Unlike most pies from around the world that feature a round pie in a dish, the Nigerian fish pie is a miniature semi-circle shaped pastry with a seasoned fish and vegetable filling.
Although, the Nigerian fish pie is not your regular confectionery, you’ll love this soft and flavourful pastry once you have a bite.
How to Make Nigerian Fish Pie
Filled with fish, potatoes and simply delicious, the Nigerian fish pie is a tasty comfort snack for all occasions. The shape of the fish pie is just as you have it with the Nigerian chicken pie and meat pie. The Nigerian fish pie is usually baked just like its other counterparts – Nigerian meat pie and chicken pie. Deep frying is another option used by some. Whatever your choice, here is an easy recipe for you.
- Total time: 2 hrs 30 mins
- Prep: 2 hrs
- Cook: 30 mins
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Serves: 11
Materials needed (cooking utensils & appliances)
- Medium sized bowl
- Electric or gas stove
- Cooking pot
- Frying pan
- Rolling pin
- Circular dough cutter
- Spoon ladle
- Egg whisk
- Baking tray
- Plastic wrap
- 2 medium size mackerel (fresh)
- 2 medium tomatoes ( finely diced)
- 2 medium size potatoes (finely diced)
- 1 medium onions (finely diced)
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 stock cube and little salt to taste
- 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. of plain flour (substitute for cornflour)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 small egg
Dough (Makes 11 large pies)
- 1Kg plain flour
- 500g butter (500ml cooking butter)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup water (All may not be required, depending on how thick you want your dough)
First things to do/note
- If you choose to fry, make your sure your dough is thinner.
- Avoid dumping the egg in the dough when mixing.
- Avoid over kneading the dough.
- Whisk egg and divide in half, leaving half for coating and add the other half to the dough.
Making the dough:
- In a clean bowl, work melted butter into flour till properly mixed. Add the baking powder and salt and continue working it in till all turn to crumbs.
- Add half of the whisked egg to the flour and mix.
- Add water a little at a time and mix the dough till it is well combined. Add the water step by step so the dough can hold. Do not overwork the dough.
- (If using yeast, pour the yeast into the water and wait for about 10 minutes or until frothy. Gradually pour the water into the dry ingredients and mix gently until you get a medium soft, stretchy dough).
- Once you have kneaded it sufficiently, wrap in a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1- 2 hours so the dough can be smoother.
Making the filling:
- Clean out mackerels and cook for 6 minutes without salt. Drain out excess water, cool down and debone and flake the fish.
- (Sardines may be taken out from can and mashed instead).
- Place a frying pan on medium heat, pour oil and put in the tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Let it cook for about 5 mins. Then add in the water, stock cube, pepper and salt. Cook for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are very soft.
- Add in fish to the sauce (season if needed) and a little flour to thicken the sauce. Cook for another 3 mins. Allow the sauce to cool.
Making the pie:
- Pre-heat the oven to 250°C.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour on a clean surface or work top for easy rolling of the dough.
- Bring out the dough from the refrigerator and knead for 2 minutes.
- Divide dough into 3 or more places for easy handling. Roll out the dough on the lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 4mm.
- Place the circular dough cutter on dough and cut out as many circles as you can get. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.
- (Although the standard way of making the fish pie is to cut the dough into squares and roll, you may choose to cut out whatever shape you prefer).
- Spoon in about 1½ tbsp. of the filling on to the dough. Dab the edges with whisked egg. Fold in half and with a fork, press all around the folded edge to seal. Glaze the top of the pastry with eggs.
- Repeat this process for the rest of the fish filling and pastry.
- Grease the baking tray (or use a grease proof lining) and lay out fish pies on it.
- Use the rest of the whisked egg to glaze the dough by rubbing egg on them for a finished brownish look.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 25-30 mins at 200°C (180°C if using a fan oven) or till gold brown.
- If frying, heat up the oil to 350°C and fry on medium heat until golden brown and cooked through.
- Serve with pepper sauce or eat as is.
- Serve with a cool drink.
Video: How to Make Nigerian Fish Pie
Important health notes about the Nigerian fish pie
- Using mackerels for your fish pie will ensure that you get essential vitamins that are good for the body as the fish is rich in Omega3 fatty acid, calcium and iron.
- Including potatoes to your fish pie has high nutritional benefits as it contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol. Potatoes which is rich in vitamin B6 is known to contain more potassium than banana.
It is also a good source of fiber, magnesium and antioxidants.
- Tomatoes and onions are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline content to support a healthy heart.
- There you have it, your Nigerian fish pie is an healthy snack option as it is rich in fiber, potassium and essential vitamins.
- However, due to its floury content, it should be consumed with caution. Eating it on a daily basis is discouraged as too much consumption of white flour leads to weight gain and subsequently obesity.
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