Fish Rolls: How to Make Cameroon Fish Rolls

April 9, 2015 (Last Updated: February 26, 2020)

Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside; fish rolls are a popular, tasty street snack in West Africa but the Cameroon fish roll is the best I’ve tasted thus far!

Cameroonian Fish Rolls - Stacked and plated n a table

When I had fish rolls as a kid they sucked! My mom never made fish rolls, and I never liked the ones I bought from street vendors and fancy restaurants! Then I grew up and made a few friends from Cameroon that made awesome fish rolls; nothing like what I had as a kid. A perfect combination of a crisp and light crust with a savory fish filling. Let me tell you the story of how I shifted from hating fish rolls and share the fish roll recipe that made me fall in love with them.

All church meant to me as a kid,  was that it was dreadfully long and boring especially after the service when I would have to wait for my parents to have their after church meetings. Sometimes those after-church meetings lasted longer than the church service itself and my sisters and I would have to wait for hours to start the one hour journey it took us to get home. Thankfully, the wait was bearable because I got to hang out with the other kids that were forced to wait as well. Our hang out spot was a little kiosk right beside the church that sold soft drinks aka “minerals” and light snacks. One of the snacks commonly sold in said kiosk was fish rolls, a snack staple I absolutely hated!!! However, they seemed like a fancy snack to get; the fish rolls being one of the more expensive snacks (child in the 90’s type of expensive), and everyone seemed to like them a lot. It was a thick dense dough roll with a sliver (if at all any) of the driest mackerel you’ve ever tasted. Even now, memories of me trying to love those rolls make me shudder.

Well, years later I met some lovely Cameroonian girls in college, and one day, one of them offered me a fish roll. Before I saw what she had to offer, I cringed at the memory of the fish rolls I remembered as a kid, and tried to figure out how many bites I would need to endure to be polite. When she presented the Cameroon fish rolls, they looked absolutely nothing like what I had as a child, and a bite of these “new” fish rolls changed my heart towards fish rolls all together.

How to Make Cameroon Fish Roll

Ingredients for the Filling

  • 1/2 a pound (about 227 grams) of fish filet (use any fish of your choice; I tend to use Mackerel  fish)
  • 1/2 a red onion chopped
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper

Ingredients for the Dough

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of  yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of  sugar
  • 1/2 a  teaspoon of  salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water
  • Oil for deep frying

How to Prepare the Filling: 

  1. Season the fish filet with salt and pepper and allow it to marinate for 1 hour
  2. After the fish has marinated, place the fish in a steamer with the onions and steam for 10 minutes.
  3. Once the fish is done smash the fish with the onions. Adjust the seasoning at this point you you taste. You may add other spices and herbs as well.

How to Make the Dough

  1. Mix 1 cup of water, sugar and yeast and set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder, and create a small well in the flour mixture.
  3. Pour in the frothy liquid ingredients and the butter and mix well with the flour to form a dough.The dough should be smooth and soft but not too sticky to handle.
  4. You may add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky or add more water 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too stiff (I added 2 additional tablespoons of water to get the perfect texture).
  5. Knead the dough gently for 2 minutes, and set aside to rise for 45 minutes.
  6. Once the dough about doubles in size, divide into 10 equal pieces.
  7. Roll the dough into oval discs about 1/8th of an inch thick
  8. On one of the narrow ends of the oval disc, place one tablespoon of the fish stuffing and seal as shown Some fish placed on side of one flattened doughWrapping fish in the doughSingle dough wrappingA bunch of dough wraps on a plate
  9. Deep fry each fish roll in hot oil (about 365 degree F) in a pan until golden brown. Serve warm

A stack of cameroon fish rolls on a plate, a half eaten roll on another plate and some groundnuts in a bowl

These Cameroon fish rolls are absolutely scrumptious, try it!

Cameroon Fish Roll Nutrition

The nutritional information for a serving of cameroon fish roll (meaning one roll) is shown below with the assumption of 10% oil  retention on deep fried foods.

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Cameroonian Fish Rolls - Stacked and plated n a table
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Fish Roll Recipe (How to Make Cameroon Fish Rolls)

Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside; these scrumptious fish rolls are a great Cameroonian snack that goes perfect with tea.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine: Cameroonian Cuisine
Servings: 10
Calories: 228kcal
Author: Yummy Medley

Ingredients

  • *For the Filling*
  • 1/2 a pound of fish filet
  • 1/2 a red onion chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • *For the Dough*
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp lukewarm water
  • Oil for deep frying

Instructions

  • To make the filling, season the fish filet with salt and pepper and allow it to marinate for 1 hour. After the fish has marinated, place the fish in a steamer with the onions and steam for 10 minutes. Once the fish is done smash the fish with the onions. Adjust the seasoning at this point you you taste. You may add other spices and herbs as well.
  • To make the dough, mix 1 cup of water, sugar and yeast and set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder, and create a small well in the flour mixture. Pour in the frothy liquid ingredients and the butter and mix well with the flour to form a dough. The dough should be smooth and soft but not too sticky to handle. You may add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky or add more water 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too stiff. I added 2 additional tablespoons of water to get the perfect texture. Knead the dough gently for 2 minutes, and set aside to rise for 45 minutes.
  • Once the dough about doubles in size, divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll the dough into oval discs about 1/8th inch thick. On one of the narrow ends of the oval disc, place on tablespoon of the fish stuffing and seal as shown above.
  • Deep fry each fish roll in a hot oil (about 365 degree F) until golden brown. Serve warm

Cameroonian Fish Rolls - The anatomy of a good fish roll

28 Comments

  • Reply
    ChiO
    April 15, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Oooo i remember these rolls as street food growing up. The street version did not look as good. It was very doughy with just a sprinking of fish. This looks delicious. What kind of fish did you use? will any fish work?

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      April 15, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Hey Chi! I used Pomfret, but you could use any type of fish. Tilapia works great.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 18, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Really, some of those church meetings were longer than the service itself! Thankfully, church was a walking distance from home, lucky for us! Lol! These fish rolls look absolutely amazing. A street food here in Nigeria, i was never brave enough to disobey my mum’s warnings not to trust the source! Now i can make mine! Would make some in a few days. Thanks for sharing Lois! 🙂

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      April 21, 2015 at 12:02 am

      I wish church was walking distance, my church was like an hour drive on a good day. You didn’t miss anything from the street fish rolls, they taste better homemade.

  • Reply
    esther
    May 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    wow this looks good. I used it for my project it really helped.

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      May 3, 2015 at 7:53 am

      I’m so happy to hear that Esther!

  • Reply
    Wehnah
    October 19, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks so much for your recipe, I used Titus sardines and the rolls came out perfect. My kids love it. Been trying to do this for a while in vain. You just made my day!

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      November 2, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      I’m glad you like the recipe!

  • Reply
    ogheneovo attule
    November 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Ur fish roll looks so nice. Can u send me the procedure for making Nigeria fish roll?

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      March 21, 2017 at 7:33 am

      Hi ogheneovo, I might need to do a little more digging to find the recipe for Nigerian fish rolls, but I will see what I can do about it.

      • Reply
        BEBOP
        September 6, 2020 at 12:55 pm

        Still patiently waiting for nigerian fishroll

  • Reply
    Ire
    March 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Through this platform, I hv been able to .master the art of making fish rolls, now I fry on a daily basis cause it’s part of what gives me my income. Thanks dear

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      March 6, 2016 at 10:09 am

      I’m so glad to hear that Ire!

  • Reply
    Sophia O
    August 13, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Nice write-up. I remember waiting for those after-church meetings but ee had walks ice-cream to keep us happy too…lol.
    I’m about to try this recipe now. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Sophia O
      August 13, 2016 at 6:22 am

      Nice write-up. I remember waiting for those after-church meetings but we had walls ice-cream to keep us happy too…lol.
      I’m about to try this recipe now. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    adesewa
    September 20, 2016 at 2:19 am

    The reciep is actually understanding it makes good roll out

  • Reply
    Ify Beauty
    December 4, 2016 at 2:33 am

    In the kitchen right now frying my fish roll but my hubby and the children don’t want to leave the kitchen for me to finish, they keep on collecting and eating the ready ones. They love it! Thanks so much MS. YUM, Am so glad.

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      February 12, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Iam glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    Bukola
    April 11, 2017 at 10:39 am

    yes indeed for me i love this fish roll, really nice to have after a long church meeting which always longer than church service , with a very chilled sobo drink.

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      April 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Lol! I am glad you can relate. Cold zobo and fish roll is the best, you just gave me an idea for my Sunday snack. Did you enjoy any other snacks?

  • Reply
    benazir khan
    July 7, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    thanks for sharing i am going to try this with canned fish because it is cheeper

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      July 8, 2017 at 8:47 am

      It is typically made with canned mackerel, so you will still enjoy the fish rolls. You can make them with any canned fish you already enjoy. Let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Aunty Caro
    July 3, 2018 at 1:13 am

    I love fishroll. Yours look amazing.
    For some reason when I make mine the always puff up in the oil and sometime completely unroll in the oil. i need help. what is the trick to keep them rolled up and looking like fish roll after they are fried?

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      July 6, 2018 at 8:38 am

      The puffiness might be because you are using a little too much leavening. Try cutting back on the yeast and baking powder a bit to see if it helps. As far as the seams coming undone, you may have a little too much flour on your dough when rolling it out. Try wetting the edges with a little bit of water to help seal it.

  • Reply
    Babatobee
    February 25, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Thanks and thanks for this timely recipe.you have added to the infor I needed on fish roll.

    • Reply
      Lois
      February 28, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      Happy to assist Babatobee!!!

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    February 14, 2020 at 7:21 am

    5 stars
    Delicious and a tasty and healthy snack option. Easy to make too. Family to love it.

  • Reply
    Amanda Mason
    February 17, 2020 at 10:09 am

    5 stars
    These remind me of fish sticks!! I ate fish sticks non-stop when I was a kid!! What I love about these is I can use cod, tilapia, or salmon!! These were great and super versatile!!!

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