Seafood Ojja (Not Shakshuka)
‘Ojja’ is a Tunisian quick fix of eggs in tomato sauce; it is very different from shakshuka which is more like a slow-cooked veggie mix that may or not be finished off with eggs 🥚
The term ‘ojja’ refers to the fact that eggs are stirred into the sauce as it’s cooking 🍳
Seafood Ojja is one of the more colorful versions of ‘ojja’ and is typical of the coastal regions of Tunisia. It incorporates a mix of various seafood items including mussels, calamari, shrimp, octopus, etc. Today we’ve used a mix of mussels, littleneck clams, jumbo shrimp, and scallops 🦐
Dice all the Roma tomatoes, finely chop the garlic, and slice the serrano chilis.
Add the olive oil to a heated pan, add the chopped tomatoes and sauté the tomatoes on medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes.
Add the spices (except for the cumin, which will be added at the end), harissa paste, tomato paste and stir well so that it can caramelize on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Add 2 cups of hot water and let the sauce simmer. In the meantime, thoroughly peel and rinse the shrimp, rinse the scallops, and scrub/rinse the shells of the clams and mussels so that any residual soil is removed and doesn’t end up in the ojja.
Add all the seafood, mix well. 2 minutes after, add the cumin and stir well . Allow 3 minutes of simmering time.
Crack the 3 eggs into the sauce. Stir one or all of the eggs into the sauce (this is just a matter of personal preference)
Allow 5-7 minutes of poaching time on medium heat.
Turn off the heat, crack some black pepper on top of the eggs, and enjoy with some good bread!