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Fish Ball Recipe (Steamed Fish Balls with Bean Curd Sticks)

Steamed Fish Balls Dim Sum
Steamed Fish Balls Dim Sum pictures (3 of 3)

One thing I don’t like about eating dim sum in the United States is the lack of fish ball offerings. If you recall my previous posts about sweet and sour fish balls and yong tow foo, I am partial to fish ball-related foods: deep-fried, stuffed in vegetables or tofu (like Malaysian yong tow foo/酿豆腐), in soup, or steamed.

Whenever I go home to Malaysia and have dim sum, I would order trays after trays of fish ball dim sum. They are usually lightly fried and then steamed. Some of them are just plain steamed fish balls and some are pan-fried and drenched in savory bean sauce. Whichever way they are prepared, fish balls found in Malaysian dim sum restaurants are springy, utterly addictive (you just want more after the first taste) and delicious, and below is the picture of fish balls served in dim sum restaurant in Malaysia.

Fish Ball Dim SumSo, when I crave for fish ball dim sum, I make mine at home. They are very easy to make because I cheat with store-bought fish paste. I add some chopped garlic into the fish paste and steam them over a bed of bean curd sticks, a trick that I learned from a dim sum restaurant.

These steamed fish balls are so good with chili sauce. I just can’t get enough of them.

Love the recipe? Here are more dim sum and fish balls recipes on Rasa Malaysia:

  1. Char Siu Bao
  2. Sweet and Sour Fish Balls
  3. Yong Tow Foo< (Stuffed Tofu, Chili, and Okra with Fish Paste)
  4. More Yong Tow Foo
  5. Chicken Shu Mai
  6. Red Bean Paste Steamed Buns (Tau Sar Bau)

(Chinese recipes, prepare authentic Chinese food now!)

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31 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. kennymah

    Looking at the second photo on your page, I could have sworn you took it at one our home-grown dim-sum restaurants… Authentic-nyer… :)

  2. ka..t

    Interesting – fish paste in a container! Like yoghurt!! :D

    I’m pretty partial to fishball myself. Couldn’t find any here (I’m in the middle east), so I used Fatboybakes’ fish paste recipe – easy and tasty!

    BTW, I tried the Bango kecap manis. It tastes exactly like the dark sauce in Indomie Mee Goreng! Heaven!! I always thought the little bitty sauce in the noodle packet was never enough, and now I can get it by the bottle!! Yay!

  3. Veron

    I adore fish balls but i love squid balls more. Anyway, this used to be an afternoon snack for us back home. There is a fishball/squid ball cart in front of the office and you eat it from a stick with sweet and sour sauce. Anyway, this dimsum has me drooling because I love bean curd sheets too.

  4. Mochachocolata Rita

    hmm not the biggest fan of fishballs, but they are good ones available here in hong kong. i think fish balls are part of hk food culture just like sg and my hehe…the most popular one being spicy curry fishball skewers sold by street snack vendors…it’s funny to see groups of people holding a stick of spicy fishballs on 1 hand, sweating & gasping for air from the heat of the curry sauce, and trying not to get the dripping sauce on their shoes…the best ones (with longest queue of locals) are from a small shop, tucked in the corder of prince edward’s fa yuen street market, i’ll bring u there when u re in hk hehe

    • monkee apples

      Haha, I’ve been to that one! I’m usually not much of a fish ball person either, but when it comes to curry fish ball skewers.. *salivates!* And sorry this is probably off topic, but I just had to comment on your description of eating curry fish ball skewer! HAHA! That is totally what every one does! And especially the bit about getting the sauce on our shoes! XD!!

  5. AK

    You sure craving for Dim Sum when seeing them piping hot from the streamer…Yummy..i’m drooing..must go makan this week..LOL

  6. Farina

    iv never had dim sum eversince i moved here and not sure if id ever since im so used to the dim sums in Msia. And i think tht goes to almost all chinese food too. I only like them when theyr prepared by a Msian. Guess my tastebud already stuck to a certain taste. lol.

  7. White On Rice Couple

    I grew up eating fish balls with everything and all the time, my parents were crazy about them! Your steamer photos look like they should be in a magazine. They’re the perfect portion size too, but I just might have to order about 3 of yours!

  8. jesse

    Fish balls hold such a nostalgic place in my heart, and I definitely miss them whenever I have dim sum in the States. Thank you for the great recipe!

  9. Geri T

    So glad I stumbled upon your website and then, not only to see a recipe for making fish ball dim sum, but also your crucial hint of how to get a hold of the fish paste. (the photo of the container of fish emulsion was extremely helpful!). I have been in the US for 16 years and have only been back in Singapore twice and I had resigned myself to missing the taste of a good bowl of fish ball noodles. So, thanks so very much for your blog, and pictures that are fit to be drooled over.

    • Peter Kong

      Check every supermarket for the fish paste. If none have it then try wet markets fish section early in the morning.

      If you still can’t find them ask the fish sellers where you can get them. They may probably know cos they could be supplying fish regularly or every day to fish-ball or fish paste making customers.

      Worse come to the worst you will have to buy fresh fish and make them yourself. It’s not that hard to make fish paste. Just clean all the fish and scrape off the skin.

      Using a tablespoon start scraping off the flesh from the fish bit by bit making sure you don’t get any bones until all the fish are done.

      Best fish for this will be the thin long fish. Not sure exactly what the name is but I think it is sai tow mostly used to make fish balls. Good luck.

  10. Peter Kong

    I was thinking chopping pickled dill coarsely (not too fine) and adding a pinch or 2 to make each fish ball can give an interesting flavor to it. Will give a slightly sour flavor when you bite on the pickled dill.

    Personally I would prefer frying the bean curd sticks until crispy. Can steam the fish balls separately while laying the bean curd sticks in the dim sum plates and place the steamed fish balls on top after they are cooked.

    Love thinly cut fried bean curd sticks with the fried economy bee hoon and pickled green chillies. Will try making fish balls my way next time after I go shopping.

  11. Zeenath A. Rahim

    Hi Bee. I am a old fan of your incredible blog. I look for your posts first, every time I open my email.

    We cant get ready made fish paste in Dhaka. Could you tell me what fish I could use for making it and is it made from raw fresh fish or steamed/cooked fish? Would appreciate your reply.

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