Fish Ball Vegetable Soup

Fish, Soup March 31st, 2008

fishball veg soup

I confess. I love fishballs. When they come fresh and springy, I can take about a dozen in one go. So, what’s this obsession with fishballs then? One thing is – it is cheap. I can get them for 10 cents each from the wet market. It is quite healthy though it may be processed fish meat. And it is easy to cook. You can fry them or use them in soups. When using fishballs in soups, it can either be as an accompaniment or as the highlight of the soup itself.

This recipe highlights the fishballs. I use chinese mustard greens (choy sum) to make this dish one step healthier – what with the fibres and nutrients from the vegetables. For the soup base, I use ikan bilis stock prepared fresh and not the instant granules. Ikan bilis stock is easy to prepare and you can even cool it and store them in the freezer for future use. Handy especially when you want to whip up a quick soup.

This is my simple but delicious recipe for Fish Ball Vegetable Soup


  • 20 fishballs
  • 100 grammes of chinese mustard greens (rinsed throughly and cut into smaller (halved) pieces)
  • a pinch of chinese salted vegetable (tung chye)
  • 600 ml ikan bilis stock (boil 700 ml water with a handful of ikan bilis for 30 minutes. strain and remove ikan bilis)


  • 1 teaspoon of light soya sauce
  • a couple of dashes of white pepper powder
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of msg (optional)


Bring ikan bilis stock to boil. When boiling rapidly, add fish balls and allow it to cook till the fishballs float to surface.

As soon as the first fishball floats to surface, add the vegetables. Add seasoning.

Dish up when all fishballs have floated to surface. Sprinkle chinese salted vegetable before serving. If you prefer, you can drizzle a teaspoon of shallot oil.

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  1. 1
    April 1st, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Hahaha…talking about fishballs too! I prefer Malaysia/Singapore fishballs to those in Taiwan. Those in Taiwan – the fishballs’ texture is like sotong ball!

  2. 2
    April 4th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Delicious & such a comfort food. My Mom used to cook her fishball soup exactly like yours, yums! Whenever I go back to Singapore to visit the family, the first thing I eat is the fishball soup & youcharkueh at the hawker center.

  3. 3
    April 4th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    tigerfish : Really? Are they made fresh or imported from elsewhere? I have not tried those from Taiwan but judging from what you said, I would prefer the springy texture instead. One of my relatives make good fishballs (he sells fishball noodles) and one of his secrets is to put ice into the mincing machine to keep the fish paste cool ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Kat : Home cooked food is usually simple but satisfying. This is definitely one of my favourites ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. 4
    Rasa Malaysia
    April 5th, 2008 at 1:52 am

    I loooooove fish balls, too. What’s not to love, right?

    The best fish balls are Malaysian fish balls, I reckon. Other country’s fish balls are all powdery, after you cook them, they expand 2X…scary.

    And the fish balls in the wet markets are simply irrestible…so many different selections, shapes, colors, and varieties. Everytime I go home to Penang, I would hit the wet market in the morning and sapu all kinds of fishballs and cook up a pot of soup every day!!!

  5. 5
    April 9th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Rasa Malaysia : Yay! Good to hear that we probably produce the best fish balls ๐Ÿ˜€

    Yeah, it is so easily available (in Malaysia) and simple to cook. I would rate it as instant food ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. 6
    April 16th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Hi, mind sharing how to make the fresh ikan bilis stock? Sounds interesting. Thanks!

  7. 7
    April 16th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Jonah : Boil 700 ml water with a handful of ikan bilis for 30 minutes. Strain and remove ikan bilis. You can use lesser amount of water if you want. There is no hard and fast rule to making / boiling fresh ikan bilis stock.

  8. 8
    [eatingclub] vancouver || js
    April 26th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Fish ball soup!

    Falls under the category of foods that are “so simple yet so profound.”

    It’s a favourite comfort food of ours too!

  9. 9
    Jessica S. Choi
    September 16th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I love fishballs! I used to eat them with almost everything. Have you ever tried curry fishballs? That is probably one of my favorites. But I will definitely try your Fish Ball Vegetable Soup – its sounds like it wouldn’t take too long to cook.

    I love your blog. You include so many different recipes and different dishes, I can’t wait to try them out!

    Did you come up with this recipe yourself?

    What is your favorite Asian dish? or Asian recipe to cook?

    Why did you decide to start this blog?

  10. 10
    March 3rd, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    thanks for this! just tried it ๐Ÿ™‚

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