Fish Rolls Recipe

Experience fish like never before with these delicious, savory, and crispy Fish Rolls!

A Fish Roll is an African recipe and popular snack in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and beyond. It is a delicious, flaky snack made with a buttery pastry filled with well-seasoned fish.

In this recipe, you will make everything from scratch, from the filling to the crust. On the outside, you can feel how crunchy it is while on the inside, it will give you a soft, smoky, and rich flavor.

fish roll recipe

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Once you wrap the filling in the dough, all you have to do is deep fry the fish rolls for the perfect flavor and texture from the inside out. It’s one of my go-to recipes for celebrations or weekends to give my family a meal to enjoy.

Bite into the roll and relish the great stuffing that awaits! 

How to Make Fish Rolls

Cooking Fish Rolls is one of the easiest ways to make the most out of fish. You can give the filling the flavor that you want while keeping it crispy on the outside. You will realize that fish don’t just swim, but they can roll, too.

Once you taste it, you’ll always crave it!

Ingredients

Take a look at everything you will need to make Fish Rolls:

Mackerel

Whenever I make Fish Rolls, I always go for mackerel.

Why is mackerel a top choice for fish roll filling? Aside from being affordable and accessible, mackerel has a pleasant flavor and tender texture. It’s easy to season, cook, debone, and use.

You can use mackerel for baking, grilling, frying, and more. It will also go well with grains, pasta, and noodles. If you haven’t been eating much fish lately, then it’s time to change that with mackerel!

Health Benefits

  • According to Very Well Fit, eating fish like mackerel twice a week can improve your heart health.
  • It can also boost your brain health, especially once added to your regular diet.
  • Organic Facts also mentioned that mackerel can promote weight loss by making you feel full.

Aside from using the fish for egg rolls, you can also add mackerel to Moi Moi, Egusi Soup, and Egg Omelet Toast. Just season it to make it as flavorful as you want. How do you like to use mackerel?

fish roll
Onion

Don’t skip the onion for the filling. It will add a pungent, sweet, and umami flavor that makes the fish taste so much better. The juices from the onion can also make the filling moist and tasteful.

Even the fragrant aroma of the onion can make a big difference in the dish. It will surely taste well with the seasoned mackerel. I also use it as a filling for Turkey Pie, Breakfast Wraps, and Chicken Pie!

Seasoning 

Despite the natural delicious flavor of the mackerel, you can always make it better with the right seasoning. I suggest using salt, chili powder, mixed herbs, ginger powder, curry powder, stock cube, and mixed herbs.

Trust me; these spices will amplify the strong taste of the stuffing. You can also use other seasonings depending on your preference. Just have fun with the seasoning to get the flavors that you want.

All-purpose flour

It won’t be a Fish Roll without flour to make the rolls.

Instead of using wrappers, you can make your wrapper with some dough. The good thing about using flour and dough is that you can be sure that the filling will be intact as you cook the Fish Rolls.

Using flour will also make it easier for you to knead, shape, and form the rolls. Once you deep fry them, you’ll see how crispy and crunchy they can be. You can also use this flour to make African Puff Puff, Scotch Eggs, and Nigerian Coconut Egg Rolls.

Butter

Remember to add the butter because it will give the dish a crunchy, tasty, and decadent quality. It will also improve the texture of the rolls to make them flaky and crisp.

In fact, the butter can give the dish a fragrant aroma that will go well with the filling. You can use salted or unsalted butter but melt it before adding it to the dough. A little bit of butter already goes a long way.

Sugar

Even the dough wrapper will need seasoning. Add flavor to the dough and crust by mixing in some sugar. It reacts with the flour and butter to give the fish rolls a golden brown color and rich flavor.

With sugar in the dough, it will also caramelize as it deep fries for an enriched flavor and texture. It can certainly work wonders for flavor, color, and overall quality.

Sunflower oil

Every time I deep fry, I use oil with high smoke points like sunflower oil. It can cook the dish without making it too oily or losing too many nutrients. You can also use other oils with a high smoke point for alternatives.

Nigeria fish roll recipe

So, which part are you most excited about? The great thing about this recipe is that every step is fun! Making dough, cooking stuffing, frying, and most especially, eating the fish rolls!

Directions

Are you ready to cook some Fish Rolls?

Mackerel

  1. Clean and slice the mackerel into quarters with a knife.
  2. Arrange them in a pot with water to submerge the fish.
  3. Season it with salt and crushed knorr cube. 
  4. Let it cook over low heat for ten minutes.
  5. Then, set the mackerel stock aside.
  6. Once cooled, debone and break it apart into chunks. 

Dough

  1. In a bowl, mix plain flour, sugar, sea salt, nutmeg, and melted butter.
  2. Use the dough hook of the mixer to combine the ingredients until crumbly.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as it mixes. 
  4. Then, gradually add water.
  5. Continue mixing until the batter forms a dough.
  6. Cover and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Filling

  1. Dice a medium-sized onion with a knife.
  2. In a pan, sautee the onion and season with curry powder, mixed herbs, red chili powder, knorr cube, sea salt, and ginger powder over medium heat for a minute.
  3. Add the mackerel chunks until well mixed.
  4. Set the stuffing aside.

Fish rolls

  1. Place the dough on top of a lightly floured surface.
  2. Then, roll it out with a rolling pin.
  3. Divide it into ten equal parts using a dough cutter.
  4. Mold each dough into a ball. You can prepare the rolls in two ways:
Method One
  1. Press the dough with your hand.
  2. Then, roll it out with a rolling pin as thinly as possible.
  3. Add a spoonful of the fish filling at the end and roll it, starting with the end with the stuffing.
  4. Press both open ends as you roll the dough. 
Method Two
  1. Roll out the dough as thinly as possible.
  2. Add mackerel close to the edge.
  3. Then, dampen the edges with some water.
  4. Fold the flattened dough to form an envelope.
  5. Press the edges firmly to seal. 

Time to fry!

  1. Heat cooking oil in a deep frying pan on medium heat.
  2. Lower the fish roll in the oil.
  3. Keep turning the fish roll with a slotted turner.
  4. Once cooked, transfer them to a lined plate.
homemade fish roll recipe

There is nothing more to ask for when you have the crunchy goodness of dough and the luscious flavor and aroma of the mackerel filling! These fish rolls will indeed be devoured in record time! 

Tips

Mackerel

Buying mackerel
  • According to Fish for Thought, whole fresh fish should have clear and bulged eyes.
  • There should still be scales, and the skin should be moist and slippery.
  • The fish should also smell like the sea. 
Storing mackerel
  • Rinse and pat the fish dry before wrapping it in cling film.
  • Put ice cubes in a large container and place the fish on top.
  • Use refrigerated fish within two days.
  • You can also freeze it in freezer bags for up to two weeks. 
Nigerian fish roll recipe

How to Knead Without a Mixer

Kneading is necessary to form the dough; if you don’t have a mixer, then you can always use elbow grease! Always start with clean hands and a sanitized surface.

  1. Lightly flour a flat space.
  2. Use the heel of your hand to push it outward.
  3. Then, fold the dough in half by pushing one side inward.
  4. Rotate the dough as you repeat this process.
  5. Continue doing this until the dough is ready. 

With your finger, apply slight pressure on the dough; if it bounces back immediately, you can set it aside to proof. 

The dough can be refrigerated by wrapping it in cling film and placing it in resealable bags. Make sure to use it within two days. To freeze, enclose it in plastic wrap and put it in a freezer bag to last up to several weeks. 

delicious fish roll

Fish Rolls Variations

You can always make your own version of Fish Rolls!

The filling can be anything you want it to be. Aside from mackerel, you can use other fish options like sardines, sea bass, cod, tilapia, and tuna. Meat fillings like beef, chicken, and hot dogs can also be excellent options for the filling.

You can season the mackerel however you prefer with paprika, pepper, and chili flakes. Vegetables such as carrots, celery, and parsley can also make incredible filling to add more flavor and texture.

Healthy Tip!

This can also be turned into a vegetarian version by using bell peppers, lettuce, sweet peppers, cabbage, and more! 

On the other hand, this can be a gluten-free recipe by replacing the dough with rice paper. Even the seasoning is customizable to your preferences! 

Alternative Ways to Cook Fish Rolls

Aside from deep-frying fish rolls, you can also cook them in the air fryer or the oven. 

Air Fryer
  1. First, preheat the air fryer to 180°C (350º F) for 5 minutes.
  2. Arrange the rolls in the lined air fryer basket.
  3. Then, cook for 13 minutes at 180°C.
  4. Rotate the fish roll at the 7th minute.
  5. Air fry the rolls in batches. 
Oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 95°C for ten minutes.
  2. Grease the baking tray and place the fish rolls on the tray.
  3. Then, let the rolls bake for 20 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar.
  4. Flip them over at the 10th minute. 
  • Stand mixer: Make the dough with the mixer.
  • Frying pan: Deep fry the fish rolls in a pan.
  • Rolling pin: Flatten and expand the dough with a rolling pin. 
  • Dough cutter: Divide the dough using a cutter. 
  • Slotted turner: Toss the rolls in the oil with a slotted turner. 
  • Spatula: Mix the ingredients using a spatula. 
  • Pot: Boil the mackerel in a pot to pre-cook for the filling. 
  • Spoon: Scoop the fish filling with a spoon. 
  • Knife: Chop the mackerel using a knife.
  • Bowl: Prepare the dough in a bowl.

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homemade fish roll

How to Serve Fish Rolls

Even if it takes time to cook Fish Rolls, every minute is worth it, especially once you taste them!

There are many ways to serve fish rolls. You can prepare them as main dishes, side dishes, snacks, or even appetizers. These are good for kids and adults, so don’t forget to cook them for celebrations or weekends.

You can also serve it with sauces or dips such as ketchup, soy sauce, tabasco, and other condiments. The great thing about these is that they are easy to eat because of their size.

Here are some of the best dishes to serve with Fish Rolls:

The dough can also be formed in various shapes and sizes. You can structure it into a dumpling, a ball, or other creative figures you can imagine. 

what to serve with fish rolls

Storage Tips

  • At room temperature: Eat the Fish Rolls within two hours or while they’re still hot and crispy.

MAKE AHEAD

In the fridge: Put the rolls in resealable bags or containers to refrigerate for up to a week. 

To freeze: Seal the fish rolls in freezer bags to extend shelf life to several weeks. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a fish roll made of?

The fish roll is made of fish-infused filling wrapped in flaky and crusty dough for deep frying. It can also be made with different kinds of fish and vegetables.

In this recipe, you need mackerel, onion, and spices for the filling. Meanwhile, the dough is best made with flour, butter, sugar, water, and seasoning.

Can I use yeast for a fish roll?

Yes, you can use yeast for the fish roll dough. It will cause the crust to expand for a more voluminous texture. Instead of yeast, you can also use baking powder.

How do you wrap a fish roll?

There are two ways to wrap a fish roll. Here they are:

Method 1
  1. Press the dough with your hand.
  2. Roll it out with a rolling pin as thinly as possible.
  3. Add a spoonful of the fish filling at the end and roll it, starting with the end with the stuffing.
  4. Press both open ends as you roll the dough. 
Method 2
  1. Roll out the dough as thinly as possible.
  2. Add mackerel close to the edge.
  3. Dampen the edges with some water.
  4. Fold the flattened dough to form an envelope.
  5. Press the edges firmly to seal. 

How many calories are in a fish roll?

A fish roll can have more than 120 calories, depending on the fish you use and the wrapper you make. You can eat several fish rolls, especially if you’re counting your calories.

Are fish rolls good for you?

As long as you eat fish rolls in moderation, they can be good for you. Mackerel can be a good source of nutrients for your heart, brain, and diet. Fish rolls can also be great for your bones and appetite.

fish rolls
Nigerian fish roll recipe

Fish Rolls Recipe (Tasty Snack)

5 from 1 vote
Are you looking for a snack with an element of surprise? This Fish Rolls recipe is the perfect dish for you! The delicious mackerel with the crusty and flaky dough makes a mouthwatering combination!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 fish rolls
Course Snack
Cuisine African, West African
Calories 168kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the mackerel

  • 1 mackerel (medium-sized)
  • 1 cup water (for boiling)
  • 1 stock cube
  • A pinch sea salt

For the pastry

  • 2 cups plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • A pinch nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp butter (melted)
  • cup water

For the filling

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion (medium-sized)
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 cube stock cube
  • A pinch sea salt
  • ½ tsp ginger powder (optional)

Instructions
 

Mackerel

  • Clean and slice the mackerel into quarters with a knife.
  • Arrange them in a pot with water to submerge the fish.
  • Season it with salt and crushed knorr cube. 
  • Let it cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Then, set the mackerel stock aside.
  • Once cooled, debone and break it apart into chunks. 

Dough

  • In a bowl, mix plain flour, sugar, sea salt, nutmeg, and melted butter.
  • Use the dough hook of the mixer to combine the ingredients until crumbly.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as it mixes. 
  • Gradually add water.
  • Continue mixing until the batter forms a dough.
  • Cover and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Filling

  • Dice a medium-sized onion with a knife.
  • In a pan, sautee the onion and season with curry powder, mixed herbs, red chili powder, knorr cube, sea salt, and ginger powder over medium heat for a minute.
  • Add the mackerel chunks until well incorporated.
  • Set the stuffing aside.

Fish rolls

  • Place the dough on top of a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll it out with a rolling pin.
  • Divide it into ten equal parts using a dough cutter.
  • Mold each dough into a ball. You can prepare the rolls in two ways:
    Method 1
    Press the dough with your hand.
    Roll it out with a rolling pin as thinly as possible.
    Add a spoonful of the fish filling at the end and roll it, starting with the end with the stuffing.
    Press both open ends as you roll the dough. 
    Method 2
    Roll out the dough as thinly as possible.
    Add mackerel close to the edge.
    Dampen the edges with some water.
    Fold the flattened dough to form an envelope.
    Press the edges firmly to seal. 

Deep fry

  • Heat cooking oil in a deep frying pan on medium heat.
  • Lower the fish roll in the oil.
  • Keep turning the fish roll with a slotted turner.
  • Once cooked, transfer them to a lined plate.

Video

Notes

  • Always check the dough for doneness before turning and frying.
  • Use different fillings to make each roll unique.
  • Store the dough wrapper in the fridge or the freezer for later use.
  • The dough should bounce back after applying light pressure.
  • To check the temperature, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. If the oil is hot enough, the dough should sizzle and float back to the surface of the oil.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan when frying.
  • Tearing dough is one of the most common issues in fish rolls. This problem is mainly due to a lack of gluten network and flexibility. Always test the dough for doneness before rolling it out and frying.
  • Continue to knead the dough until it bounces back immediately from slight pressure. You can also do the windowpane test by stretching out a small amount of dough – if it tears apart, it needs more kneading.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 (of 12)Calories: 168kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 10gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 396mgPotassium: 203mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 82IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 2mg
Keyword African fish rolls, fish pastry, fish pie, fish rolls, fish rolls recipe, Nigerian fish rolls

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