Meat Fish ball Noodle Soup

Actually this post should be called ‘how NOT to make fishballs’. Cos this was meant to be a Fishball Noodle recipe! In fact, the soup base and all the other ingredients that you see are for fishball noodle soup! Everything tastes great except for the fishballs so before I go into the successful Meatball noodle recipe, let me show you how not to make fishballs…

Looks ok, you say? No…! There is something very wrong with the fishballs- no matter how long you boil them, they turn to mush the moment you pick them up with chopsticks! (Left:cooked fishballs, Right: raw fishballs) So, what NOT to do?

1) Don’t use frozen Sutchi Fillets, no matter how cheap they are.
(I bought all the above for $2.95 at NTUC) There is something very weird about the texture and flavor of this fish… It’s like…bulbous jelly with a slight fishy taste…:s That’s how my fishballs turned out…Fishballs should ideally be made with tougher fleshed fish with sweet meat, like the Mackeral.

2) Don’t put huge chunks of semi-frozen fish into the blender no matter how hard-pressed for time you are. Use fresh fish or thaw the frozen fish completely so you can ensure it’s not excessively filled with water.

3) Don’t put in too much Tapioca flour.
When I saw that my fish paste was watery. I added more and more flour, which worsened the problem later when I boiled the fishballs- they turned slimy.

4) Don’t use two spoons to form the balls.
I didn’t want to get fish meat stuck under my fingernails, so I thought this was a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, the balls were not shaped well and as compactly as they should have been. They’re called ‘handmade fishballs’ for a reason… Be prepared to get your hands messy and fishy!

5) Don’t guess/ invent new steps if you’re a first-timer.
Do proper research and get all the ingredients ready before you start anything!

And now, back to my Meatball Noodle recipe.

Ingredients
(Soup Stock)
300g Pork bones
300g Fish bones
200g lard
20g Ikan billis
1 dried sole fish
8 cloves garlic
A few ginger slices

100g bean sprouts, blanched
3 pieces fish cake, sliced and blanched
Fish dumplings, blanched
Meat balls, blanched
Spring onions, chopped
Fried shallots

Method
1) Render the pork lard first while preparing other ingredients as this takes quite a while.

2) while the lard is rendering, deep fry the sole fish, ikan billis, ginger, and fish bones. Drain and set aside.

3) put blanched pork bones and the above ingredients into herb bags and boil them for 2-3 hours.

4) cook noodles and arrange meatballs, fish cakes, dumplings and vegetables into bowl.

5) remove herb bags and ladle piping hot soup into bowl. Garnish with chopped spring onions, shallots and crispy lard oil.

Done! This tastes great with chopped chilli padi!

Enjoy!

(Okay fine. I cheated with the ready-made meatballs… They were really my backup in case my handmade fishballs failed… Please forgive me..!! I will post again when I manage to make successful fishballs!)

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