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:
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.