Ching’s Fish Ball Noodle Soup
Robin teased me a little bit when she saw this recipe. Fish balls? Is that even appetizing? And who exactly would want to make fish balls?
I am here to tell you that YOU should be making fish balls. And they are easy, too!
A mild fish, haddock, along with some squid go into a food processor and along with egg white, cilantro, rice wine, oyster sauce and other seasonings, creates a thick enough paste to form into balls.
These fish balls are then poached in a fish stock, which is further enhanced with rice vermicelli, Napa cabbage and lots of chili oil.
The result is a warm, comfort soup from the sea – and low FODMAP!
This recipe comes from the book Wok On. At FODMAP Everyday® I love bringing you recipes from cookbooks, new and old, showing you how you do NOT have to give up cooking broadly and interestingly – as this recipe attests.
Published with permission. Wok On by Ching-He Huang. Published by Kyle Books, 2019. Photographs by Tamin Jones.
Ever since I tried my first steaming bowl of fish ball noodle soup in Hong Kong, I have been obsessed with it. The balls have a delicious “chew” to them—spongy in a fishy, delicate way—and they’re served in an addictive, oniony broth, with clear rice noodles and umami seaweed. I like the soup laden with lots of a lip-smackingly hot chili oil—you get my point.
This is my version, and it doesn’t disappoint; the trick is to add squid, which hardens when cooked, and gives the fish more of a satisfying “chew”. I reckon my homemade fishballs are even better than some manufactured ones, which contain too much starch, and not enough fish. I hope you enjoy them.
For more noodle and pasta inspiration, be sure to check out our article: Noodles, Noodles, Noodles: 30 Gut-Friendly Pasta Recipes – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free!
Ching’s Fish Ball Noodle Soup
This fish balls are easy to make with a food processor - and make a very comforting soup, especially for cooler weather.
For the Fish Balls:
For the Broth:
- 1 1/2 quarts (1.4 L) fresh fish stock
- 5 1/4- ounces (150 g) Napa cabbage, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) slices
- 7- ounces (200 g; about 4 cups) cooked vermicelli rice noodles
- Pinch of sea salt flakes
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili oil, or to taste
- Cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Place the haddock and squid in a food processor, season with the salt, white pepper, rice wine or dry sherry, the cornstarch, egg white, and oyster sauce, and blend well until airy and light. Sprinkle in the cilantro stems, and mix well. Using 2 tablespoons, pass some of the fish mixture from spoon to spoon, turning the mixture until an oval ball (quenellis formed—you should get 12 balls.
Add the fish stock to a large wok, and bring to a simmer. Add the Napa cabbage, and cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked noodles, and season with sea salt and white pepper.
Turn the heat to medium, and gently add the fish balls to the wok. Cook for 2—3 minutes until the fish balls float to the surface and turn opaque white.
Season with the tamari or light soy sauce and sesame oil.
Divide the noodles between two bowls, ladle in the stock and cabbage, and place six fish balls into each bowl. Drizzle with the chili oil, sprinkle over the cilantro leaves and chives, and serve immediately.
- If you do not have access to fresh fish stock, I do have two suggestions. Bottled clam juice is easy to find and I think works fairly well. My preferred approach is to save shrimp shells whenever I cook shrimp. I store them in the freezer. Boil these us with water for a super quick broth with the essence of the sea.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.