Make Your Own Fish Ball + Sawsawan at Home. We Have a Recipe!

Craving for those delicious street food flavors but lazy to change out of your pambahay?

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Too lazy to head outside for a quick merienda? Blitz everything in a food processor, shape into balls, deep-fry, then skewer! Plus, what’s better than hot, freshly-fried fish balls? We included a fish ball sauce recipe, too. Feel free to adjust it to your liking: add more sugar if you want it on the sweet side, or add more chili to make a sweet-and-spicy sawsawan or dipping sauce. Even the kids will love this dish!


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This street food staple gets a better-for-you, whip-it-at-home upgrade. Just fry, skewer, and dip!


Homemade Fish Balls Recipe

Serves 10

Ready In 40 minutes



500 grams fish, (use fillets), (any fish may be used; we used tilapia for this recipe)

1-inch piece ginger, peeled

4 cups potatoes, diced

1 cup carrot, diced

1 whole garlic, minced

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups cornstarch

1/2 cup cassava flour

Salt, to taste

8 cups fish stock

Oil, for deep-frying

1 cup vinegar

1 cup clear soda

1 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water

Chili flakes, optional




1 Poach the fish fillet in salted water with the ginger.


2 Once cooked, flake the fish to make about 4 cups of flaked fish.


3 In a separate pot, boil potatoes and carrots until soft.


4 Place the flaked fish, potatoes, carrots, garlic, and egg in a food processor. Purée until smooth.


5 Transfer to a bowl and add the cornstarch and flour; mix well. Season with salt and pepper.


6 Form into 1-inch balls. Simmer in fish stock until opaque. Drain.


7 To serve, deep-fry in oil until golden brown. (Freeze uncooked balls until ready to cook.)


8 Make the sauce: In a pan, mix together vinegar, soda, sugar, and soy sauce. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture (increase the amount for a thicker consistency); boil to remove the starchy taste. For a spicy sauce, add chili. Serve with fish balls.



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