How to Make the Best Homemade Fishball Filipino Recipes

Filipinos are food lovers. They love to eat and try different cuisines and dishes. One of the famous dishes that most Pinoy love and enjoy eating is a fish ball recipe.  

It is an all-time favorite food to eat as a portion of comfort food, snack, and even a main dish and other side dishes. It is a common street food that makes Filipino children’s childhood remarkable. 

Filipinos embrace the recipe so much. That’s why they decided to create variations, versions, and even dishes that add fish balls as side dishes or garnish. 

If you are thinking about how it tastes and how it looks? We give hints of what this small ingredient becomes popular and start a craze in the Pinoy food palettes.

What is Best Homemade Fishball

Credit To: yummykitchentv

Fish ball is very popular street food in the Philippines. It is usually and particularly served with sweet, sour, and spicy sauce to highlight the street food flavor. 

It is a food that is not strange to every one sold by street vendors and their wooden carts or bicycles with sidecars. A small yet delicious, simple street food that you would love to create is on our menu. 

This dish is originally from China and is commonly known as traditional dishes in their Chinese food palettes. 

It is a dish made from lower fish meat either coarsely ground, pounded, or even shredded. The fish went through a prolonged mixing, then adding salt until it reached a smooth texture. 

Some cooks used pureed fish as the main protein of the recipe. They add potato starch or flour and milk, which makes the texture of the food soft—then shapes it in a small circular shape similar to meatballs without doing additional processing.  

Ways to Cook Fishballs Recipes

Credits To: yummykitchen

Street foods are the easiest food to cook. You could use a variety of ways to cook it without hassle. So, we present to you the popular ways of cooking the fish ball recipe. 

Steamed Fish Ball

When you make a homemade recipe, you want to retain the food’s natural taste and texture, so steaming it would be the perfect way to cook your homemade version of the fish ball dish. 

Of course, when steaming it, you must have steaming equipment. It is not similar to the boiling method. Steaming requires boiling water under the steamer. You have to put the uncooked fish ball into a stainless or wooden steamer and wait to cook the dish to perfection. 

Deep-Fry Fish Ball

When you want a fried fish ball that is crispy and tender, deep frying is a good method. You need to set the deep fryer to medium-high heat until the oil reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about five minutes. 

You could use an instant-read thermometer so you could adjust the heat on the fryer. Keep the oil temperature between 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then place the fish ball in the fryer and wait till it gets brown. 

Instant pot

One of the fastest ways of cooking the fish ball dish is in instant pot cooking. It uses a multi-cooker equipment setting into medium heat and then places the fish ball into the multi-cooker, and you would cook the dish in less than five minutes. 


It is the most traditional way of cooking the dish. It is the most common cooking style that street vendors also used to cook the fish ball. 

You could use a frying pan placed at the top of the burner. Then open the gas tank and the burner. Turn it to medium-high heat and wait until the oil is at a good temperature, then you could put the fish ball in the frying pan. 

Other Delicious Variants of Fishballs Recipes

If you are a fish ball lover, these variations would surely elevate and incorporate other flavors and ingredients to the classic dish. These are the variants you might try at home. 

Vegetable Fish Ball Recipes

This veggie version of the fish ball would not be a fish ball unless it also has fish included in the ingredient. It is a vegetable fish ball version in which the main protein is the lovely vegetables. 

It is a version perfect for those who love fish balls, but you are on a diet. It is perfect to consider when you are on a strict keto diet. You could also add a little bit of fish to it to add more flavor. 

However, if you are not a fish ball lover because of its slightly stinky smell and taste, you could try this version, yet you want to eat fish balls. It is much healthier than the original fish ball. 

Fishballs Salad

Another way to elevate the fish ball dish is making a salad out of it. In this version, you would make a salad of any kind that complemented the featured dish’s salt and savory taste. 

Instead of eating it along with rice, you could substitute the rice with vegetable salad. The fish balls would serve as the main dish element substitute to pork or chicken on it. 

It also has a lower price than pork and chicken meat to put in the salad. So, in this case, a fish ball is ideal to use as a substitute element on the salad dish. 

Sardines Fishballs Recipes

If you run out of fish in your refrigerator and the market is far from your home, you could use sardines as the dish’s main protein. It may look cheap, but if you have no other choice and are hungry in the middle of the night. You would try this. 

It is easier to use than other fish because you don’t have to fillet and remove all the entrails, scales, and fish’s spine. It is because sardines are ready to eat fish recipes in a can. 

You have to remove the sauce from it, whether it is tomato-based or not. Afterward, you could either shred, grind or pound. It depends upon the process you think much easier to do. Then add the other ingredients to it. 

Tuna Fish Balls 

Another easy to make fish ball version is the tuna fish ball. If you don’t want sardines, you could use canned tuna to make a fish ball dish. 

Like the process and preparation of the sardines version, you must remove the broth of the tuna. After that, you would mince, shred, grind or pound the tuna, then add the ingredients to make the fish ball dish. 

Tofu Fish Balls

You love fish balls, but you are on a strict keto diet? Don’t worry! You could eat your favorite snack and still keep your diet using tofu as the substitute element to the fish. 

Like the other versions, you must first puree the tofu then add the ingredients. Mix it well, then form a small circular-shaped, then cook it in a medium-high heat pan. 

Sweet and Sour Fish Balls

This version, however, is excellent, among others. The ordinary plain fish ball turns out to be another dish called Sweet and sour Fish Balls. 

It is a dish that has similar cooking techniques and ingredients to recipes like sweet and sour pork, sweet and sour meatballs, sweet and sour chicken, and sweet and sour tilapia. You could look into these recipes to know the other ingredients needed and cook sweet and sour recipes. 

Hong Kong Curry Fish Balls

An internal version of the dish that the traditional plain fish ball dish turned into a curry fish ball inspired by a delicate sauce full of fragrant, bold, and spicy flavor. 

It is a restaurant-quality dish that you would serve in the comfort of your home. It is famous street food in Hong Kong. It is a combination of fish ball and radish in a curry stew. 

So, if you love Hong Kong recipes, you might try cooking this version of the fish ball dish. 


Have you ever wondered if the fish dish featured in this article has similar recipes in other countries? Well, there are a lot of similar recipes to the Philippines popular street food, fish ball. 

Gefilte is a Jewish food that is similar to the Philippine fish ball dish. In Scandinavia, it also has a version of the fish ball made from potato flour, haddock, spices, milk, and some seasonings that enhance the featured dish’s flavor. 

Those recipes mentioned are just some famous recipes similar to Philippine fish balls that other countries have. 

It is also very popular in Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and many other countries. Fish balls begin to invade the United States through most Asian grocery stores.  


Here are some ideas for you to avoid ruining your fish ball dish. Follow these steps, and you could pull off a great dish properly. 

  • If you are using fresh fish, make sure that you cleanse it very well. Then scrape the fish meat off the fish skeleton and fish skin. 
  • You could also use any fish, including tilapia, round scad, mackerel, or other fleshy type fish. 
  • Mince or chop the meat repeatedly, or you could use a blender or grinder to make a puree and soften the texture of the fish meat. 
  • Add the right amount of flour and starch to the dish to avoid your dish to taste like flour, not a fish ball. 
  • Season it very well, and you could add seaweed to add more flavor to the fish dish. 
  • You could also use other seafood or meat to create varieties of versions of the fish ball dish. 


To save your fish ball dish, try these solutions listed down below:

  • If you are shaping your fish balls and it is still sticky, you may coat the palm of your hand with flour.
  • If it also happens that the fish ball would not come together when you cook it, try adding flour to the mixture, then start shaping it again. 
  • If you put a lot of salt into the mixture, you could add more milk but make sure that it would not ruin your fish ball’s texture. 

Best Serve With

The featured dish should not serve without other dishes that would make the featured dish stand out. Below are the dishes which perfectly fit with the flavor of the dish. 

  • Buko Juice- is a very popular partner of fish balls because of its sweetness. It helps the dish to highlight its umami flavor. 
  • Sweet and sour sauce- is a very popular condiment for fish balls. It is the perfect sauce to partner with the featured dish. 
  • Coke/Sprite– is a very common type of drink that usually is perfect with the featured dish. It helps to eliminate the strong taste of the ingredients used to make the dish.  
  • Hot-steamed rice – is perfect with the featured dish. It helps the fish ball to incorporate its amazing flavor. 
  • Seaweed salad – is a salad dish that helps the featured dish stand out with its great flavors and taste.  
  • Braised Vegetables – another vegetable dish perfect with the famous street food dish and highlighted the featured dish’s salty and sea flavor.  
  • Ampalaya Con Carne is a dish that complements the dish. The fish ball dish would serve as an added ingredient to it to enhance its umami flavor. 
  • Banana Pudding – is a type of dessert that eliminates the stinky smell and taste of the featured dish. 
  • Sweetened Saba Banana – another dessert usually served along with the fish ball dish. 
  • Alpahor na Kamote – is a sweet potato dessert that is perfect to pair up with the feature street food. 
  • Pineapple juiceis one of the perfect drinks to pair up with a fish ball. 
  • Chicken noodles soup is a noodle dish that perfectly fits with the featured dish’s taste and flavor. 
  • Mixed Vegetables is a dish perfect with the dish and as a side dish to it. 
  • Pancit guisado – is a long time favorite dish that uses the fish ball as an added ingredient to the dish.
  • Ginisang Repolyo– is a dish that is perfect with fish balls because it could be another element added to the dish.
  • Chopsuey is a vegetable mix dish that uses the fish ball as the other dish to add more flavor and taste to the vegetable dish. 


Street foods like fish balls could be a great dish to serve at home as a snack or finger food and as a main dish and side dish. 

Because of the umami flavor, salty and savory taste, it is perfect to put on every dish, whether it is a noodle, vegetable, seafood, or meat dish. That is why many countries love to cook with this dish. 

Its variations and versions elevated the humble and plain fish ball into an authentic and restaurant-quality cuisine that you would be proud to serve on any season. 

This amazing dish would help you to appreciate and honor the ingredients when you are cooking. Whether fish or meat is the main protein of the featured dish, you would love to eat it. 

Finally, you discover this popular Pinoy street food and its different variants, making you enjoy cooking it. Have fun making this phenomenal fish dish, the best homemade fishball. 

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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Best Homemade Fishball Recipe

Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Snack Recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 471kcal
Cost $5-$10


  • 1 lb Fish flesh
  • 2 pcs Carrots shredded
  • 2 pcs Onion finely chopped
  • 1 stem Celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 2 cups Cooking oil
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Shrimp stock


  • In a medium bowl, combine the fish meat with carrots, celery and onion.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the flour and pour-in the shrimp stock. Stir well for 10 minutes or wait until the mixture gets thick. Set aside.
  • Heat 3 cups of oil in a pot.
  • Once the oil is hot enough, scoop a tablespoon of fish mixture and form it round.
  • Then gently drop them in the pot and fry for 3-5 minutes or until light brown.
  • Transfer into a serving plate. Serve, share and enjoy!


Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 740mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 5mg
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