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09 January 2012

My take on Fishballs

Last weekend, I thought of trying to make my own fishballs.  I reasoned with myself: how difficult can it be?  Fishballs are - as far as I can see - just flour and there must be some fish in there too!  So instead of running off to the Filipino store I decided to head for the supermarket's fish section.

The end result, as judged by my wife: fish nuggets!  This version definitely has more yummy fish power!  Sure, these can pass off as fishball (I can even imagine having this with beer too!) but taste-wise it's different from the street version.  I wonder what else they have in there... and then I realized it's not just the fishballs that complete the experience, it's also the dipping sauce!  Three sauces in fact.  I love the sweet sauce.  The spicy sauce comes a close second, followed by the sour sauce.  Sometimes I combine sauces.

Unfortunately I do not know how to make any of the dipping sauce so we settled for bottled sweet chilli sauce. This is still a nice recipe to try out.  Who knows, you might be able to stumble across the perfect combination to make something that resembles more closely the street version.  But be sure to let us know how!

1/4kg fish fillet, deboned (I used Tarahiki)
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 cloves garlic
1 medium white onion
salt and pepper to taste

Steam the fish for 15 minutes over medium heat.  Too lazy to prep the bamboo steamer, I simply wrapped the fillets in aluminum foil, placed a metal pot stand in a pan with some water, and let the fish steam in there.

While the fish is steaming away happily, grate the onion and garlic.  Be careful with your fingers!  I finely chopped the parts which I can no longer grate.

Afterwards I mashed the fish in a bowl (with some of the juice in it) then added the flour, garlic and onion, then seasoned with salt and pepper.  Then mix it all up thoroughly until a flexible dough is formed.

Now, while these are called fishballs, they're not really spherical in shape.  More like discs.  So I thought of forming balls then squishing them flat.  But I realized a faster way of doing this is to roll the dough thin and use a pattern cutter. I found these teddy bear cutters so I used this instead.

Make a couple, then heat up enough cooking oil for the fishballs to float about over medium heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low when the oil is hot enough, then cook the fishballs.  This is the test batch.  Check if you need to add more salt and pepper.  Adjust the taste for the remaining dough if needed then continue frying.

Let it rest on some paper towels to drain off excess oil then serve with sweet-chilli sauce.

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