Recipes

Make Your Own Fish Balls for a Fresher, Preservative-Free Version of the Street Food

February 27, 2019

Yes, it’s maarte, but we did it because we could and it seemed like a good idea at the time (and hey, some people are allergic to preservatives, right?). We made our own fish balls.

You can pre-make a bunch of already-formed fish balls and keep them stored in your freezer, where they should last for about 3 months. Then you have fish balls that are ready to fry, which you can fry from frozen. You can also adjust our sauce recipe below to your taste—the turmeric is more for color than anything, and if you prefer a plain sweet sauce, just remove the chili.

Homemade Fish Balls

  • Serves: 4 to 6 people
  • Active time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Special tools: Food processor

INGREDIENTS

Sauce

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup garlic, minced
  • 3 bird’s eye chili, chopped
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 cup water

Fish Balls

  • 500g white fish (cream dory works best)
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • ½ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. cold water

Frying

  • Oil, for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a pot aside from cornstarch and water mixture.
  2. Heat over medium heat until boiling, then add cornstarch and water.
  3. Heat the sauce until it bubbles and thickens, cooking for about 5–10 minutes until glossy.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. For the fish balls, combine fish, turmeric, flour, salt, pepper, and water in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms.
  6. Heat oil for frying in a large skillet to about 350F.
  7. Drop the fish balls in 1 tbsp. at a time and fry until golden brown.
  8. Remove fish balls with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  9. Place fish balls on skewers and serve with sauce on the side.
Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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