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+ servings
5 from 3 votes
Crunchy African Style Fish Balls
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

These fish balls made West African style are crunchy on the outside, moist, garlicky and tasty on the inside. Irresistibly good! If you are looking for a special recipe to wow, this is it.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Fish Balls
Servings: 12 fish balls
Calories: 94 kcal
Author: Precious Nkeih of preciouscore.com
  • 12 oz fish fillets (340g) - 5 small fish fillets I used mackerel (see Note 1)
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • ½ medium onion - finely chopped
  • 1 stem parsley or cilantro - finely chopped
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs I used panko breadcrumbs (See Note 2)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 seasoning cube (Maggi) 4g cube
  1. Place fish fillets in a pot, add ⅛th of a cup of water (the water should be very little and dry up as the fish cooks), salt and white pepper. Let it simmer on low heat for about 5-10 minutes until the fish is soft and flaky and the water is all dried up.

  2. Place the fish in a bowl and use a fork to mash up. Add in onion, garlic, parsley, seasoning cube, 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of the flour (reserve the other part of flour). Mix all the ingredients together lightly then shape the mixture into balls.

    Note: I used a cookie scoop to scoop out the mixture and shape into balls - this made sure they were all about the same size. You could do same or use a measuring tablespoon to scoop the mixture. If you don't mind large fish balls, then use an ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture (I prefer my fish balls smaller).

    Also note: the fish ball mixture can get very sticky and hard to handle. If it gets sticky. wet your hands with water and continue forming the balls.

  3. When all the balls are formed, place the remaining egg in one bowl and beat, place flour in another bowl then place breadcrumbs in another bowl. Roll a fish ball in the flour then place it in the egg mixture to coat it. Place it in the breadcrumbs and ensure the breadcrumbs coat the ball all around. Place the ball on a tray. Repeat process with the rest of the balls.

  4. Place oil in a pan up to 4 inches then heat up the oil on medium heat to 350 degrees F. Place the balls in the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Let them cook for about 4 minutes on one side then you flip them to the other side and let them cook for another 3 minutes. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

  5. Serve fish balls as they are or with any side of choice. I love serving them with fried plantains and African pepper sauce.

Recipe Notes

1. I used mackerel fish because I found mackerel fillets at an Asian store I shop at. The fish I used is called "salt mackerel) and I had to soak it for several hours to remove the salt from it. HOWEVER, you do not have to use mackerel. You could use any fish fillet you like. Also, if fish fillets are not readily available in your area, then you could get whole fish and use a sharp knife to fillet the fish (seperate the flesh from the bones).

2. You could use regular breadcrumbs if you choose to but I used Panko breadcrumbs because they are much crunchier than regular.