The simplest things are the best. If you have the simple ingredients at hand that is :) Well, if you live near a Middle eastern grocery store, don’t wait, rush there and get yourself a lovely ball of shanklish. It is a traditional Lebanese cheese from the Mountains of Lebanon made of sheep and/or goat milk made with a similar process as feta but flavoured with chilli and rolled (yes it’s a nice round ball) in Lebanese local fragrant mountain herbs.
It is pretty dry and salty so it’s better to “marry it” with something. My 3 favourites are: fried eggs, pizza or foccacia and salad. There are a million other ways to enhance a dish with crumbs or slices of this marvel.
As shanklish can keep for more than a year in it’s original plastic shrink wrap packaging, and for a long time in the fridge. You can even freeze it. So if you find a store, jump on it and buy several.
I’ll talk about the salad and pizza later on, this one is going to be about the fried eggs. All you need here is eggs, your typical Lebanese spices such as Sumac, which is a dried and crushed berry which adds a funny sour bomb kind of taste to salads such as tabboule, dips, meats and zaatar. You will need also some Lebanese five spice mix or called sometimes All Spice in Lebanese shops. Of course a bit of ground black pepper and salt to taste. Don’t add salt before you start eating, because the shanklish being very salty, you might add too much. With the usual dash for good Lebanese olive oil for frying, you’re good to go!
- 1 or 2 eggs per person
- ¼ of a Shanklish - Lebanese cheese
- ½ tsp of sumac
- ½ tsp of Lebanese 5 spice
- Ground pepper
- Salt only if needed (the Shanklish being pretty salty)
- A dash of olive oil to fry
- Heat your non-stick pan to a high temperature.
- Crack your eggs in the pan and reduce temperature to medium.
- Cut thin slices of Shanklish over the eggs.
- Spread sumac, 5 spice and ground pepper over.
- When the egg white is not transparent any more, serve!