This form of fish roll is common in Nigeria and other West African countries. It involves flaked fish rolled in pastry. Traditionally, this appetizer is deep fried until golden brown. In this recipe however, I have baked my fish roll, thus making it healthier. The filling is savory and a bit spicy and the crust is crunchy and flaky.
Makes about twelve 3 inch long rolls
(1) Pie Dough (See Note 1)
(2) 2 Medium Sized Fish (See Note 2)
(3) 1 Large Onion (Minced)
(4) 1 Scotch Bonnet/Chili Pepper (Optional)
(5) 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
(6) 1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
(7) Salt to taste
(8) 1 Stock Cube
(9) 1 Egg for Egg Wash
(2) Technically, any fish can be used, Traditionally however, sardines and mackerel are preferred.
(1) Make dough and place in fridge to chill.
(2) Cut fish and clean them. Place fish in pot along with half of the onion and some salt. Add water and boil until fish is cooked.
(3) Strain fish and onion and allow to cool
(4) When fish is cool enough to handle, flake fish. Be careful to remove all the bones. Add cooked onion to flaked fish.
If you want to make fish rolls the typical Nigerian way, flake fish into small pieces, add cooked onion to fish flakes, season with salt and mix to combine. Roll out dough. Roll fish flakes in dough. Cut into rolls. Heat oil and deep fry.
If however you want to bake them, then continue with this recipe.
(5) Heat oil in frying pan. Add remaining minced onions along with pepper and saute for about 2 minutes or until onion is soft.
(6) Add fish flakes along with stock cube and thyme to sauteed onions and stir fry until fish is light brown. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
(7) This step is optional. I felt the filling needed some more color and added some chopped spring onions to it.
(8) Place filling in a bowl and allow to cool down. To hasten the cooling process, place the filling in the fridge. This step is essential as applying hot filling to the dough would melt it and make it more difficult to work with.
(9) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
(10) Take dough out of fridge, break strong dough, form back into a disk and roll out.
(11) Cut out edges of rolled dough to form a rectangle. The size of the rectangle does not matter. If however you want to get fish rolls the same size as mine, cut the dough into a 9 x 12 inch rectangle (I used a ruler). This rectangle will give you six 3 inch rolls. Gather up cut out dough, form into a disk, wrap and place in fridge while you work with the rectangle.
(12) Place filling at one end of the rectangle. The amount of filling you use depends on you. I like to be generous with my filling. Some other people prefer more dough to filling.
(13) Apply egg wash to the remaining part of the dough until you get to about half of the dough.
(14) Begin rolling dough until the fish filling is completely sealed. This will get you to about half of the rectangle.
PS: Can you see how lovely this dough is? Its very pliable and easy to work with. This particular dough was made by hand with margarine.
(15) Cut rectangle with the seam side under the roll.
(16) Apply filling to the end of the leftover rectangle, apply egg wash and roll again until rectangle is used up.
(17) Use a bench scraper or a sharp knife to divide each roll into 3 equal parts. Place divided rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
(18) Take out leftover dough from fridge and repeat the process until all the dough or filling has been used up. This should give you about 12 rolls in all.
(19) Brush rolls with egg and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Do check out my meat pie recipe which can be found here.
END NOTES/DOUGH ROLLING TIPS
(1) When rolling out dough make sure you flour your work surface. This will prevent dough from sticking to the surface.
(2) Whenever you feel that the dough is sticking to the surface, lift a portion of the dough up and apply more flour.
(3) Roll out dough from the center to the edge.
(4) Always rotate dough after each roll. This will ensure that the dough does not stick to the work surface. It will also ensure that the dough is rolled out evenly.
(5) Run hands on top of dough. This will help you detect any unevenness in the rolled out dough.