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Recipe for Nigerian Fish Roll

Before I share today’s recipe with you, let me first pay my respects to my late aunt, Tina. She used to make awesome freshly baked goodies. She was quite generous with them too. I especially loved her fish roll. Usually, after collecting my share from the pieces she set aside for us kids, I’d still go and buy more from her shop.

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Fish roll is a deep fried pastry with fish filling. It’s not as popular as the Nigerian meat pie but it’s one hell of a tasty snack as well. My aunt used only sardine for the filling for her fish roll. However, recipes evolve every day. This is why the filling for today’s fish roll is well spiced frozen fish and sardine.

Ingredients for Fish Roll

500g all purpose flour

200g margarine

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 Teaspoon of nutmeg

2 eggs

100ml of evaporated milk

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of sugar

Vegetable oil

The Following will be used for Filling:

Frozen fish


1/2 teaspoon of curry

1/2 teaspoon of thyme

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Seasoning cube/s (to taste)

Medium sized onion bulb

How to Prepare

If you want to make fish roll, you have to prepare the filling first. So, cut, clean and rinse the frozen fish. Put it in a clean pot and season it with half an onion bulb, half teaspoons of curry, thyme, garlic powder, one seasoning cube, and salt. Add a little water and cook the fish on medium heat till it’s tender. Turn off the heat and take the fish out of the stock. Allow it to cool.

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When it’s cool, debone it. Afterwards, open the can of sardine. Mash the canned fish and the cooked fish together with a fork.

Grate the remaining onion. Heat up a little vegetable oil. Add the grated onions, the mashed fish, half teaspoons of garlic powder, dry pepper and one seasoning cube. Stir fry for two minute and turn off the heat. Transfer the mashed fish to a clean bowl and allow to cool.

With the filling ready and cooling, it’s time to prepare the dough. Get a clean, sizeable bowl. Add  flour, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and sugar into the bowl. Mix well with your hand or a spatula (I prefer to use my hand for mixing though). Add the margarine and mix until you have a crumbly dough. Next, add eggs to the dough and mix thoroughly, then mix in the milk.

Start adding water in bits while mixing. Please while adding water watch the texture of your dough. Bear in mind that it should be workable not watery.

When your dough comes together, spread flour lightly on your work surface. Remove the dough from the bowl. Put it on the floured surface then knead till you have a smooth but firm dough. This should take about 5 minutes or less. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover it for about 8 minutes.

When the time has elapsed, divide the dough into small portions and start rolling them out with a rolling pin. When the dough is flat, cut it into small rectangles; the size depends on how big or how small you want your fish roll.

Add about two teaspoon of filling to each rectangle and roll up. Repeat the process till you roll out all the dough. Deep dry on medium heat till it’s golden brown.

Serve cool with a chilled drink.

Featured image source: Tinuola’s Blog

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Obiamaka Angela Udevi

Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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