O.k. I actually thought I’ll have to wait for months to eat my beloved fish pie again when I began this low-carb diet thingy. If you are new to the low-carb life, read all about low-carb in this post. I decided more than a month ago to quit refined flour so I knew fish pie and all my favorite African small chops made with flour are off the list. I wasn’t going to just sit here and watch these months go by without it. Or have to make fish pie for my family and have to resist the temptation of tasting. So I started finding ways to make a flour-less keto fish pie version.
The flourless Keto fish pie development process
Choosing a non-refined, low-carb flour
First, I thought about a low-carb alternative to refined (white) flour. Immediately, I could pinpoint coconut and almond flour. These two are known to be low-carb, gluten-free but high in fat which is actually great for a low-carb, high-fat diet like the Keto diet. So definitely a win!
I remember trying to use coconut flour as well as almond flour to make chin-chin and discovered that almond flour was easier to work with because it is ‘stickier’ when combined with milk than coconut flour so I decided to go with almond flour for this recipe.
Choosing a binding agent
The reason why white or refined flour is so popular in most cuisines is its ability to bind. Did you know that you can use flour and a mixture of water to make glue? My friend Ngwing’s daughter Kayla made glue from flour for a school project and I thought this was so cool. So I wanted to find a binding agent for my fish pie. If you follow my blog, you know that my number one binding agent at the moment is psyllium husk. For those who do not know, Psyllium is a dietary fiber which is gotten from the Plantago plant and exhibits binding properties. The reason why it is used as a food thickener and binding agent in the food industry. These days, it is used to make swallows/fufu from vegetables like cabbage, eggplant or even butternut squash.
The first time I tried making fish pie with Psyllium as a binding agent, I failed. Woefully!. I quickly discovered that Psyllium alone could not suffice. Then I thought about cheese, as it is used often to make flourless pizza crust especially with cauliflower. Win! I had to go with my favorite cheese – Mozzarella! This cheese is more neutral in taste and easier to work with when properly melted.
Rolling out the keto fish pie dough
Oh man! This was the most difficult part. Remember we are working with almond flour which does not bind as such. The trick is to use completely melted cheese, a got dose of psyllium husk and eggs. I must admit, I didn’t completely melt my cheese so working and rolling the dough wasn’t easy but I managed to work it out. Phew! It was tough!.
Time to experiment – Keto Fish Pie, Take #2
For this pie, I decided to use fish. Just because, I prefer fish to meat pie. I wanted to keep the filling as simple as and as easy as possible to make. Who has time spending countless hours in the kitchen? Not me biko! I used multi-colored bell peppers, 2 tins of sardine and some garlic, white and black pepper. That’s it. When I finished making the filling for this keto fish pie, I realized it could actually be eaten on its own. I shared the different uses for this filling here.
All in all, it took me 30 minutes to get the pie ready to be backed and for a second trial, it was worth it. I must also say this; do not expect to get that real crunchy authentic African fish pie taste. To be honest, it is NOT the same BUT, it is close. This keto fish pie is cheesy and fishy and a wee bit crispy if backed at moderate heat till golden brown. It will definitely satisfy your craving for fish pie for the next couple of weeks. Will I be making this often, NO! Not often but once in a while if I feel like eating meat or fish pie. The authentic fish pie taste CANNOT be substituted. I better tell you the truth.
If you try this recipe, please let me know how it worked for you. Do you have another flourless, keto-approved fish or meat pie recipe you will like to share. Please comment below. I’ll love to learn your way of making it. This recipe will be on my YouTube channel during the weekend, so be sure to subscribe and share for updates, recipes, food and nutrition education and my own weight loss journey on my VLOG my Zeelicious life.
Now, let’s get right to the cooking.
- 300g almond flour
- 200g mozarella, melted
- 2 tbsps. psyllium husk
- 1 egg, whole and beaten
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 300g sardine (tinned sardine or homemade)
- 1/2 green, red and yellow bell peppers each, cubed
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic cloves, chopped (or a pinch of dried garlic)
- Black pepper, curry powder to taste (just a pinch)
- Habanero pepper (optional)
- Salt and bouillon cube to taste
- Oil (use the oil from the sardine) or 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Seperate the sardine from the oil and add the oil to a pan. This should yield about 1 tbsp. of oil from 2 small tins of sardine (150g each).
- Add chopped onions and sautee till onions are transparent. Now add bell peppers, sardine fish and the other spices. Sautee for 5 minutes and serve.
- Mix psyllium, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- Melt mozzarella cheese in a bowl over boiling water untill, cheese turns into oil.
- Immediate add melted cheese to the almond flour mix, add egg and mix until dough become firm.
- On a chopping board, roll out the dough. Use a bowl to cut out round circles like you would regular fish pie.
- Scoop one spoon of fish filling unto the dough and fold it. Use a fork deeped in beaten egg to press the dough close.
- Brush some egg on the filled dough. Repeat the process untill, you have no dough left.
- Bake at 180 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or untill golden brown. Be careful not to burn pies.
- Let it cool and serve with tea for breakfast.
- You can use beef instead to make meat pie. Your choice but the process remains the same.
- Store leftover baked pies in the fridge and heat in the oven when needed.