Deutsch: Fischbällchen / Español: Albóndigas de pescado / Português: Bolinhos de peixe / Français: Boulettes de poisson / Italiano: Polpette di pesce

Fish Balls in the food context refer to a popular street food and culinary ingredient found in many cultures around the world. Made from pounded or ground fish meat that has been seasoned, shaped into balls, and then cooked, fish balls can be boiled, fried, steamed, or grilled. The type of fish used can vary widely, often depending on regional preferences and availability. Fish balls are commonly served in soups, as part of noodle dishes, skewered and deep-fried as street food, or accompanied by various dipping sauces.


The preparation of Fish Balls involves taking fish meat, deboning it, and then processing it into a paste. Seasonings such as salt, pepper, scallions, and sometimes fillers like flour or tapioca starch are added to help bind the mixture and enhance the flavor. The mixture is then formed into small, bite-sized balls. In street food contexts, fish balls are often fried until golden and served on skewers with a selection of dipping sauces, ranging from sweet and sour to spicy. In home cooking and traditional dishes, they may be added to soups or stews to absorb the flavors of the broth.

Application Areas

Fish Balls are versatile and can be found in:

  • Street Food: Especially in Asian countries, where they are a common and beloved snack.
  • Home Cooking: Used in soups, stews, and curries as a protein-rich ingredient.
  • Restaurants and Fast Food: Served as appetizers or included in main dishes, particularly in Asian cuisine.

Well-Known Examples

Fish balls are integral to various dishes across different cuisines:

  • Chinese Cuisine: Fish balls are a staple in noodle soups and hot pot dishes.
  • Philippine Cuisine: Known as "street food," served with a sweet or spicy sauce.
  • Nordic Cuisine: Fish balls, or "fiskeboller," often served in white sauce with vegetables.
  • Thai Cuisine: Fish balls are used in soups and curry dishes, known for their spicy and aromatic flavors.


A basic recipe for making Fish Balls includes:

  1. Ingredients:

    • White fish fillet (e.g., cod, haddock, or tilapia), deboned and skin removed
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Finely chopped scallions or chives
    • Flour or tapioca starch, if needed, for binding
    • Oil for frying (if frying the fish balls)
  2. Preparation:

    • Blend the fish fillet in a food processor until smooth.
    • Mix in the seasonings and chopped scallions or chives. Add flour or starch as needed to help the mixture bind together.
    • Form the mixture into small balls.
    • Cook the fish balls according to preference: boil in water or broth for soups, fry in oil until golden for a crispy exterior, or steam for a softer texture.
    • Serve with dipping sauces or add to your favorite soup or noodle dish.

Treatment and Risks

Fish Balls are generally a healthy option, rich in protein and low in fat, especially when boiled or steamed. However, fried fish balls will be higher in calories due to the cooking oil. As with all seafood, it's important to ensure the fish is fresh and properly handled to avoid foodborne illnesses.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Seafood Balls (when including other types of seafood)
  • Fish Dumplings (in some contexts)


Fish Balls are a versatile and widely consumed food item, serving as a key ingredient in many traditional dishes around the world. Whether enjoyed as a savory street food snack or as part of a nourishing soup, fish balls provide a delicious way to incorporate the flavors and nutritional benefits of fish into various meals.


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