Balls Out Birthday Bash and Curried Fish Balls Recipe

I have a very special friend, best known as el @Sickaction. He has an obsession with balls. He relentlessly interjects the subject of “balls” into any conversation, particularly during inappropriate dining occasions.

On Thanksgiving last year, I gave him his very own pair of goat testicles (but that’s for another post).

So on his birthday, we decided that a balls-themed party would be the most suited. Nothing beats stuffing the birthday boy’s mouth full of balls. On the menu was meat balls, which we also grilled and turned into meat ball sliders on Hawaiian sweet rolls.

Meat balls by Melody Gourmet Fury

We scooped melon balls from a watermelon and several cantaloupes and honeydews. What a pain in the ass. The left over juices were transformed into melon agua fresca.

Melon balls by Melody Gourmet Fury

I also made a huge batch of curried fish balls. Curried fish balls is a popular street food in Hong Kong.  I remember from my childhood, the street vendors would park their food carts at high traffic areas. The carts were essentially big push buggies that held a huge cauldron of heated broth. Steel compartments divided the broth into several flavors, ranging from curry to soy marinate. Often, one section was reserved  for steaming fish sui mai, sticky rice rolls, and other dim sum.

Curried fish balls by Melody Gourmet Fury

My favourite spot to get curried fish balls was outside the Star Ferries in Hung Hom, Whampoa where I grew up. On a chilly day, I would drag my parents over to the curry fish ball man and ask for a skewer or two. Using tongs, he fished each ball out of the steaming curry broth and jabbed them onto skewers in a row. The bouncy balls made from fish paste were completely saturated by the mild curry broth.  Served piping hot and dripping with sauce, there’s really nothing quite like it.

Nowadays, unlicensed food vendors are banned from the streets and I recall my teachers lecturing us not to buy food from them for sanitation reasons.  Curried fish balls are still readily found in noodle shops and other stationary food stands. Still, the thrill of ordering fish balls from a man with a cigarette dangling from his mouth and eyes shifting to detect oncoming health inspectors, will always be imprinted in my memory. This one’s for you, Sickaction.

Please, no more balls

Curried Fish Balls Recipe


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite yellow curry paste
  • 1 14 oz can of coconut milk
  • 2 packs of fish balls, approx 40 (regular or deep fried versions should be available at the Asian market)
  • 1/2 small daikon (white Japanese radish), peeled and cut into bite sized pieces (optional)
  • brown or palm sugar
  • chicken broth or water
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • salt  to taste
  • vegetable oil


  • In a large pot, sweat the onion in 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat.  When the onion is translucent, add the curry paste, 2 tbs of brown sugar, and cook while stirring for 3 minutes until it’s very fragrant.
  • Add the fish balls, the daikon (if using), the bay leaf, and the coconut milk to the pot and stir thoroughly.  Simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes, stirring periodically.  If the curry looks too dry to coat the ingredients, add some water of chicken broth. There should be enough liquid to cover 1/3 of the fish balls.
  • When the fish balls have puffed up and the daikon is tender, it is ready.  Season with salt and more brown sugar to taste.
  • Serve over steamed rice, or as I prefer, on skewers

Note: the curries on the streets of HK are thinner and not coconut-ty because 1) coconut milk is pricy 2) the constantly simmering sauce picks up whatever flavours the ingredients release.  I personally like coconut milk’s rich flavour and how it coats the fish balls.  Simply omit it and replace with chicken broth if you prefer.

  1. September 02, 2011 by 604 Foodtography

    Love love love spicy curry fish balls, was my nightly snack with my beer the few nights I was in HK. :) 

  2. September 02, 2011 by Melody Fury

    That’s the BEST! Even better with pork skin… :D

  3. September 03, 2011 by Marsha!!

    From what I remember it, it was “Please, no more vodka”. :p I will have to send you the footage for posterity.

  4. September 03, 2011 by Melody Fury

    Haha I believe you were the instigator!

  5. September 06, 2011 by Veronica Krystle Davis

    Delicious curry fish balls. A nice snacks to serve.

  6. September 06, 2011 by Melody Fury

    Thanks dear! I’m glad you like them!

  7. September 12, 2011 by A Beautiful Life

    Yay for curry fish balls! I remember these too as a kid in HK.  Street food back in the day was the best.  I want to try and make these.

  8. September 12, 2011 by Melody Fury

    It’s so dead simple to make :) I bet you can make them with one arm tied behind your back. Don’t forget the skewers!

  9. September 20, 2011 by Dave Scott

    Greetings. This is my first time on your blog,
    but you have a terrific one. I am always on the look out for new blogs, new
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  10. September 26, 2011 by Shopaholicinvancouver

    Thank GOODNESS you posted this recipe. Didn’t have this the last time I was at the night market so I definitely need a dosage of curry fish balls. <3 ~ Thanks!

  11. September 26, 2011 by Melody Fury

    You are so welcome. Have fun making them :)

  12. October 23, 2011 by Shopaholicinvancouver

    Helllllllo! Safe to say, I think I can satisfy my fish ball addiction without nightmarket. This recipe is so much better and so damned simple! LOVE <3 Hubs who doesn't normally like fish balls even loves it. Thanks so much!!

  13. October 27, 2011 by Melody Fury

    Phew :) I’m so glad to get your (and the hubs’) approval! Keep on ballin’!

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