How to make your own fishballs

Are you aware that store bought fishballs are full of preservatives, flour and lots of MSG? In order for a fish product to remain fresh, I suppose the manufacturers have to put some artificial stuffs to make it last long without turning fishy.

I always discourage grandparents (from the old skool) not to feed their grandchildren fishballs because it has almost no nutritional values but instead lots of salt, MSG and preservatives. Moreover, fishballs are choking hazards so always cut them into small pieces before giving it to children.

However, making our own fishballs at home is not only easy, it is fun. More like playing playdoughs. What you need is a slab of fresh fish fillets. The easiest fish to use is mackerel or ikan tenggiri. It has no fishy smell (bau hanyir) and we can easily buy them in big slabs. Otherwise, if you go to wet markets, you can ask the fish mongers for the best fish to make fish balls.

Above is a slab of about 300 grams very fresh tenggiri fish.

You need a ceramic Chinese soup spoon or any blunt spoon to scrap off the flesh of the fish. Make a little bowl of water  flavoured with half a teaspoon of salt and pepper. About four tablespoons will do for 300 grams of fish.

Using the spoon, scrap off the flesh. I had asked the fishmonger to remove the bones so what I have is just flesh and skin. The purpose of scrapping the flesh off is because in there, there are still tough ligaments and I suppose muscles.

This is the flesh scrapped from the slab of fish. Now, just add two tablespoons of cornflour and that bowl of water and mince the flesh in a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, just chopped them with your cleaver. Then, only add the flour and water.

Here comes the fun part, doink doink…..

To make fish balls springy and full of ‘doink doink’, put the blob of minced fish meat into a large bowl. Get another bowl of water on standby. When our palms are wet, the fish flesh will not stick to our palms, making it easier to handle. Take that blob of mushy stuff and throw it against your bowl’s side. Keep doing it, slapping and hitting the blob until it is shiny and firm. Keep wetting your palms if you have to.

Now that you have the fish paste….

  • You can roll them into marble sizes balls and drop it into your soup
  • You can spread it on soyabean skin (available in supermarkets dry foods section) and deep fry them
  • You can stuff these into vegetables like okra, bitter gourd and taufoo pok to make yong tau foo
  • The possibilities are endless…

Next post – fishball udon soup

5 Replies to “How to make your own fishballs”

  1. you are one amazing mother/lou phor! I wish I had a mom like you.. well, mine is not any less amazing but i wish she could be more adventurous in the kitchen and I can also do without the nagging!! haha

  2. I remember when I was small, my Ah Soh always made homemade fishball, exactly as you described. She also used the paste to spread on thin egg omelette, gulung the thing and then steam. It was my favourite thing to do, unravelling the gulung! BTW, I don’t quite like commercial fishballs, as I find it too springy and smooth.

  3. Hi, i love fishball and i also love cooking…This site information is good and clear that makes my life easier and fun.Thanks !

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