How to Make Fish Balls Filipino Style

Filipinos are fond of making delicious street foods that captivate customers and passers-by. One of these foods is fish balls. There are many commercialized fish balls in the Philippines that are frozen and readily available in supermarkets, but nothing beats the homemade Filipino-style fish balls.

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With just one bite, your mouth will be delighted while the popular Filipino street food melts.

How Filipino style fish balls are made is something that everyone needs to know, especially if you are planning to make some for commercial or business purposes. Those who want to make Filipino-style fish balls for personal consumption are also welcomed to read.

When Making Bouncy and Soft Fish Balls

Pollock is used by Filipino chefs when making fluffy and bouncy fish balls. Mackerel and tilapia can also be used to turn fish balls into deliciously healthy street food. Another option you can have is to use a round scad to make a yummy fish ball.

But the most important thing that you need to consider is the freshness of the fish used in preparing it.

The Ingredients Used in the Preparation

Some essential ingredients must be used when preparing fish balls in the Philippines. The first one is a pound of fresh and firm flesh of fish.

Also, you should only use fresh fish meat. For about 1 ½ to 2 pounds, you can make a bunch of balls. When grinding the fresh fish flesh, you should be able to use the food processor or grinder.

The Food Processor Is a Must

Among the most important equipment you need to make Filipino-style fish balls is a clean and efficient food processor. This will allow you to turn the fish flesh into a fine paste.

The paste should be thick in texture, but to those who do not have a food processor, you can also use a knife. It is particularly the back of the knife that can help you to pound the fish flesh.

The Tricks for the Softness and Fluffiness of the Fish Balls

There should be a secret trick to convert the fish flesh into a fluffy and bouncy fish ball. When preparing the balls, you should always slap and pound the fish.

When the fish flesh becomes a thick paste, it will automatically turn into a smooth product. And to make it even more glossy, you should continue slapping and pounding it.

Alternate Process of Making a Fish Ball

The process of slapping and pounding must continue for at least 100 repetitions.

But if you do not have the luxury of time to do it, you should do this alternative: transfer the mixture in a mixer and let the mixer do the slapping and pounding for you.

Continue beating it for ten to eleven minutes.

Traditional Way of Making Round Shapes for Fish Balls

Before the invention of these mixers and other equipment, vendors usually ride on their vehicles. At the same time, they have their portable stove, and they manually do all the work.

One of the traditional ways of making round shapes for fish balls is the squeezing of the fish paste between your thumb and index finger.

The measurement is the use of a spoon as a scoop. While rolling it using your palm, it will surely make a perfect round.

The Final Step in Making a Filipino-style Fish Ball

You must bring a pot of water and let it boil. The fish balls must be dropped one by one into the boiling water for one to two minutes. When they float, it means they are cooked. Use a strainer to get them out of the pot.

Then the fish balls are ready to be served.

When making a fish ball Filipino-style, you have to prepare the following:

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You then need to make sure that you have the proper procedure. Below can be your guide:

  • Make sure to boil your chosen fish for 5-10 minutes in water with ginger.
  • After you have to strained it and put it in a water container, make sure to remove all heads, entrails, bones, and skins.
  • Flake the fish.
  • Peel the carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic slightly.
  • Chop them into a smaller cut.
  • Grind. Mix. Combine them with fish flakes.
  • Now it’s time to add the eggs, salt, MSG, cornstarch, pepper, and water.
  • Mash and form into balls.
  • Boil fish stock.
  • Get the fish ball one by one into the boiling fish stock and drain.
  • Make sure your oil is hot in the frying pan and fry the fish balls
  • Cover them and boil for at least 1 ½ hours

Making an Extra-ordinary Sauce for Fish Ball

Since you have your fish ball, you have to think about the unforgettable sauce. The following are the ingredients for making an extra-ordinary sauce:

After preparing the ingredients, cook the sauce. To make a delicious sauce for your Filipino-style fish ball, the step-by-step of how to cook the sauce is below:

  1. Mix the flour and baking powder in one bowl.
  2. In another bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix them until they are well-incorporated.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside it for at least 20-30 minutes.
  4. Dip or wet the spoon in a glass of water.
  5. Scoop fish ball mix/batter and make the perfect shape of a ball.
  6. Make sure to deep fry the fish batter ball in low heat until it melts and the color becomes brown.
  7. Get extra flour for your hands so that the batter doesn’t stick to your hands.
  8. Defrost them and fry later.
  9. Use sweet and sour sauce for dip. You can also add some spicy ingredients to taste it spicy and hot.

Is Eating Fish Balls Healthy?

Fish balls are healthy as long as they are not that salty. If it happens, it can lower your energy but can give you a proper diet as it is less fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

It would also be good for watching your cholesterol level. But this kind of street food is high in terms of sodium. But you can reduce the sodium by not eating the soup of the fish ball.

Here is a list of the health benefits of eating fish balls:

Tips You Should Know for Cooking Fish Balls

It is advised that you use your hands for better mixing and for correctly forming into balls.

  1. You have to measure your flour and should be in proper proportion to the fish meat. Do not add too much flour.
  2. Provide a chopstick to use for mixing the oil as it bubbles.
  3. Make sure your oil is in proper measure.

How Long Do Fish Balls Last?

Fish balls have a short life of at least four to five days, at least in 5C storage.

And fish balls that are not placed in the refrigerator and left uncovered in bamboo baskets will last for only two days.

Are Fish Balls Sold as Cooked?

Fish balls are fully cooked products before they are imported to sell in the store. It should be stir-fried for at least six to eight minutes with medium heat.

How Do You Know if a Fish Ball Is Bad?

When you smell something different from the fish ball, do not attempt to eat or buy it.

Typically, the fish has thick flesh and a slippery coating. You should bear in mind that fresh food should be eaten within 36 hours of buying.

How Do You Keep Fish Balls Fresh?

If you want fish balls to remain fresh, soak them with cold storage.

Cook the fish ball with hot water, not in boiling water, and when it is floating, remove it from the hot water and put it in a cool place.

Fish Balls as the Best Street Food in the Philippines

Fish balls were inspired by Chinese cooking and have been used for different arrays of dishes. In the Philippines, this is one of the most famous street foods to eat.

What Makes Homemade Fish Balls Different from the Street?

Fish balls have been the favorite street food in the Philippines, but nothing beats when you are the one who prepares it.

Making the product yourself provides the assurance that the fish balls are 100% safe.

You will also have that promise that the taste is based on the ingredients you chose.

On the other hand, making homemade Filipino-style fish balls takes time and effort. Here are the reasons why:

The Ingredients

There are many ingredients for cooking fish balls. It will require time to prepare the ingredients because it requires proper measurement. The ingredients should be prepared appropriately.

Food Safety

Health is wealth. Make sure that all ingredients are safe and not expired before cooking. Double-check so that there is no doubt that your fish ball is clean and safe to eat.

The Options

The option of getting and adding different mixtures matters. If you want to make your fish balls unique, feel free to experiment.

Choose Fresh Products

It has a significant impact on the taste when your products are all fresh.


Making Filipino-style fish balls is an enjoyable and delightful activity. It has a unique texture and taste that is even better when dipped in a sweet Filipino version of fish ball sauce.

Aside from cooking it as a stir-fried, you may also mix it with other ingredients.

Among the best ways to cook it is to include it with string beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables.