Paprykarz szczecinski: Polish fish paste recipe
If you like fish, this recipe is for you!
Last weekend I was asked to prepare something tasty for dinner. Well, going out is limited at the moment (a bit of a depressing situation, but we have to survive somehow 🤷♂), so I checked everything we had in stock and proudly declared that I would make fish paste (known in my country as 'paprykarz szczecinski' – I can imagine how saying this can be hard for you because of the 'sz', 'cz' and 'rz').
Paprykarz Szczecinski is sold in many supermarkets here. It is canned fish with tomato concentrate, vegetables (like onion and carrot), seasonings, oil and rice. According to some sources, paprykarz was invented in the mid '60s in Szczecin. Its roots are in an African dish called 'chop-chop', which made a big impression on Polish technologists who travelled to West Africa at the beginning of the '60s. The paste was exported to 32 countries (including Hungary, the USSR, Liberia, Togo, The Ivory Coast and Japan).
I prefer to prepare this kind of food on my own, no matter how much time it might take. I did my own version by adding a bell pepper which I had to use up (the usual version hasn't got pepper in it). Let's move on to the recipe, then! 👇
- 100g rice
- 1 onion
- 1 large carrot (or two small carrots)
- Canned fish (I used sprat to do this, but you can use your favourite type)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sweet pepper powder (more, if you like)
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or one clove of garlic)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tbsp tomato concentrate or passata
- 1 red bell pepper (optional)
- Chives or parsley to garnish (optional)
- Boil the rice according to the instructions. Chop the onion and red bell pepper (if you're using one) and grate the carrot. Drain the sprat and chop it too.
- Fry the vegetables in a pan for 10 minutes with the bay leaves and allspice, then add half a glass of water and boil under cover for 15 minutes. Add the boiled rice, sprat, tomato concentrate (or passata) and the seasonings, mix it together and fry for 5 minutes.
- The paste is ready for spreading on a slice of bread or a roll! You also may use a blender to blend it if you prefer a smooth consistency.
If you want, you may use brown rice.