Fish Appetizer – Fish “Gajaks” a name given to Mauritian snacks. “Gajaks” are pre-drink nibbles usually served to accompany a drink…. As we all know how much us Mauritian like our little snacks whether with or without a drink. It’s the festive seasons and many of us plan to celebrate in style and I cannot think of any better way to do so – food, family, and friends together and enjoying special time together. I have chosen these little bites since they are extremely easy, and can be made in advance with fresh fish and kept frozen, and used as needed. Since we like to start a party or any kind of celebration with “gajaks”, I thought this was appropriate to start with as we get into the festive spirit.
Here is my easy to follow recipe which you can try in the comfort of your kitchen at home, with the fish of your choice and best of all they are homemade. They also make a quick and easy starter. Fish Gajaks can be served as a pre-drink nibble with a glass of chilled white wine or Mauritian Rum, the true Mauritian way!
These fish “gajaks” are little bar snacks, so if you are visiting Mauritius by touring the bars where they are served do try out these little plates of deliciousness! The exquisite bite-size appetizers. But for those who are keen to try them at home, check out how easy they are to make – with the bonus of how proud you will be to serve them to your loved one.
To serve these fish appetizers I give you the options of three dips – two mayonnaise dipping and one chilli dip. Enjoy and Cheers!!!!
For the crispy Tuna or Cod Gajaks
- 100g skinless cod or tuna fillet
- 3 tablespoons toasted fine semolina (alternatively you can use breadcrumbs)
- 2 tablespoons mild chilli powder
- 2tsp sumac powder
- 1tsp cumin powder
- 2 Tbs chopped dill or flat leaf parsley
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt flakes
For the mayonnaise dipping – two flavours
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise add one of the suggested ingredients below:
- 1 tablespoon medium chilli powder
- Peeled and finely diced rind of ½ lemon, plus a little juice
For the chilli sauce
- 2 Tbs chilli sauce
- 1 Tbs seasoning soya sauce plus a little lemon juice
- Make the two mayonnaises by mixing 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with the chilli powder in one bowl, and then in another bowl mix the remaining mayonnaise with the lemon rind and juice. Set to one side.
- Make the chilli sauce mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Cut the cod or tuna fillet on a slight angle into really thin slices. (If you wish you can cut the fish in finger). Coat the fish with the sumac powder. Cut the cod or tuna fillet on a slight angle into really thin slices. (If you wish you can cut the fish in finger). Coat the fish with the sumac powder.
- Combine the semolina, chilli powder, dill or parsley and cumin powder on one plate.
- Beat the egg on another plate. Dip the cod slices into the egg, then shake off any excess and roll in the semolina mix, pressing down to evenly cover.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the cod for 1 minute. Turn and cook for another minute only.
- Remove the cod/tuna from the pan and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain.
- Serve warm with the two mayonnaise dips.
Other Serving Suggestion:
Serve on thin slices of ciabatta, griddled or toasted. Take pieces of toast and top some with a little of the lemon mayo with the chilli mayo. Cut each piece of breaded cod or tuna in half and place on top of the lemon-mayo/chilli-mayo toasts, then sprinkle over the sea salt flakes. These fish bites makes a lovely sandwich filler.