Nigerian ‘Concept’ Dish: Dry Fish Skin-Local Jollof ‘Sushi’
This concept is about sushi, Japanese rice rolls. Years ago, I attended a sushi workshop in the Netherlands and fell in love with the perfect bites of rice wrapped in seaweed sheets.
Here, I’ve combined ‘traditional’, palm-oil based flavours using gorgeous dry fish skin instead of the nori sheets, smoky rice and fresh herbs to create delicious rolls.
We’re talking crisp and crunchy, soft and chewy, smoky. Here’s what went into mine:
- Dry Fish skin, washed, trimmed and set aside which became the ‘seaweed sheets’. I made some with scent leaves laid on, and some without. I thought I’d up the herby, citrusy flavours.
- Local Jollof, Palm-oil Jollof is a specialty, a delicacy. I love to make mine with lots of scent leaves with flaked dry fish folded in.
- Scent leaves
To serve/ garnish:
- Dry fish skin crisp, like chicharrones and Dambun Kifi – dry fish meat floss, basically spiced flaked dry fish, fried till crispy and deep fried scent leaves
- Hot sauce
- Herbs to garnish
Prep & Plating
I cooked the rice, cleaned my fish skin then laid out some cling film.
Fish skin went on the clingfilm and then I part-lined the fish skin with fresh scent leaves.
Next, I place some rice in the skin and made a roll.
Which then got wrapped in the clingfilm, like a sausage. I put it in the freezer for a few hours because I wanted it to ‘set’ and hold. Once it was time to plate, I warmed the roll in a saucepan of water till it was heated through, about 5 – 8 minutes.
I then cut the wrap into small bites, ready for the next step.
And then, plating began – I smeared some pepper sauce in the centre of a plate;
Then placed some of the rolls on the side and up-facing. Herbs were next…;
Followed by the crispy fish floss and skin;
The crispy herbs/ scent leaves were next and then I topped the central rice roll with waterleaf flowers…just because!
And that was it – feasting began. I absolutely love dry fish skin as you well know
The flavours are smoky, spicy, creamy, herby, yum.
I love the chewiness of the skin, and the crisp and crunch from the fish floss and skin.
Most of all, I love the idea of being able to reimagine, recreate and combine elements of Nigerian dishes in new ways.
Till the next concept dish, stay well xxx