Rose’s Kitchen

Homemade Fish Ball Soup

Ingredients for Making Fish Balls:

1 Spanish Mackeral (about 600gm)

Solution A: 1 tbsp water + 1/2 tsp salt

Solution B:

100ml water

1 tsp salt

a dash of pepper

1 tbsp cornflour


1.  Clean fish, wipe dry and fillet with a sharp knife.

2.  Scrape out the flesh from the skin and bones with a metal spoon.

3.  Place the fish flesh on a wooden chopping board.  Pound the fish flesh with the back of a chopper until very fine, adding the salt solution A, a little at a time.

4.  Place the fish paste in a big bowl, stir in one direction under very sticky, adding Solution B while stirring.

5.  Take handfuls of the fish paste and throw it against the sides of the bowl till the paste becomes springy.

6.  Grease hands and fingers with a little oil.  Take a lump of fish paste and gently squeeze paste out between thumb and index finger to form small balls. 

7.  Scoop out the balls of fish paste with a spoon and drop them into a bowl of  water salted with 1 tsp salt.  Leave fish balls to soak in salt water for 1/2 hour. 

Ingredients For Soup:

Bones and skin of fish

Fish balls

1500ml water 

1 small head Iceburg lettuce

1 stalk spring onion, shredded

1 tbsp preserved radish ‘tong choi’


1 tsp salt

2 tsp light soya sauce


1.  Pan-fry the fish bones and skin till golden brown.

2.  Bring 1500ml water to a boil, add the fried fish bones and skin and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. 

3.  Strain the fish stock into a pot and bring to a boil.  When boiling, add the fish balls and cook over a slow fire till they float to the top.  Add seasoning to taste. 

4.  Add ‘tong choi’ and shredded lettuce.  Sprinkle with shredded spring onions.

August 13, 2007 - Posted by | Soups


  1. Hi Rose lovely fish recipe I bet it tasted great 🙂

    Comment by jeena | September 5, 2007 | Reply

  2. Jeena,
    Home-made fish balls are very tasty unlike the commercial ones. When we were young and whenever mummy makes fish balls we will have to pound the fish meat with the motar and pestel. Very tiring task but worth the efforts.

    Comment by roseskitchen | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  3. hi rose
    I tried your fish ball soup and they are excellant. I am working in saudi arabia and couldnt get any malaysian food from stalls or shops so i have to make them..
    I am going to try the rest too.

    Comment by rebecca | September 14, 2007 | Reply

  4. hi rose, do you have the recipes of ‘chwee kuih’-steamed rice cakes with preserved radish. I long to eat them but they are not available in the middle east.

    Comment by rebecca | September 14, 2007 | Reply

  5. Hi, I came to your site when I was searching for homemade fish paste. May I know what other fish I can use besides Spanish Mackerel?
    Your site looks great, will be dropping by often for cookery inspiration! Thanks!

    Comment by Gabrielle | September 24, 2007 | Reply

  6. I normally use Spanish Mackeral or Coral fish. You can also add some chopped fresh red chillies and spring onions to the fish paste to make it more attractive and tasty.
    All the best!

    Comment by rose | September 27, 2007 | Reply

  7. I have tried it and it’s really great recipe. I used king fish and the result is perfect. Thank you Rose

    Comment by herti | December 15, 2007 | Reply

  8. Hi Rose

    Thank you thank you for your excellent website!!!

    I have been ill with winter bug and have not eaten properly in 2 weeks and I been reading your recipe to get by. I cannot wait to go shopping tomorrow because I been dreaming of fishball stuffed in chilli like the one my mom made when I was a child……

    Thank you for your lovely lovely recipes!!!

    Comment by Sue | January 11, 2008 | Reply

  9. hi rose ,

    i was surfing for how to make home made fish balls. and I looked and looked none look that good. Well I have to try how to make and when I think i am missing something I will be back ( I have book mark this web site……..) for more question.

    Actually I am 54 and no one hires me…..all because of my age…….so I have nothing to do ………..but surf.

    best regards

    Comment by joyce | April 14, 2008 | Reply

  10. So funny. i had fish ball soup years ago in Phoenix at a Vietnamese restaurant. I loved them. I have looked for years for a recipe and could not find one! I found some but they were all fried. I wanted to just boil them in the soup, like the ones at that restaurant. Thank you! i will make this. Do you have any suggestions for other types of fish to use?

    Comment by Lori | April 14, 2008 | Reply

  11. Do you need ice water for soaking e fish balls? Will the fish balls be bouncy without adding ajinomoto? Just asking cos i heard some people say that with MSG the fish balls will not be bouncy.

    Comment by Jennifer | September 27, 2008 | Reply

  12. Hi Rose,
    Thank you for your website. The recipes are great!
    A friend of ours just went fishing and the mackerels were running. We turned ours into fish balls, following your recipe but using a food processor. Do you have any tips on how the consistency of the finished paste should look like? Thanks!

    Comment by Sylvia | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  13. Hi Rosa,
    Really sweet of you to share all these all-time-favourite recipes. I was hunting for a fish ball recipe and the search engineer linked me to your site. I have bookmark your site and it shall be my bible at my kitchen!

    Many thanks,

    Comment by Von | October 26, 2008 | Reply

  14. Just to say, great admiration and a huge hug from me to you X

    Comment by Audrey | November 3, 2008 | Reply

  15. Thanks Audrey, I appreciate that.

    Comment by rose | November 3, 2008 | Reply

  16. thank you for posting up your recipes 🙂 take care Rose.

    Comment by Alice | December 3, 2008 | Reply

  17. Hi Rose, thank you for your sharing as i need to cook for cny eve dinner in jan 2009 i so very happy to come across your website. This is a great help to me and my menu
    deep fried ngoh hiang
    mixed seafood/meat balls soup with cabbage
    braised pig trotter with fatt choy
    braised abalone/mushroom/sea cucumber
    steam fish with ginger/soya
    stir fry leek with prawn
    curry chicken/pork rib/ chicken feet
    hokkien noodle stir fried with roast meat/veg & fruit jelly

    Comment by grace | December 20, 2008 | Reply

  18. Hi Rose. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I absolutely love fishballs! Will any type of fish work? it’s hard to get hold of spanish mackeral. The ones here are the bluish stripey ones!

    Comment by Nic | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  19. Hi Rose,

    Thanks for this recipe. I am looking for a fish ball recipe and I found your site. I was invited to a Filipino party and thought I would make fish ball.

    Comment by Elba | January 22, 2009 | Reply

  20. Bonjour Rose,

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been looking all over for fish ball recipe and wham I found your site. It sounds quite easy and I’m going to try it out this weekend.

    Comment by diana damiens | April 7, 2009 | Reply

  21. Hi Rose,

    Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I have tried your recipe and it turned out quite nice but not as bouncy as the commercial ones, is that always be the case or I have missed something important here to make the fish ball bouncy? I browsed through some other websites and saw one saying that I have to keep throwing the fish paste against the bowl wall until it is bouncy? Is that true?

    Comment by kim song tan | April 19, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi Kim Song,
      I think the commercial ones do add a bit of borax to make it bouncy. Throwing the fish paste repeatedly against the sides of the bowl does help too, you can also do the same as for meat balls.

      Comment by rose | April 22, 2009 | Reply

    • non of those mentioned…can make it “bouncy”. all you need is a pair of granite mortar & pestle. the secret is…….pounding to arrive at your desired smooth, fine and bouncy taste.

      Comment by budz | July 19, 2010 | Reply

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    Comment by NamnDotaGat | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  23. Dear Rose,

    In the above recipie of hamade fish ball soup. What Exactly is the “chopper” you refer to for pounding the fish flesh

    Please let me know by e-mail.

    Thank You


    Comment by Edmond | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  24. Edmund I think the chopper probably to the knife, so the flat of the blade.

    Good recipe! I wish I could get decent cheap fish where I live!


    Comment by Bessy | August 30, 2009 | Reply

  25. Hi rose ,

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe for fish ball .

    I wondering whether you have receipe to make sotong ball.

    Thank you & looking forward to hear and receive another wonderful recepi from you .

    Vincent Lee

    Comment by Vincent Lee | November 1, 2009 | Reply

  26. Pretty interesting blog you’ve got here. Thanks the author for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

    Sincerely yours

    Comment by Stranger | February 16, 2010 | Reply

  27. Indeed great blog as for me. It’d be just great to read more about this matter. Thanks for posting that material.

    Lucy REED

    Comment by brunettegirls | June 19, 2010 | Reply

  28. thank you for posting the fish ball ingr.,I1l try. i love to cook but
    not always suceesful, i hope this timeI can make it,thanks.
    anonymos. ihave no computer i just borrow from a friend,thans again

    Comment by Anonymous | June 29, 2010 | Reply

  29. Hi rose, I have tried before homemade fish ball, now, I m trying your receipe, I hope can get a better and improve the taste!!

    Comment by Jeannie Lim | April 28, 2011 | Reply

  30. Hi Rose,

    Mucho gracias for the recipe.

    Comment by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  31. hi there,

    this is my 3rd attempt making this fish ball but to no avail 😦 ..everytime i put the balls to soak, the whole thing just seems errrmm ‘break’ and just dilute in the water … what did i do wrong?

    i used white fish ..

    Comment by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 | Reply

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  33. Hello Rose:
    I was browsing on the internet and was looking on how to make fish balls. I may know a little since my late father is very expert in making this, but I was not able to learn it well. Your website can give me additional idea. Cooking is one of my best hobby. I also like to make experiments too. I will be browsing in your other recipes, and looking forward to get some more interesting recipes.

    Comment by Neny Lily Lao | December 13, 2011 | Reply

  34. i havent try yet but do you have any recipe that kids will like it

    Comment by irene velasco | June 26, 2012 | Reply

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  38. really great. i love fishball soup very much! thanks for sharing :)))

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