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Bread Togolese cuisine

Mackerel stuffed Buns

Mackerel stuffed Buns

Mackerel stuffed Buns

In Togo, we serve a delicious sandwich made fish (Akpala or Mackerel) baked, smoked with veggies and seasonings and served with small French baguettes (The size of hot dog bun). For this recipe of Mackerel stuffed Buns, I have decided to combine a bun and the fish mixture. For this recipe you can use beef, chicken, pork, lamb, goat etc. as the filling.

The bread a versatile recipe that makes soft, delicious bread rolls for hot dog buns, hamburger buns etc. So it’s perfect for these Mackerel stuffed Buns as well. The dough is really soft here, so if it’s too sticky, you will need to flour your hands to make it easier to handle it and shape it.

I prefer to let the dough rise overnight in the fridge, because the chilled dough is easier to handle and less sticky. So it’ll be easier to portion and shape the chilled dough the following day.

I use All Purpose flour for this Mackerel stuffed buns recipe because I prefer really soft bread. But if you’d like to use bread flour, that’s totally fine too. You may need to add extra water or milk to get the right consistency again, so keep an eye on the dough to get that slightly sticky, and shiny smooth ball of dough.

Using a stand mixer makes the whole process easier. If you’re using your hands to knead the dough, make sure it lightly dust your work surface and hands so that the dough doesn’t stick too much.

This recipe of Mackerel stuffed Buns take a lot of time but it’s worth it. I do the whole process takes the whole day. First I clean and smoke the Mackerel with some spices to remove the odor of the fish. While the Mackerel is cooking I start with the bread. Once the Mackerel is cooked and cooled, I remove all the fish bones and crumble fish. The next step is to cook the Mackerel with vegetables and seasoning. Finally, stuff the buns with the Mackerel mixture.

This bread dough is soft and stretchy. Use your hands to flatten out the bread dough to a circle, with the edge thinner than in the middle. Next, cup the bread dough piece in your palm; add 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center. Since the dough is stretchy, you can press the filling into the middle. Your cupped palm will help keep the filling in place.

Next, stretch the dough over the filling and pinch it together to seal. Since the dough is sticky, it should seal easily. If not, then use a dab of water to help seal the dough. After the edges have been pinched together, roll the bun around in your palm a little, to smoothen out the seams/edges. Then place the filled buns in the prepared pan with the seam side down.

As I mentioned before, you can substitute the beef with pork, chicken, lamb or goat meat. The cooking time may vary according to the pan that you’re using, since you’re cooking the meat filling until the liquid has completely evaporated. So it’ll take longer to cook in a smaller pan.

  • 5 Mackerel, whole
  • 3 tablespoon Gallic
  • 2 tablespoon Ginger
  • 5 thyme branches
  • Salt and pepper

First, make sure your fish have been gutted and cleaned under cold water, then dried. Your fishmonger will do this for you.

Coat your cleaned fish inside and out with the Gallic, Ginger, Salt and pepper and let marinate in the fridge for about 45 minutes.

Place in the oven at 375F (190C) and cook for about 45 minutes.

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
  • 5 smoked Mackerel
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 3 cup de frozen vegetable
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Remove the fishbones, and mash it with your fingers. Be Careful not to prick your fingers with the fishbone.

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns

In a medium saucepan heat up the oil and cook the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Keep turning mixture with a spatula, until onion is softened and browned, about 10 minutes. 

Add the fish and mix well to incorporate. (Add a little more fat in the pan if the mixture seems dry.)

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns

Add ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper and fry for another 2 minutes.

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns

Add the frozen vegetables.

Stir in the tomato paste. Simmer, stirring well for 10 mins.

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 packet of baker’s yeast
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 7 cups of All purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Mix the yeast, warm the milk and sugar in a bowl and let the yeast sit for 5 minutes to activate.

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns

Add the oil, egg and wheat flour to the yeast mixture.

Be careful when adding flour. Add it slowly, do not go too far. Knead until you reach the consistency of your hands.

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns

Take the dough in a bowl, pull the stretch film over and let it ferment for 45 minutes. At the end of the period, the dough should have doubled.

Knead the dough. Repeat and add the salt.

Knead the dough and divide the dough into 18 balls and add the fish mixture in the middle and close.

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns

Brush the dough with the egg yolks on them and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Leave in a warm place for another 15 minutes by heating the oven to 180 C or 356 F.

Put the baked dough in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes until golden brown.

Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
Mackerel stuffed Buns
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