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Fish Dough

The term “fish dough” is a misnomer as cooked fish is not combined with flour to make dough but there are versions where fish is cooked, deboned and mashed to make completely fish-based pasty dough. This dough may have a tiny amount of wheat flour, boiled potatoes, bread crumbs, or corn flour which has been added to provide firmness and consistency to the fish dough paste. Leavening agents are never used in the fish dough.

How to Make Fish Dough?

Fish dough paste is very common in Far East Asia in different forms. The appearance, texture and taste of the fish dough will vary considerably according to the fish that is used in the dough and the preparation process. As a result, there are a large range of recipes for fish dough as follows.

  • White fish is deboned and cut into chunks and cooked with scallions, pepper and potatoes to make thick pasty dough. Eggs or flour are not used with this dough. Traditionally, fish paste is commonly used in Asia and it may be deep fried and simmered in sauce or served as an appetizer.
  • Chinese fish dough based noodles are a specialty dish made in a few regional areas of China. The fish is deboned and then mashed into white wheat flour. Nnoodles are made from the fish dough and simmered in fish stock
  • Fish may be cooked with tomatoes and onions to make a thick red fish dough that is used as a filling in empanadas.
  • Fish is cooked and deboned. The fish paste is then combined with scallions, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to make fish dough for patties.

Popular Fish Dough Recipes

Fish Sticks or Patties are prepared by cooking the fish and deboning it and then combining it with onions, scallions, salt, pepper and vinegar to make a thick paste. Breadcrumbs and eggs may be added to the dough and it is then shaped into sticks, cutlets or burgers for deep frying. Commercial versions of fish dough for fish sticks and patties are prepared by pureeing the meat or compressing it into firm forms. These commercial fish sticks or burgers are then deepfried, baked or grilled before serving. In Japan, processed fish dough sticks are referred to as surimi and are commonly consumed as sautéed snacks.

Fish dough noodles are a very popular signature dish of the Tainan region of China. Fish paste is combined with noodle flour and then rolled out to make noodles or shaped to make dumplings. The fish noodles are served in a fish stock with scallions and shredded eggs. The fish dough dumplings are deep-fried and served in a soy sauce, stock and vinegar base.

Empanadas de Cuaresma are popular fish based empanadas that are served along the seaside of Spain. A fish paste is made from white fish like cod along with tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices and stuffed into a dough envelope. The empanadas are deep fried, baked or grilled till done.