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Boulettes de Poisson Burkinabé:
Burkinabé Fish Balls

What's the big idea?

Although landlocked, Burkina Faso benefits from the Volta river, and as a result fish is one of the major sources of protein in a country where meat is prohibitively expensive for the majority of the population, except perhaps on special occasions. This recipe has been "westernised" to use ingredients and equipment that will be readily to hand in most kitchens.

The quantity below will make enough for four people as a main course - if serving as a snack or as part of a buffet, consider cutting the quantities in half.

Serve with Yams in Tomato Sauce or Sweet Potato Fries, for a really unusual take on fish & chips.

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Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 4 firm white fish fillets
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 fish stock cube
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

What To Do

  • Roughly chop the fish and place in a food processor with the onions, garlic and parsley
  • Pulse to combine the ingredients, then add the stock cube, vinegar and mustard. Pulse once more and season well
  • Form the fish mixture into balls - around the size of golf balls*. Arrange these in a steamer basket, and steam for about 15 minutes or until heated through
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the fish balls and fry until golden brown all over. Serve hot
* From experience, the mixture can end up with quite a lot of liquid in it. Squeezing most of the liquid out of the fish balls as you form them makes them more compact and less likely to fall apart during cooking. However, they then become quite "dense", and take slightly longer to cook.

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