Fish balls – the ultimate street food. Curried, fried, skewered or barbecued, these gems have a real place in our hearts.
You'll find all sorts of fish balls here in Hong Kong. In line with their street food origins, High Street Cart Noodles keep things traditional with their curried take in both regular and jumbo sizes. And at Chee Kei, the dish is elegantly elevated to fine-dining status, plated up alongside light flakes of fresh fish and broth-soaked noodles.
So what is it about this dish that we love so much?
Smooth and bouncy
You need time, patience and a whole lot of skill to whip up this classic.
Initially, the fish must be formed into a paste by grinding, shredding or pounding. It's then mixed until finally it becomes a super-smooth with a bouncy texture. Their mild flavour makes them a great moreish protein to add to any rice or noodle dish.
Fish without bones
It is thought that China's first emperor Qin Shihuang demanded his cook prepared boneless fish for him every day. This may sound straightforward, but the process of removing all the bones from the fish was a tedious task for the chef. One day, out of frustration, he chopped the fish up into pieces. With these smaller segments he found it remarkably easy to remove the bones. He then formed balls with the leftover fish, boiled them in water and created fish ball soup.
Fortunately Qin Shihuang loved this new dish. When it got to the street food era, cooks made their fish balls smaller, boiled in curry sauce and served on satays. Boom – Hong Kong's famous fish ball skewers were born.
Accompaniment is everything
Fish balls are just about everywhere here in Hong Kong and over at High Street Cart Noodles, they take the dish back to the street with their choice of jumbo or regular-sized curry fish balls. Chee Kei's take really shows how versatile fish balls are. In their Fish Balls & Sliced Fish Noodles, our beloved spheres give the dish a lighter, refined touch. There's no rich dipping sauces here – instead this main course balances beautifully light flakes of fish with the smooth fish balls and aromatic broth.
Whether it's light and refined or deep-fried and intense, fish balls make a great meal. Get them brought to your door with Deliveroo.