Homemade Fishballs – A Step-by-Step Guide

by Ella

Fishballs are a popular and versatile food enjoyed in various cuisines around the world. These savory and tender orbs of minced fish are not only delicious on their own but also make a flavorful addition to soups, stir-fries, and noodle dishes. While store-bought fishballs are readily available, making them from scratch allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavors to your liking. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the step-by-step process of making homemade fishballs, from selecting the right fish to mastering cooking techniques that yield perfect results.

Selecting the Right Fish:

Choosing the right type of fish is crucial for making flavorful and tender fishballs. While traditionally, white-fleshed fish such as cod, haddock, or tilapia are used, you can also experiment with other varieties based on your preference. Here are some tips for selecting the right fish for fishballs:


Freshness: Opt for fresh fish whenever possible, as it will impart the best flavor and texture to your fishballs. Look for fish with clear, bright eyes, firm flesh, and a mild, briny aroma.


Texture: Choose fish with a firm and flaky texture, as it will hold together well when minced and formed into balls. Avoid overly soft or mushy fish, as it may result in fishballs with a less desirable texture.


Flavor: Consider the flavor profile of the fish and how it will complement the other ingredients in your fishballs. Mild-flavored fish works well for fishballs, as it allows the seasoning and spices to shine through.


Sustainability: Whenever possible, choose sustainably sourced fish to support responsible fishing practices and minimize environmental impact.

Preparing the Fish Mixture:

Once you’ve selected the right fish, it’s time to prepare the mixture for your fishballs. Follow these steps for preparing the fish mixture:

Clean and Debone: Start by cleaning the fish thoroughly under cold running water to remove any scales, bones, or impurities. Use a sharp knife to carefully debone the fish, ensuring that no bones remain in the flesh.

Mince the Fish: Cut the deboned fish into small pieces and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse the fish until it is finely minced but not completely smooth. Alternatively, you can use a knife to finely chop the fish by hand for a more textured consistency.

Seasoning: Season the minced fish with salt, white pepper, and other desired seasonings or flavorings, such as garlic, ginger, scallions, or fish sauce. Adjust the seasonings to taste and mix well to ensure even distribution.

Binding Agent (Optional): If desired, add a binding agent such as cornstarch, tapioca starch, or egg whites to the fish mixture to help bind the ingredients together and improve the texture of the fishballs. Mix until well combined.

Forming and Shaping the Fishballs:

With the fish mixture seasoned and ready, it’s time to shape them into fishballs. Follow these steps for forming and shaping the fishballs:

Moisten Hands: To prevent the fish mixture from sticking to your hands, moisten them with water or lightly coat them with oil.

Portion the Mixture: Use a spoon or small scoop to portion out uniform-sized portions of the fish mixture. Adjust the size of the portions based on your preference and the intended use of the fishballs.

Shape into Balls: Roll each portion of the fish mixture between your palms to form smooth, round balls. Apply gentle pressure to compact the mixture and ensure that the fishballs hold together well.

Flatten (Optional): Depending on your preference, you can leave the fishballs round or gently flatten them slightly to create a more uniform shape.

Cooking Techniques for Fishballs:

Once the fishballs are shaped, there are several cooking techniques you can use to cook them to perfection. Here are three common methods for cooking fishballs:

Boiling: Boiling is a simple and straightforward method for cooking fishballs, resulting in tender and flavorful orbs. To boil fishballs, bring a pot of water to a gentle boil, then carefully add the fishballs to the pot. Cook the fishballs for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they float to the surface and are cooked through.

Steaming: Steaming is a gentle cooking method that helps preserve the delicate texture of fishballs while imparting a subtle flavor. To steam fishballs, arrange them in a single layer on a steaming rack or basket, making sure to leave some space between them for even cooking. Steam the fishballs over simmering water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through and springy to the touch.

Frying: Frying fishballs adds a crispy exterior and golden brown color, resulting in a delicious contrast to the tender interior. To fry fishballs, heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed skillet until it reaches 350°F (180°C). Carefully add the fishballs to the hot oil in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the fishballs for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Remove the fishballs from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate before serving.

Seasoning and Serving Fishballs:

Once the fishballs are cooked, it’s time to season them and serve them in your favorite dishes. Here are some seasoning ideas and serving suggestions for fishballs:

Dipping Sauces: Serve fishballs with a variety of dipping sauces, such as sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, garlic aioli, or spicy mayonnaise, for added flavor and enjoyment.

In Soups: Add fishballs to soups such as miso soup, noodle soup, or hot pot for a hearty and flavorful addition. Garnish with fresh herbs, scallions, or chili oil for extra flavor.

Stir-Fries: Incorporate fishballs into stir-fries with vegetables and noodles for a quick and satisfying meal. Toss them in a flavorful sauce made with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil for a delicious dish.

Skewers: Thread fishballs onto skewers with vegetables and grill or broil them for a fun and flavorful appetizer or snack. Serve with a dipping sauce or glaze for added flavor.


Making homemade fishballs is a rewarding and satisfying culinary endeavor that allows you to customize flavors and create delicious dishes to enjoy with family and friends. By selecting the right fish, preparing the mixture with care, shaping the fishballs evenly, and using the appropriate cooking techniques, you can achieve tender, flavorful fishballs that are sure to impress. Whether boiled, steamed, or fried, fishballs are a versatile and delicious addition to soups, stir-fries, and appetizers that can be enjoyed in various cuisines around the world. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that celebrates the art of homemade fishballs!



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023