Boulettes de Poisson
(Senegalese fried fish balls in tomato sauce)
The Senegalese love eating these tasty little fried fish balls with a spicy tomato sauce or served over their famous rice and vegetable dish, ceebu jen. Use any kind of skinned and boned white-fleshed fish; cod, hake, perch, tilapia all work well.
- Onion, chopped -- 1
- Chile peppers, chopped (optional) -- 1 to 3
- Parsley, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
- White fish fillets, chopped -- 2 pounds
- Bread crumbs -- 1/2 cup
- Water or milk -- 1/4 cup
- Salt and pepper -- to season
- Oil for deep frying
- Oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Onion, finely chopped -- 1
- Chile peppers, minced (optional) -- 1 to 3
- Garlic, minced -- 2 to 3 cloves
- Tomatoes, chopped -- 2 cups
- Tomato paste -- 2 tablespoons
- Water -- 2 cups
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Add the onion, chiles and parsley to to a food processor or large mortar and process until smooth. Add the fish and continue to process until smooth and pasty. Remove to a bowl.
- Stir the bread crumbs and water or milk together in a small bowl, then stir into the fish mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
- Using oiled hands, form the fish mixture into golf ball-sized balls and set them on a tray.
- Heat the oil in a deep fryer or around 1-inch deep in a large pot to around 365°F. Add a few of the fish balls and deep fry, turning often, until golden brown on the outside. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining fish balls. Set the fish balls aside.
- For the sauce, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion, chiles and garlic and saute until the onion is cooked through and translucent. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the water and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 4 or 5 minutes.
- Stir the fish balls into the tomato sauce and simmer another minute or two. Adjust seasoning and serve over rice pilaf or ceebu jen.
- Use any type of hot chile pepper you like. Habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers work well. Eliminate the peppers if you don't like spicy food.
- Africans love Maggi® seasoning. Stir a crushed Maggi cube or a fish or chicken bouillon cube into the fish ball mixture for extra flavor.