Nigerian fish pie
The Nigerian fish pie is not as common as the meat pie or chicken pie, but if you are a fish lover, this hand pie is for you and if you are not a lover of fish, give it a try you will be pleasantly surprised at how good and mellow it tastes. It is loaded with fish and vegetables, so it is filling and healthy, a complete meal on the go. The Nigerian fish pie is different from the Fish roll which is a fried roll.
Mackerel is the fish of choice but any good tasting fish will do even canned fish like canned tuna, sardines etc. Do not use fish that has its flesh riddled with tiny bones. It will be very challenging getting rid of the bones and equally challenging eating the fish pie if you didn’t properly remove the bones. The bones will most of the time win the challenge.
I have had numerous encounters with fish bones getting stuck in my throat and being taken to the emergency room, and the doctor would fish out the bone from my throat (pun intended). I never underestimate fish bone, in fact whenever I am eating fish, which incidentally I like a lot, I try to give it my utmost concentration and respect due it and it normally reciprocates the respect.
Right, so for the Nigerian fish pie, you can use either Irish potato or sweet potato. I gravitate towards sweet potato most of the time, there is something I like about the taste of fish and the sweetness of the sweet potato. Nigerian fish pie filling is not as damp as its meat counterpart.
The shape is different from the meat pie, chicken pie and vegetable pie but there is no hard and fast rule about hand pie shapes. Fast food outlets do it because it is usually easier to identify the pies by their shape in their fast paced service business. This way you don’t give a customer fish pie in place of chicken pie.
Pie dough can be a pain and a lot of people shy away from pastry making because of the dough, so I have made a comprehensive post on easy pie dough. It is unbelievably easy and straight. There are lots of tips addressing most of the pitfalls encountered in pie dough making. Follow the instructions and tips and your pie dough will be exceptional time and time again.
To make the Nigerian fish pie
300g fish (1 small) 1/4 cup cubed sweet potato* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 small onion (1/4 cup, chopped) 1/4 cup chopped carrot, 2 small 1/4 teaspoon dry chili pepper 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme 1 seasoning cube 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon flour 1 egg Easy pie dough
Wash, cut and clean fish.
Put in a pot, add some water, season with salt and some sliced onions.
Place over medium-high heat and boil till fish flakes easily and a fork passes through easily.
Boil unpeeled sweet potato till a fork passes through.
Peel and cut into cubes to get 1/4 cup.
Chop onions and carrots.
Pick out the fish and set the fish stock aside.
Flake the boiled fish and take some time to pick out the bones, be patient.
Pour oil into a dry sauce or frying pan and place over medium heat.
When hot, add onions and fry until softened.
Add fish, carrot, potatoes, dry chili pepper, dry thyme and seasoning cube. Stir and fry.
Add some of the fish stock, cook until carrot has softened but is not mushy.
Mix a slurry of 1 teaspoon flour with 2 teaspoons of water.
Stir and add to the pie filling, stirring immediately. Cook to thickened.
Take off the heat and spread on a plate to completely cool down.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper, brown paper or aluminium foil. Set aside
Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
Crack egg into a small bowl add 1 teaspoon water or a pinch of salt and beat, set aside.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle of about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thickness.
Cut into rectangles depending on the size you want your pies.
Place pie filling on half of the rectangle, making sure to leave some space along the edges.
Fold the empty side of the pastry over the filling to cover it and meet the edge of the other side.
Crimp the outer edges by hand or with a fork.
Place individual pies on the prepared sheet, snipe a hole on the top of the pie or prick with a fork.
Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until dough is golden brown.
- If using the soft orange flesh sweet potato, cut into cubes from raw.
- If using the hardy white or red-skinned sweet potato, boil whole or cut into 2 or 3 pieces depending on the size, when it softens but not mushy, peel and cut into cubes.
- Irish potatoes can also be used in place of sweet potatoes.
- The pie filling should not be watery at all, if it is, add more flour slurry to thicken it further, this is to avoid it making the pastry soggy.
- Ensure the pie filling is completely cool before filling the pie if it is still warm, it will increase the temperature of the dough, melt the butter and you will end up with a crumbly, oily and soggy pastry.
- Do not use any water releasing vegetable, it will make your pastry soggy.
- The Nigerian fish pie filling can be stored well sealed in a freezer bag or container in the freezer.
- Store the cooked fish pie in the freezer and reheat from frozen in the microwave or oven.
- Any excess filling can also be mixed with scrambled egg or used to fill tortilla wraps or pita bread. It can be used to toss pasta.
If you enjoyed the Nigerian fish pie, you will also enjoy the Nigerian meat pie, Nigerian Chicken pie, Nigerian Sausage Roll, Easy Apple Hand Pie, Nigerian Cornish Pasty and the Vegetable pie. Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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