Fish balls are a favourite snack and ingredient in soups and hotpot cuisines in East and Southeast Asia. They are frequently linked to Chinese food, and many individuals of Chinese heritage work in the fish ball sector. European variants frequently use milk or potatoes as binding agents and tend to be less processed. Additionally, the Nordic nations have their own variant.
Although the ingredients and preparation techniques vary per country, there are similarities in the elasticity, color, and flavor. Compared to their Malay and Singaporean equivalents, fish balls in Hong Kong and the Philippines can often be firmer, darker, and more strongly flavored with fish. Fish balls from Taiwan have additional bounce and air added to them so they can soak up soups or sauces.
Fish is often shredded, coarsely minced, or pounded before being thoroughly mixed with more salt and crushed ice to get a smooth texture. To give the ball a “soft, springy feel,” additional components are added, such as sugar, monosodium glutamate, transglutaminase, or starches. By using a procedure comparable to that used to make surimi, previously wrapped and tangled protein strands in the fish are stretched and unwound, giving the meal it makes a solid, “bouncy” texture. In Taiwan, this perfect bouncy texture is referred to as “Q.”
In industrial manufacturing, an extruding machine shapes the balls, which are then placed in water between 30 and 45 degrees Celsius before boiling, cooling, and packing. In addition to giving it a transparent aspect, the setting time is a crucial step in manufacturing since it ensures that the form will remain intact after packing. They can be sold fried, boiled, or uncooked (after setting) (after being boiled).
Due to the difference in thermal stability between tropical fish and cold water fish, the kind of fish utilized in surimi can have an impact on the manufacture of commercial fish balls. Economically, the creation of fish balls increases the value of cheaper fish.