These Curry Fish Balls are inspired by the tasty and delicious street food commonly found in Hong Kong. Bouncy round fish balls are coated in a thick and flavourful curry sauce.
What are curry fish balls?
Curry fish balls are a street food snack that originated in Hong Kong.
Fish balls are similar to fish cakes and are made from a fish paste, shaped into round spheres.
The fish paste consists of fish (usually surimi), seasonings, and a binder, which can be a starch such as wheat, potato or corn.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe is easy and simplified, yet delicious and flavourful.
Using Japanese curry cubes speeds up the process and omits the need to add starches, thickeners or curry powder.
It's a quick meal that you can make on a weeknight (ready in 30 minutes).
Enjoy the Curry Fish Balls as a snack or serve it with steamed rice to make it a full meal.
Ingredients you'll need
- daikon: lo bak, is a long white radish that is used in Asian cuisine, such as in turnip cake (lo bak guo), or as pickles, (eg. do chua); you can find daikon in Asian and Western supermarkets
- water: or vegetable broth to cook the curry
- vegetable oil: I used avocado oil but you can use any vegetable oil you like
- shallots: look like a small-medium purple onion with orange skin; they are related to the onions/leek family and are used in the same way as onions
- garlic: minced
- turmeric powder: comes from the turmeric plant and is bright orange, with a strong, earthy, bitter flavour
- sa cha sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce): is a slightly spicy, flavourful condiment made with oil, aromatics, brill/fish and sometimes shrimp; you can find it in Asian grocery stores
- Japanese curry cubes: are commonly used in Japanese curries, such as Katsu Curry; they come in pre-portioned boxes and are available in Asian supermarkets. The curries come in a variety of heat levels, from mild, medium to hot, so choose one that is suitable for your taste
- fish balls: you can use homemade or frozen fish balls; they appear as white, round fish balls with a bouncy texture when cooked; you can also used fried fish balls which have a yellow skin on the exterior
- bay leaves: optional, but give a little extra flavour to the curry
How to make it
Blanch the daikon:
Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add in the chunks of daikon and cook for about 5 minutes (Step 2 below).
Transfer the daikon to a bowl and drain the water.
Return the pot to the stove and bring to medium-high heat.
Make the curry sauce:
Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in the pot over medium heat.
Add in the minced shallot and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes (Step 3 below).
Next, add in the turmeric and sa cha sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce) and fry for another minute.
Pour in the water or vegetable broth and scrape off the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add in the daikon and 50g (½ block) of Japanese curry roux and give it a stir to dissolve the curry.
Place the lid on and bring to a simmer.
Add in the frozen fish balls, along with 1-2 pieces of bay leaf (Step 4 below).
Give everything a stir and cover with the lid.
Let the mixture come to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the fish balls are cooked through, stirring intermittently.
Note: if the curry appears thick, add a little water to thin it out. The consistency of the curry should coat all the fish balls nicely and not be too gloopy or runny.
How to serve
It's best to serve the Curry Fish Balls fresh and piping hot.
For a street food/snack vibe, poke the fish balls onto skewers and serve with the curry sauce in paper cups.
I also love having it with steamed rice for dinner. Or you can add cooked noodles to the curry sauce as well.
Tip: the longer the Curry Fish Balls sit in the curry, the more flavour they absorb.
So you can make this dish ahead of time.
How to store & reheat
If you have any leftover Curry Fish Balls, store in an airtight container and place into the fridge for up to 1 week.
To reheat the dish, place everything into a pot and gently bring to a simmer.
You may need to add a little water if the curry appears thick.
Feel free to add different types of fish or meat balls to this curry.
- fried fish balls (yellow exterior)
- fried cuttlefish/squid balls
- beef balls
- fish tofu
- shrimp balls
- imitation/lobster balls
- mini sausages
FAQs & troubleshooting
Where can I find Japanese curry roux?
You can find Japanese curry cubes/roux in Asian supermarkets. They're pre-packaged in boxes, which make them very convenient to use.
How to make daikon taste less bitter?
Choose a young daikon, which tend to be smaller in size.
Peel the daikon with a vegetable peeler.
Cook the daikon in boiling water for a longer period of time.
Where can I find fish balls?
You can find frozen fish balls at Asian supermarkets.
They can be sold in packages, or you may also get them "fresh" (previously frozen) at the seafood counter.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Homemade Chinese BBQ Pork Pastry (Char Siu Sou)
Let me know if you try this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Easy Curry Fish Balls
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 small daikon cut into 2" pieces
- water for boiling the daikon
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 medium shallots minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 heaped tsp sa cha sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce)
- 1 ½ C water or vegetable broth plus more if needed
- 2 small cubes (½ block, 50g) Japanese curry
- 250 g fish balls frozen or fresh
- 1-2 bay leaves optional
- Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Once water is boiling, add in the chunks of daikon and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the daikon to a bowl and drain the water.
- Return the pot to the stove and bring to medium-high heat.
- Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in the pot over medium heat.
- Add in the minced shallot and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add in the turmeric and sa cha sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce) and fry for another minute.
- Pour in the water and scrape off the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the daikon and 50g (½ block) of Japanese curry roux and give it a stir to dissolve the curry.
- Place the lid on and bring to a simmer.
- Add in the frozen fish balls, along with 1-2 pieces of bay leaf.
- Give everything a stir and cover with the lid.
- Let the mixture come to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the fish balls are cooked through, stirring intermittently.
- Serve piping hot.
- Note: if the curry appears thick, add a little water to thin it out.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
I would love to give this a try! We're such big curry fans and these look super flavourful! Great for an app (and who doesn't love food on a stick??). So fun and delicious!
Ben | Havocinthekitchen
I don't think I've ever tried curry with fish (with some seafood perhaps), but these fish balls look and sound delightful and inviting!
Heidi | The Frugal Girls
I love how these serve up so much flavor with so little effort. No day could be dull or boring with these on the menu!
Looks so delicious! I like curry fish balls. Will give this a try!
David @ Spiced
I must admit that I've never heard of curry fish balls...however, they sound delicious! And I've always enjoyed trying street food from different countries. In fact, one of the best ways to learn a culture is to try their various street foods. I would love to try these - perhaps as a fun recipe project one night during the holidays!
Yes, absolutely! Street foods are such a great way to learn about a new culture 🙂 You'll definitely enjoy these, David!
Caleb - Never Ending Journeys
These curry fish balls look and sound amazing! I bet they would make a great appetizer, too.
Thank you Caleb! My kids love eating them on sticks as an appy!
I love curry, so these fish balls sound and look so delicious in the flavorful curry sauce! YUM!
The fish balls soak up so much flavour from the curry -- they become mini sponges! Thanks Kim!
Healthy World Cuisine
Fish balls for hot pot and for your delicious curry. These fish balls on a stick are so delicious and way better than buying them fried from the local hawkers here in HK. We love the House spicy Japanese curry in the green box. What's your favorite brand?
Fish balls are so delicious in hotpot, noodles and curry! Our favourite go-to Japanese curry is the Golden Curry Medium Hot by S&B 🙂
Raymund | angsarap.net
You made me miss Hong Kong, i used to live there before and the flat where I stayed in Wan Chai there was a lady that sells this nearby and sometimes I pick up one order or two before I head back home. Nice recipe
Ahh, thank you very much Raymund! Would love to visit HK and enjoy these curry fish balls on the street!
Michelle, I love the sound of these fish balls - anything curry is totally my jam, and I've never made fish cakes and certainly not fish balls, but I'm game to give it a try!
You can easily pick up fish balls at Asian grocery stores -- they're usually frozen and you just boil them until they float to the top. 🙂 Super easy to make!
All of your great tips made these super easy to make. Thank you for sharing with us.
Glad to hear it, Pam! Thanks for your feedback 🙂
I sometimes buy fish balls for a hot pot or laksa but never knew what else to do with them. A curry is a brilliant idea! Such a tasty way to eat fish balls, thank you.
These sound incredible. I love Japanese curry dishes and using the premade fish balls makes this an easy dish.
I love all the combination of flavors in this recipe. So tasty and satisfying. It's a keeper for me and one to make over and over again.
Thanks so much for making the recipe, Mairead!