African Fish Roll (Fish pie) — a popular West African street food – specifically in Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana that is made with some sort of shortcut pastry filled with sardines and spices. These fried fish pies are crunchy, slightly sweet, spicy and oh so good!!
Over the years I have tried several times to make African fish pie or fish roll, as it’s commonly called in Cameroon, but was extremely disappointed at the results. Then, one of my aunts said casually, “Well, it is just puff-puff mixture with butter and sardines” and it hit me “Duh! That’s it! I decided to try my hand again at this recipe and after several disastrous results I came up with one am proud to share.
An African fish pie is a popular West African streetfood – specifically in Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana that is made with some sort of shortcut pastry fill with sardines and spices. In Cameroon, it is rolled up, while in other countries it is made in the shape of meat pie (empanadas).
These tasty snacks are deep fried not baked; however for a healthy version you can bake them. The baked version would taste slightly different from the deep fried version. To be honest…there is no comparison, fried fish pie is crunchy, slightly sweet, spicy and oh so good.
It is really all the rage for adults and kids, who would hurriedly leave school, in an attempt to get a piece from the ladies selling it, at the entrance of the school. It is more convenient to buy from the street vendors than make it at home in Africa.
Maybe because it is looked down as “poor man’s” snack. Meat pies are the “rich man‘s version. Africans living abroad would classify it as a” MUST EAT” at parties – it flies off the table.
This version of fish pie is made with canned sardines in tomato chilli sauce , slowly simmered with onions and a little bit of curry until all the liquid has evaporated. Then the mixture is folded in the pastry and deep fried until golden brown.
It is somewhat tedious to make, but is worth it at the end. Do make it!!!
Watch How to Make It
African Fish Roll (Fish Pie)
- 1 can sardines in chili tomato sauce 15oz or 425gram
- ½ medium onion chopped
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon water
- 1¼ teaspoon yeast
- 2 ½ tablespoons or 30grams sugar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 4 cups or 500grams flour All Purpose Flour
- 5 oz or 142g unsalted butter margarine
- Drain half of the tomato sauce from the mackerel and place in a medium sauce pan. Then add the onions, curry powder and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until almost all the liquid has evaporated , add parsley . Stir and simmer for about 2 more minutes. Set aside and let it cool.
- In a large bowl add the warm water, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes
- Using a stand mixer or by hand, mix the flour, sugar, salt, then add margarine, mix well until the ingredients have been fully incorporated.
- Then add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix for about a minute
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth
- Cover and let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Divide dough into 1 -2 ounce each- you will have about 25 -35 each depending on the weight.
- On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, roll out the each 2 ounce dough until ½” larger in diameter.
- Then place a teaspoon of fish mixture and roll it up. Repeat the process. Set aside the fish pie
- Heat up a large skillet or cast iron with oil up to ½ inch- medium-high heat (375) until hot but not smoking.
- Scoop up the batter with a spoon preferably and fry in batches, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan (it will absorb excess oil, resulting in a soggy fish pies)
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish pie and place them on paper towels.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.