Homemade Fish Balls— The popular Filipino street food made easy (and preservative-free) right at home!
I’m sure that at one point in our lives, we are going to miss eating street food, and most of us will not be able to do so because we are probably busy at work or busy with our families and we don’t have the time to enjoy it anymore.
Well, the only solution to that is to bring the street food to your home by making it yourself! This way, you will enjoy the nostalgic feeling of eating your favorite street food and also enjoy the time cooking it. So learn how to make this Homemade Fish Balls recipe now!
What are Fish Balls?
Fish balls are a popular street food all over the Philippines which is actually a popular dish in China.
Here, you can see it especially during afternoon weekdays after school or after work. In other parts of the world, it is also popular in some areas in China, Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In these countries, it is usually partnered with a soup or deep fried and partnered with a sauce—which is the most popular way of eating the fish balls among Filipinos.
The fish balls you commonly find being sold from the food carts along the streets are often made from pollocks or cuttlefish. This is partnered with either a sweet sauce, a spicy sauce, or a combination of both. Ingredients included here are usually vinegar, with some onions and some garlic, sugar and salt.
How to Make Homemade Fish Balls?
The good thing about preparing the fish balls at home is that you’ll get a big batch ready that’s more than enough for one snack time. It means that you can stock it in the refrigerator for later use, so it is an efficient way to prepare food.
This is also really easy, too. Have your ingredients prepared at your side and then it will just be a breeze.
So to start with this, the first thing you need to do is to turn the fish fillet into a mashed consistent mixture, similar to a paste. Then all you have to do is to mix some seasonings and spices into it and shape the paste into balls.
Fish Balls Tips:
- The recipe instructions indicate the use of a food processor. While it is a good and efficient equipment to have at home, it is not a necessary tool to have for this dish, so do not worry!
- You can use the good old knife to mash the fish fillet. Use the handle to repeatedly pound the fillet until it is smooth enough and has the right consistency.
- After achieving the right consistency of the fish paste you just made using the food processor or your handy knife, you can further improve the quality of the mixture by doing an extra effort of pounding the fish more until it is super smooth.
- There is no specific kind of fish you need to use for this recipe, and you can pretty much pick any type of fish fillet you want. But of course, these different kinds give off different and distinct taste to your fish balls.
- If you have no idea where to start, some common suggestions of fish meat to use would be mackerel or tilapia.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Homemade Fish Balls (With Sauce) Recipe
- Cooking Pot
- Food Processor optional
- 500 g fish fillet, (cream dory, mackarel, tilapia
- 1 pc medium-sized onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups cooking oil, for frying
Dipping Sauce (Sweet and Spicy) Ingredients:
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 1 pc medium-sized onion, chopped
- 4 pcs chili peppers, chopped
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cup water
- In a cooking pan, pour in enough water and add in the fish fillet. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the fish is slightly cooked.
- Using a food processor, grind the fish fillet, onions, and garlic until smooth. (for alternate step, see notes above)
- In a mixing bowl, add in the fish fillet mixture, salt, sugar, cornstarch, and water. Mix until well-blended. The mixture must be smooth and homogenous.
- Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and then shape into balls. Repeat for the rest of the ingredients.
- In a cooking pot, pour in and heat the cooking oil over medium heat.
- Add in the fish balls. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Skewer 4 to 6 pieces and transfer to a serving tray or serving plate. Serve with the dipping sauce and enjoy!
Dipping Sauce Instructions:
- In a cooking pot, pour in the water, soy sauce, vinegar, and add in the onion, garlic, chili peppers, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Stir until well-blended.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce thickens. Let it cool.
- Transfer to a container and serve with fish balls. Enjoy!
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