Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin)

Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin)

Sardine puff with potatoes is a delicious snack. Sold in Singapore and Malaysia, they may be deep-fried, air-fried or even baked. This recipe guarantees a buttery and crispy pastry. Get tips on advance preparation, freezing and secrets to enhance sweetness to the filling.

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Preparation 90 mins
Cooking 30 mins

Snack, Bread, Appetizer

Indonesian, Malaysian, Malay, Singaporean

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Nutrition per Serving

220 kcal
21 g
13 g
6 g

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Sardine puff is a delicious savoury and crispy snack. Its sister pastry, curry puff or karipap, may be more popular but one should not disregard this delicious sardine filled puffs. The pastry is buttery yet light with a slight crunch to it. If you like sardine sandwiches, then you have to try this. In Singapore and Malaysia, sardine puffs are sold as street food. Whether it is for breakfast or teatime, sardine puffs will always go well with an amazing cup of teh tarik (tea with condensed milk).

Why this recipe?

My mother adds butter when making the curry puff pastry. While it may be slightly different from the oil-based pastry, it gives a delicate buttery flavour to the crust and is super crispy. This recipe is also freezer-friendly. Most importantly, I will be sharing tips I learned from my mother to making crispy sardine puffs.

Using only butter for the pastry?

While there are many who use only hot melted butter or margarine for the pastry, I found that the pastry is not as crispy as those made with both butter and oil. Hence, the combination of both is used in this recipe.

Adding sweetness to the filling

Carrots or sweet potatoes can be added to the filling. These vegetables add some sweetness, thus balancing the sourness from the tamarind juice. Feel free to add some sweet green peas if you like. Just be creative with the filling.

Why is the filling sour?

When it comes to fish curry powder, there might be a tinge of sourness which some might not enjoy. In fact, you can omit the tamarind juice meant to reduce the fishy smell. Alternatively, use meat curry powder or any curry powder of your choice.

Using a curry puff mould

Traditionally, the pastry puff is sealed using the pinch and fold method. Curry puff moulds are used to ease the process. All you need to do is to lay a piece of flatten dough onto the opened mould. Scoop some filling onto the dough. Close the mould and the dough will be sealed.

Shaped using the mould
Shaped using the mould

Avoid soggy and oily sardine puffs

Ensure there is enough oil. Fry the sardine puffs at low heat. The oil needs to be 50% hot as this will prevent bubbles forming on the pastry skin. Place each puff into the oil one at a time. Do not rush when frying the puffs or overcrowd the pan.


4 tbsp
yellow onion(s)
4 tbsp
chilli paste (cili boh)
1⁄4 cup
curry powder
curry leaves stalk(s)
230 g
sardine in tomato sauce
1⁄2 tsp
tamarind paste
1⁄2 tbsp
1 cup
1⁄4 cup
2 tbsp
unsalted butter
2 cups
all-purpose flour
1 tsp
oil for deep-frying

Steps to Prepare

Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin) Step 1

Step 1 of 7

    • 4 tbsp oil
    • 1 yellow onion(s)
    • 4 tbsp chilli paste (cili boh)
    • 1⁄4 cup curry powder
    • 1 curry leaves stalk(s)

Prepare the filling by heating oil in a pan over medium heat. Then, add sliced onion to sauté for 3 minutes. Add chilli paste (cili boh) and curry powder. Continue cooking until oil begins to separate. Add curry leaves and cook for another 3 minutes.

Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin) Step 2

Step 2 of 7

    • 230 g sardine in tomato sauce
    • 2 potatoes
    • 1⁄2 tsp tamarind paste
    • 1⁄2 tbsp salt
    • 1⁄2 cup water

Mash sardine with a fork and add to pan. Cook for 5 minutes. Add tamarind paste and stir for another 2 minutes before adding cubed potatoes. Add water and cook over high heat for another 15 minutes or until potatoes soften. Put the lid on. If you are using a pan with a larger surface, more water may be needed.

Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin) Step 3

Step 3 of 7

Once potatoes are soft, remove the lid. Reduce heat to low and keep stirring until most liquid is evaporated. The filling should be dry. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin) Step 4

Step 4 of 7

    • 1⁄4 cup oil
    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Meanwhile, prepare pastry skin by heating oil in a pot over low heat. When the oil is hot, add butter and let it melt. Allow the mixture to heat up until it begins to bubble.

Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin) Step 5

Step 5 of 7

    • 2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1⁄2 cup water

Pour the hot mixture of butter and oil into a bowl with flour and salt. Mix evenly until the dough is crumbly. Add cold water (refrigerated) into the dough and knead until evenly incorporated. The dough should be smooth. If the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of water at a time. Let it rest for 15 minutes in the refrigerator to allow the gluten to develop.

Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin) Step 6

Step 6 of 7

Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Flatten one portion of the dough and place the filling in the middle. Fold the dough into a semi-circle to wrap the filling. Then, use the pinch and fold method to seal the dough. You can also use a curry puff mould to ease the process.

Sardine Puff (Karipap Sardin) Step 7

Step 7 of 7

    • oil for deep-frying

Heat oil in a pot over low heat to deep fry the sardine puffs. Once the oil is heated slightly (ca. 50%), fry the shaped puffs. The oil cannot be too hot or the pastry skin will form air pockets. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Published: June 27, 2021

1 Discussions

Graeme chow
3 years ago

Graeme chow

Can I substitute with the butter to vege oil will the taste change alot.

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
3 years ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Hi Graeme! You can. We have another curry puff recipe using only vegetable oil. It works too:

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