Crispy, tender and fishy Nigerian Fish Roll

Nigerian Fish roll

Nigerian Fish roll is a simple fried rolled dough with a fish filling. The fried dough and the simplicity of the filling both make this snack special.

Due to my dear Mother’s aversion to street food, I only got to eat fish roll maybe once or twice as a child, behind her back of course. I liked it, partly because of its simplicity and partly because it contains fish and I love fish. The fish in those rolls were so minuscular, I always wished there was more of it inside the roll. A couple of years ago I remembered it and felt nostalgic so I decided to recreate the Nigerian fish roll but to my taste. I experimented and eventually produced fish roll my kids, my Renaissance man and I approve of.

The Nigerian Fish roll is deep-fried, although I believe this recipe will also work in the oven, I have not tried baking it yet. I used mackerel in tomato sauce, you can use fresh or frozen mackerel, canned sardines, or any fish that is not bony but has a strong enough taste, so the fish does not get drowned in all that delicious pastry.

When using yeast, be sure it is still fresh and not old and stale, for optimum rising. I bet you will also enjoy other Nigerian fried dough snacks like Puff puff and Nigerian Egg roll.


fish-roll-1-7mackerel with onions and pepper frying in frying pan

To make Nigerian Fish Roll

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
4 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons warm water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 small onions, finely chopped
scotch bonnet (fresh pepper) or dry chili powder
1 can (5.5oz, 155g) mackerel in tomato sauce (Geisha)

In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and yeast.

Rub in margarine to resemble breadcrumbs.


Add warm water, mix and knead until dough is soft, smooth and elastic.

Rub a little oil inside the bowl, place the dough in it.


Cover and leave to rest and rise for 45 minutes to one hour.


Meanwhile, place a frying pan of vegetable oil over medium-low heat, saute onions and pepper.


Empty can of fish with the sauce into the frying pan, increase your heat.


Break fish up into tiny pieces using a fork.


Add salt to taste and cook until nearly dry. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.


Cut dough into 8-10 pieces.

Roll one piece on a lightly floured surface into a long rectangle about 1/8 inches thick.

Spread about one teaspoon of the fish mix along one of the shorter ends.


Starting from that end, roll as tightly as you can.

Halfway through, tuck the ends in and continue rolling until you get to the other end.


Pinch the dough to seal and place on a tray, seam side down. Repeat for the rest of the dough.


Set a deep frying pan over medium heat, with enough oil for deep frying.

When hot, fry fish rolls till golden brown. Do not overcrowd the oil.


Enjoy your delectable Nigerian Fish Roll with any of these refreshing drinks, beetroot juice, afterglow mocktail, mango lassi, zobo (sorrel), or tea, coffee etc

It can also be served with a dipping sauce for seafood.


If you enjoyed my Nigerian Fish Roll, you will also enjoy my Nigerian Egg roll, Coxinha, Brazilian Chicken Fritters, Funnel cake and Nigerian Sausage roll.

Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

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