Delicious and Easy: Torta Tal-Lampuki Recipe

When it comes to discovering new recipes, nothing beats the excitement of trying out recipes from different parts of the world. Today, I bring to you an authentic Maltese recipe that goes by the name of Torta Tal-Lampuki or Maltese Fish Pie. This dish is a perfect amalgamation of the fresh and savory taste of Lampuki or Dolphin Fish with fragrant spices and vegetables.

For those unfamiliar with what lampuki is, it’s a seasonal fish native to Malta that is greatly celebrated in Maltese cuisine. Since lampuka season is upon us, I thought it worth posting a recipe for a dish that perfectly showcases this delicious seafood.

In Malta, this dish is considered more than just a savory delicacy, but also an opportunity for many families to come together and enjoy home-cooked traditional meals. The torta tal-lampuki or lampuki pie recipe has been handed down from generation to generation and has evolved over time to be perfected as we know it today.

With this recipe, you can have a taste of Malta while still being in the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re looking for something different and unique to add to your culinary collection or searching for a way to put a new spin on your traditional meat pies, this dish is not one to be missed.

So let’s dive right in and learn how to make Torta Tal-Lampuki – an authentic Maltese recipe that will delight your senses and impress your guests.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Torta Tal-Lampuki (Maltese Fish Pie)
Torta Tal-Lampuki (Maltese Fish Pie)

If you are looking for a delicious and unique way to elevate your seafood game, this Torta Tal-Lampuki recipe is just what you need to try. You will fall in love with this Maltese Fish Pie for its rich flavors, flaky pastry, and savory filling.

First off, let’s talk about the star ingredient of this dish – the tal-lampuki or lampuki fish. Lampuka is a big deal in Maltese cuisine and is only available during a specific season. So if you can get your hands on one during the season, consider yourself lucky. This fish has tender and delicate flesh that lends itself perfectly to this savory pie.

But even if you can’t get lampuki fish, don’t worry – this recipe can also be made using other types of fish such as mahi-mahi fillets or dolphin fish. This is just one of the many reasons why you’ll love this versatile recipe.

The filling of the pie comprises chopped onion, tomatoes, cauliflower, black olives and pieces of lampuki fillet garnished with aromatic bay leaves. It’s packed with Mediterranean flavors that are hard to resist!

Next up, let’s talk about the pastry – the crowning glory of any dish worth its salt. Here, we use puff pastry, which adds light flakiness to every bite. The crust contrasts nicely with the savory filling and upscales the recipe to the next level.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s suitable for different occasions – serve it hot as a main course or serve it cold as an appetizer or snack.

So don’t wait until lampuki season to try out this traditional Maltese food – indulge yourself or share with your loved ones for an authentic culinary experience, anytime!

Ingredient List

 Crispy golden pastry complementing the fresh fish filling.
Crispy golden pastry complementing the fresh fish filling.

Gather the Ingredients for Torta Tal-Lampuki

Here is what you need for making this mouth-watering torta tal-lampuki pie. This traditional Maltese dish requires the freshest ingredients to prepare. You can use mahi-mahi fillets as a substitute if lampuki fish is not available, and still enjoy an authentic taste.

  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g tal-lampuki (lampuki fish) fillets, skinned
  • 250g puff pastry
  • Salt to taste
  • Black olives, pitted and sliced (optional)

By using fresh ingredients, guaranteed quality and flavor in your final product.

The Recipe How-To

 A slice of Mediterranean flavors in every bite.
A slice of Mediterranean flavors in every bite.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 500 g mahi-mahi fillets, skinned and cubed
  • 100 g black olives
  • Salt to taste

For the crust:

  • 1 kg puff pastry, thawed


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
  3. Add chopped onions and cook until they become translucent.
  4. Then add peeled and chopped tomatoes along with bay leaves.
  5. Let the ingredients cook for around 10 minutes until tomatoes become soft and saucy.
  6. Add cauliflower florets and cubed mahi-mahi fillets to the pot.
  7. Toss in black olives and season with salt to taste.
  8. Mix the contents of the pot until everything is evenly coated with tomato sauce.
  9. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for around 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Making the pie crust

  1. Roll out the puff pastry to desired thickness.
  2. Prep a round baking dish by buttering it with a little bit of shortening then lining it with some flour.
  3. Cover the bottom and edges of baking dish with a layer of puff pastry.
  4. Poke some holes on the base of pastry covered baking dish with fork.
  5. Pour pie filling on top of it, making sure to avoid trapping air pockets underneath.
  6. Use another layer of puff pastry to cover the filling, trimming off any excess bits at edge of dish.


  1. Brush egg-wash over pie crust’s top layer then use sharp knife to make few incisions on top layer of crust for steam to escape while baking.
  2. Bake in preheated oven for around 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown all over.

Serve slices of Torta tal-Lampuki hot or cold garnished with freshly chopped parsley as desired!

Substitutions and Variations

 A dish that awakens your taste buds and transports you to Malta.
A dish that awakens your taste buds and transports you to Malta.

Variety is the spice of life, as they say. If you’re feeling adventurous, or need to substitute due to some dietary restrictions, here are some ideas for substitutions and variations on this recipe:

– Instead of tal-lampuki (mahi-mahi), you can try using other white fish fillets, such as cod, haddock or tilapia.

– If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, you could substitute it with broccoli or even peas. Just make sure they’re roughly chopped to the same size as the cauliflower pieces.

– For a twist on the traditional recipe, try adding some sliced black olives to the filling mixture before pouring it into the pie crust. This will add an extra salty kick and texture to your dish.

– If you want to make a vegetarian version of this dish, simply omit the fish and add more vegetables instead. You could use a mix of zucchini, bell peppers and mushrooms, for example.

– Instead of making one large pie torta, try making individual servings by cutting the puff pastry into smaller rounds before baking. This is great for dinner parties or picnics.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation – don’t be afraid to play around with different flavors and ingredients until you find what works best for you!

Serving and Pairing

 A flavorful blend of fish, vegetables, and herbs.
A flavorful blend of fish, vegetables, and herbs.

When it comes to serving and pairing the Torta Tal-Lampuki, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, this dish is a hearty meal that is perfect for sharing with family and friends. So, when you’re ready to serve it up, make sure you have plenty of plates and forks on hand.

One thing that pairs particularly well with this dish is a nice side salad. The acidity of the tomatoes and the briney flavor of the black olives in the Torta can be balanced out nicely with a simple green salad dressed in a tangy vinaigrette. Similarly, a chilled glass of white wine or rosé would be an excellent pairing, as it complements the lightness of the fish and the butteriness of the puff pastry.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also try pairing this Maltese favorite with some traditional antipasti or even some roasted vegetables like cauliflower or zucchini. The versatility of this dish allows for endless pairing options, so feel free to get creative with whatever ingredients you have on hand.

Overall, the Torta Tal-Lampuki is a delicious meal that can easily be elevated with the right pairings. Whether you opt for a simple side salad or something more adventurous, serving this authentic Maltese recipe will surely impress even your most discerning dinner guests.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hearty and comforting meal for any occasion.
A hearty and comforting meal for any occasion.

If you want to save time on the day you plan to serve Torta Tal-Lampuki, there are a few things you can do ahead of time. Firstly, you may prepare the filling and pastry shell the day before and leave them stored separately in your refrigerator until ready for baking. This will give you much more flexibility in terms of timing and execution.

Storing your leftover Torta Tal-Lampuki is quite simple, as all you really need to do is make sure it’s covered and placed in the refrigerator. Ideally, it should be consumed within 3-4 days of cooking. Cooking a whole fish pie can leave a lot of leftovers as the recipe makes approximately 10 servings! If you do have leftovers, however, they make for great lunch options for work or school.

Reheating the fish pie is fairly simple as well. We recommend warming it up in the oven to ensure the crust remains flaky and crispy. Start by pre-heating your oven to 150°C (300°F). Then cover your Torta Tal-Lampuki with foil and pop it into your oven for about 15 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 70°C (160°F).

One tip for avoiding a soggy crust when reheating leftovers is to store any remaining slices solo in the refrigerator rather than piling them together so that they retain their shape better when reheated. This way, everyone gets an equal share of crispy crust in every bite when reheated!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect balance of creamy and flaky textures.
The perfect balance of creamy and flaky textures.

To achieve the perfect torta tal-lampuki, here are some tips that I have learned through trial and error:

First and foremost, do not overcook your fish. The key to a delicious Maltese fish pie is tender and juicy fish. Overcooking it will result in a dry and tough filling. Make sure to follow the recipe’s cooking time for the fish fillets, and if necessary, check it periodically to ensure that it is cooked but not overdone.

Another tip is to let the fish cool down before adding it to the rest of the mixture. This will prevent it from breaking into small pieces and becoming mushy. Once it has cooled, flake it gently and fold it into your mixture.

Additionally, when preparing your pastry shell or tart base, make sure that it is well chilled before adding the filling. This helps to prevent a soggy bottom crust which can lead to an unevenly baked torta tal-lampuki.

It’s also important to use good quality ingredients such as fresh tal-lampuki or mahi-mahi fillets, ripe tomatoes, and cauliflower. Fresh ingredients always produce better results than using canned or frozen ones.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices or flavorings to give your pie the desired taste you prefer. You can try using saffron, cumin or paprika if you want a spicy kick, or perhaps some lemon zest for a more citrusy flavor.

By following these tips, you will be able to create a delicious torta tal-lampuki that will impress even the most discerning palate.


As we approach the final section of this recipe article, let’s take a moment to address some common questions that often come up when cooking Torta Tal-Lampuki. These frequently asked questions (FAQs) aim to provide clarity, address potential confusion, and help ensure the best possible outcome for your Maltese Fish Pie. So without further ado, let’s dive into the FAQs section.

How to make Torta tal lampuki?

To prepare the fish, let it simmer in boiling water for around 10 to 15 minutes. While waiting, preheat your oven to 190C. Next, sauté your onions and garlic in olive oil until they turn golden brown. Turn down the heat and add the fish, spinach, peas, chopped cauliflower, olives, tomatoes, puree, lemon zest, mint, marjoram and seasoning. Let it cook for a few minutes until everything is nicely combined.

What is Lampuki in English?

During the autumn season, there is a type of fish that passes by the Maltese islands which the locals refer to as Lampuki.

How do you make hairy bikers fish pie?

For this recipe, you will need a litre (or 1 pint and 15 fluid ounces) of fish stock, four tablespoons of dry vermouth, one onion that has been roughly chopped, a small bulb of fennel that has been cored and also chopped, a small chopped carrot, a small stick of chopped celery, a bay leaf, and a pinch of saffron.

Do you put egg in fish pie?

Let’s start by creating a mouth-watering dish of creamy fish pie. Begin by taking a large pan and adding onion slices, cloves, bay leaf, milk, cream, pollock, and smoked haddock. Wait until the mixture thickens and the fish is cooked to perfection. Next, hard-boil some eggs for about eight minutes, let them cool down, and then peel the shells.

In a separate pan, melt some butter and add flour while cooking for a minute. Stir it continuously to avoid any lumps. In the meantime, take some potatoes and boil them for 15-20 minutes until they become tender.

Now, it’s time to combine all the elements. Preheat your oven at 190C. Place the fish mixture on the bottom of a baking dish and spread boiled eggs over it. Then, pour the sauce of butter and flour on top, finishing with the potatoes arranged neatly. Lastly, sprinkle some cheese to add an oomph of flavour.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top layer turns golden brown. Voila! You have an appetizing fish pie ready to be served to your loved ones.

Bottom Line

With this delicious Maltese Fish Pie recipe, you’ll be sure to impress your loved ones and experience the wonderful flavors of Malta. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is simple to follow and will provide you with an authentic taste of Maltese cuisine.

From the unique flavors of the tal-lampuki fish to the savory combination of cauliflower, black olives, and tomatoes, this pie is truly a one-of-a-kind dish that will leave you and your guests asking for seconds.

So why not give this traditional Maltese food a try? With Lampuka season upon us, there’s no better time to try out this lampuki recipe. You won’t regret it!

In conclusion, whether you’re looking for breakfast ideas, lunch recipes, or dessert options – this torta tal-lampuki recipe has got it all! So go ahead and grab those ingredients 1kg flour, shortening, mahi-mahi fillets or dolphin fish, cauliflower, tomatoes, onion, olive oil (for pastry), black olives (for filling) – and get cooking!

Torta Tal-Lampuki (Maltese Fish Pie)

Torta Tal-Lampuki (Maltese Fish Pie) Recipe

This is a classic dish in Malta. Mahi-mahi or dorado is the typical fish used to prepare it.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Maltese
Keyword: < 4 Hours, European
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 pie
Calories: 1598.5kcal


  • 2 lbs mahi mahi fillets
  • 1/2 cup flour, for dusting fish filets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, divided into florets
  • 1 lb spinach leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 olives
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • salt and pepper


  • Make shortcrust pastry - place flour, shortening and salt in the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is grainy and particles are the size of peas or less. With the processor running, slowly add enough water until the pastry comes together in a ball. You may not need all of the water. Remove from the bowl and divide in two discs. Refrigerate while you make the rest of the recipe.
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Heat the olive oil in large skillet. Pan fry the filets until brown but not overcooked. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • Add the sliced onion and saute until tender, adding more olive oil if necessary. Add the tomato, spinach and cauliflower florets. Saute for 2 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste, add a cup of water and cover. Simmer until the cauliflower florets are fork tender. Add the olives.
  • Roll out one of the pastry discs and line the bottom of a large pie pan with it. Place half of the vegetable mixture in the pie. Place the fish filets on top of the vegetables and cover them with the remaining half of the vegetables. Roll out the other pastry disc and place it on top of the fish and vegetables layers.
  • Place on the middle rack of the oven, preheated to 350&deg;F Bake for 30 min or until the crust is golden brown.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 895g | Calories: 1598.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 124.2g | Protein: 63.5g | Fat: 95.3g | Saturated Fat: 22.1g | Cholesterol: 165.5mg | Sodium: 698.2mg | Fiber: 10.7g | Sugar: 6.5g

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