 minutes. I like my egg yolks runny; the egg whites not so much.
If you are looking for a healthy meal this is a good one. And while I'm pretty sure this isn't something you'd try to make at work, it did make for a nice light lunch or brunch meal. But, be sure to bring something to dip into this. I enjoyed using some bread as a utensil to eat this with than I did any fork or knife.
Would I buy this again? I'd consider buying Trader Joe's Shakshuka again.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The box of Trader Joe's Shakshuka Starter:
Calories and ingredients
After being cooked you get:
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Trader Joe's Shakshuka Starter
Product Name: Trader Joe's Shakshuka Starter
Product Description: Trader Joe's Shakshuka Starter is pre-made spiced tomato and pepper stew.
Trader Joe's Shakshuka Starter is a pre-made tomato stew.
- An easy, fresh, and delicious meal that can serve one or two.
- A pretty healthy option.
- Cumin is one of those love it or leave it spices, so be aware this is the most pronounced spice.