Fish balls recipe

Fish balls can be a great easy addition to many meals, kind of like meatballs. Easy to add them to soups, noodle soups, as a side dish, and especially for hot pots. As usual we don’t trust the ones available in the store, so I looked into making them ourselves.

  • 2-3 cups coarse chopped fish. I used tilapia.
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp flour mix
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • Water
  1. Put the chopped fish into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time and keep pulsing it until it’s very very mushy and sticky slimy.
  2. Add the flour, salt and sugar while the food processor is on. Low or high speed doesn’t matter. You just need to incorporate the additions. Add more water slowly to make a slimy mixture. (I’m really selling it now, aren’t I?)
  3. Once it’s to the point of looking like the third photo below, it’s about ready. Dump the mixture out into a mixing bowl, so that it’s more easily handled by hand.
  4. Get a pot of water simmering.
  5. Pick up a handful of the mixture and squeeze a ball out with your fist, through your thumb and finger. Scoop it out with a spoon and drop it gently into the simmering water. The ball will sink at first, and then float. When it has been floating for about 30s-1min it’ll be cooked through and ready to scoop out.
  6. Scoop out onto a plate to let cool
  7. Freeze for later, or drop into whatever dish you want. If you want to deep fry them, go right ahead, but wait until they’re cooked down and the surface of the balls are dry before doing so.

Jin Doi Recipe

Typically sesame covered, these ‘mochi’ balls are deep fried and can be empty inside or filled with red bean paste or even a sweet peanut-sugar mix.

  • 400 g glutinous (sweet) rice flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar (dark brown sugar makes the resulting balls darker, lighter makes it lighter coloured)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (approx) cold tap water
  • 4-5 Tbsp Red bean paste (optional)

Makes about 20 medium sized (3″ diameter balls)

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together well
  2. Add about 3/4 of the water to the dry mix, stirring to combine. Slowly add in more water to make a dough. The dough should be dry enough to not stick (too much) to your hands too much but also wet enough to stick together and form around a ball of red bean paste.
  3. Split the dough into about 20 balls, about 2-3 Tbsp in size each. Roll each ball smooth and even.
  4. Optional – make a divot in each ball and wrap around a 1/2 tsp of red bean paste.
  5. Fill a pot of oil with at least 2″ (preferably 3″ or a bit more) of oil for deep frying. Heat the oil to 320F.
  6. Deep fry a the balls. When you put the balls in, hold it with chopsticks or tings for about 30s to let the bottom fry a bit and get hard so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Don’t crowd the pot. 3-4 frying at a time is plenty. You’ll need room for the next step.
  7. The balls will take about 8-10 mins to fry up. After the 2-3 minute mark the balls will be lightly browned on the outside. Using the back of a spoon, ladle or or other similar device (I used a hot pot strainer), carefully squeeze the balls flat. They will puff back up in a minute. Once they puff back up, squeeze it flat again. Do this several times and the balls will puff up to about an inch larger in diameter than they started.
  8. When the balls are golden brown, take them out and let rest on a rack to drain. Paper towels are okay too. The balls will stay crispy for about a day.
  9. They can be left out on the counter for a day or two. After that, they should be placed in the fridge. They can also be sliced and fried up on a pan to warm up before eating.

New foods for 2018

Already one two months into 2018 and I haven’t yet made anything radically new. It’s tough in the winter when we hunker down in the warmth of the house and try to stay out of the super cold winds. You might think we have more time inside but there’s always something else to do or to take care of.

I feel that we need to have more variety in Asian style condiments and ingredients. I think both of our tastes lean towards the many soy-based sauces and seasonings and so I want to find ways of making those at home, knowing for sure that they’re allergy friendly.

So on the top of my list is making homemade miso. I know it’ll likely take a year or so to ferment, but I’m willing to give it a try. Maybe making more than one batch with different bean, to see how they taste and to spread out the risk. First step is to find koji though. I might have to ask a friend or family member in Toronto or Vancouver to find me some first and send it over. Along with that is “soy” sauce. More research is needed on what is required to make both of those.

Next is gochujang. It’ll go alongside our homemade kimchi and hopefully kickstart more Korea’s style food cooking at home. I see that it typically includes soybean powder, but I’ll have to see if I can find a replacement for that. Apparently it can be used fairly soon after it’s made, but will be better with a few months of fermentation.

Once we run out of onion and garlic powder I’ll be making that again.

Apple chips are a great snack and easy to pack. Same with beef jerky.

I want to also make Chinese dried salted fish. My mom used to put small piece in with the rice when it was cooking which lightly flavoured the rice.

Smoked cured ham. We didn’t get to bring out the grill much last year. Hopefully more this year. And I’ll have to make more bacon too.