Wednesday, 19 June 2013

{bouncy chinese fish balls in hermie}

When I was growing up, I always wondered what other non-Asian families would have for lunch on weekends. In my house, we definitely did not have sandwiches but my mum always made something hot such as laksa, congee, fried rice, roti & rendang or fish balls with noodles. The last being one of the old time favourites that I have still enjoyed into adulthood. 

Having said that, on my journey to finding out what my food intolerances are, I have found that my love of fish balls could be no more due to nearly all commercial varieties containing MSG, other nasties and not that much fish. Hence, my quest to try and make a homemade version that was just as tasty and more importantly, 'bouncy'. Bouncy does not mean rubbery and a good test is if you squish one in your fingers and there's a little spring to the meat.

I have tried making these in a food processor and some manual handling but just cannot get it right. The Thermomix has changed all this and with little effort, I can now make up a batch of bouncy fish balls that are 'nasty' free. The proof is in the eating!

550-600grams white fish (I used Spanish Mackerel as it is quite an oily fish. Any other oily fish would be good too), cubed 3-4cm, frozen for 1-2 hours
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
40-50 grams water
sprinkle of white pepper
1 spring onions (optional), cut in half
2 litres water (for cooking fish balls)

1. If using spring onion, place into TM bowl and chop 3-4 sec / speed 5. Set aside.
2. Put a pot on the stove and start boiling the water.
3. Place 1/3 or 1/2 of the fish into the bowl and close lid. Pulse closed lid position / turbo/ 4-5 times. Put aside in another bowl. Repeat with remaining fish.
4. Return all fish into TM bowl and add in all other ingredients. Blend 1min / speed 9.
5. Then, knead 1min/ interval speed. This replaces the hard manual labour part if you're making these without the Thermomix. It's what makes them 'bouncy' due to the proteins being worked (correct me if I'm wrong people). At this stage we have fish paste which will be used to fish balls but can also be used for other things like making fish cake (for fried rice, noodles etc) or in Yong Tau Foo.

6. To make the balls, put some fish paste in your hand and form balls by squeezing through the index finger and thumb and scoop off with a teaspoon into boiling water.
7. Simmer the balls until the float to the top (about 5 minutes). Note, they will expand a little.

8. Transfer to a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Serve with some seasoned egg noodles, blanched green veg (e.g. choy sum, bok choi) and chilli sauce OR, in a fish ball noodle soup.

Makes about 40 ping pong sized balls.

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: When making the balls with your hand, use a food handling glove. It may make the fish paste stick more however you won't be left with a fishy smelling hand the rest of the day. These are also suitable to freeze.

Note: the batch in the picture above does not have the spring onion in it :-)


  1. Bouncy fish balls are also a favourite childhood food of mine! My dad used to take me out at night for a bouncy fish ball/noodle supper treat! will try your recipe soon! Like your interesting blog!

  2. Hi when kneading must I put the butterfly attachment?? Thanks

    1. Hi, no do not use the butterfly when kneading. Good luck!