Watch how to make Cameroonian fish rolls:
I started experimenting in the kitchen, trying to make some. Sometimes the rolls would unwrap as I fried them. Brrrrrrrrrr! At other times, they would grow so big in the oil. Sometimes, they were just too oily. I used only yeast in the dough, only baking powder then both yeast and baking powder. I finally chose to use only a little baking powder as a raising agent because it worked best for me. The struggle to learn how to make “fishy” has been real. Finally, I have my own recipe which many have used over the years and given me awesome feedback. I have tweaked, retested and perfected it because fish roll is serious business.
If you have never made fish rolls before, or you have tried to make them unsuccessfully before, prepare to be swoon. This is simply the best Cameroonian fish roll recipe. Well rolled, tasty and perfect! Get your flour, margarine, sardines in oil and all other ingredients (see below) ready. Let’s make THE FISH ROLLS OF THE YEAR!
Fish Roll Ingredients
For the dough:
3 cups of all purpose flour (375 grams)
4 tablespoons of margarine (or butter at room temp)
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
A quarter teaspoon of salt (increase if margarine/butter is unsalted)
For the filling:
I tin of sardine (125 grams)
Half of each or one small each: red and yellow bell peppers
Half of a medium onion
1 medium sized carrot
Two sprigs of parsley or half a stem of celery
Two garlic cloves
You also need 1-2 litres of oil for frying.
How to make Cameroonian fish roll filling:
First shred the carrots with a grater then finely chop the onions and garlic. Chop the bell peppers and parsley too.
Open the tin of sardine and pour two tablespoons of the oil into a pot or skillet. Let it heat up for one minute then you put in the onions and garlic and fry until fragrant. Add in all other vegetables and mix well. Shift them to side of the pot then out in sardines and mash – don’t make them too mushy. Mix the fish together with the veggies. Viola, the filling is ready!
For the fish roll dough:
Add four tablespoons of margarine to your flour.
Add in two table spoons of sugar.
Add in salt and baking powder (see full recipe below for quantities) then mix with fingertips until everything is well-incorporated. Add in a cup of water a little at a time and mix until you form a dough.
Now flour a board then place the dough on top and knead for two minutes. This greatly improves the texture of the dough. It gets smoother and more elastic as you knead.
How to Roll Fish Rolls Perfectly
First, cut a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball and roll out to form an oval. Place a tablespoon of the filling on top.
Now fold in the dough from the end here the filling is. Fold in the edges too.
Then roll away, baby!
These are my rolls all ready for action, AKA frying. To see more of how I roll them, watch the video.
Now it’s time to fry! Heat up oil on high heat then turn it down to medium heat and put in the rolls. Be careful not to over crowd your pan.
Let each batch cook for about 5-8 minutes. Flip the sides half-way through cooking and as needed. They are ready when they are a beautiful golden brown colour.
Place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Happiness is made of fish rolls. No, I’m not joking!
Let’s take a look at that tasty fish filling. Oh mama!
Would I be bossy if I said you must make some? Everyone deserves a homemade fish roll experience at least once in their lifetime!
Here is the printable recipe:
This is the ultimate Camerooniuan fish roll recipe. It is crispy on the outside and fish filling is so flavourful. Enjoy the recipe!
- 3 cups of all purpose flour 375 grams
- 4 tablespoons margarine or butter at room temp
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt increase as needed if margarine/butter is unsalted
- 1 cup water - room temperature
- 1 can sardines in oil 125 grams
- 2 small red and yellow bell peppers or half of 1 large green bell pepper also called sweet pepper
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 medium-sized carrot
- 2 sprigs of parsley or half stem of celery
- 2 garlic cloves ground fresh spices will work too
- Oil for frying
Shred the carrots with a grater then finely chop the onion and garlic. Also chop the bell pepper and parsley.
Remove two tablespoons of oil from the can of sardines then place in a pot or skillet. Let it heat for 1 minute then saute the onion and garlic until fragrant.
Add in the other vegetables and mix then push them to one side of the pan. Drain the remaining sardines from the oil then add to the cleared side of the pan and mash - don't make them too mushy.
Mix the fish and veggies together. That's it, your filling is ready.
For the dough, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter with finger tips until well incorporated.
Add water a little at a time and mix until it forms a dough. Sprinkle flour on a board then place dough ontop and knead for about two minutes until elastic and smooth.
Cut a little piece of dough. It should be a little smaller than the size of a golf ball.
Roll it out on a floured board to form an oval.
Put a tablespoon of the filling at one end of the rolled-out dough then fold the dough over the filling. Fold in the edges too. Roll till the other end. Repeat process with the rest of the dough.
To fry, heat oil on high heat till hot for about 5 - 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and put in the rolls to fry. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan! Fry for about 5-8 minutes until nice and golden brown. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Enjoy! Fish rolls are great as a snack, for breakfast or as finger food for parties. So delicious!
Instead of a tin of sardine you could use canned mackerel in tomato sauce. In this case, you would need extra oil for frying the onion and garlic.
You could also use a medium size frozen mackerel fish. Boil it with some seasoning garlic, ginger, salt and Maggi (seasoning cube). When cold, remove all the bones and mash the fish.
Note that you could omit adding the vegetables if you want the filling to be all fishy. Or you could use far less veggies than I did. I love incorporating veggies into my snacks so I used more.
Also note that I didn't mention the use of salt in the filling. That's because canned sardines (especially the brand I use) are quite tasty and salty. No need for more salt. But do well to taste your filling to ensure that it is well seasoned. You could also add in some white pepper to the filling if you like. I do this sometimes and it is so good!
If you put in too much baking powder, your rolls may turn out with big holes. They'll absorb a lot of oil and look rough. So do well to put in only a little baking powder as said in the recipe.
If you wish, replace water with skim milk for a richer dough but this is not recommended. You could also add an egg for a richer dough. I recently tried this and I was very happy with the results!
There's a video of me making fish rolls on YouTube. CLICK HERE to watch.
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