Fish Ball Sauce ala Manong’s Recipe

“Sweet, salty and spicy fish ball sauce that tastes just like Manong’s! Great dipping sauce for your favorite Filipino street food such as fish balls, squid balls, kikiam, kwek-kwek and other fried foods.”

Fish ball sauce is what makes fish ball lovers come back for more. Street food experience is not complete without the sauce, these two should come together. The sweet and spicy sauce perfectly complement not only fish balls but also other street foods like squid balls, kikiam, kwek-kwek etc.

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Fish Ball Sauce, a versatile sauce

Although it is called fish ball sauce, its use is not limited only to fish balls. It goes well with other street foods or even fried snacks or dishes. It was just popularly called fish balls as that is the main products sold by street vendors and became popular pair at that.

Every Manong vendors selling street foods has their own homemade fish ball sauce but as far as I remember they don’t differ much in taste. Their sauce is a combination of sweet, salty and spicy flavors that you can’t resist having one serving after the other.

If you are craving for street but cautious and restricted to go out due to the pandemic, you can still enjoy your favorite street food with this homemade fish ball sauce. It’s fairly easy to make with simple ingredients that are almost always available in your pantry.

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Ingredients in making fish ball sauce

There are a couple of ingredients required in making the fish ball sauce but I bet most of them are probably sitting in your pantry.

You will be needing water, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, flour, minced onion, minced garlic, minced chilies, salt, pepper and vinegar.

When it comes to the sugar, you can use any type depending on the availability or your personal preference. You can use half part of dark brown sugar and half white sugar. Or half brown sugar and half white sugar. Or just stick to pure white sugar or brown sugar.

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Just be aware that any type of sugar used may slightly affect the taste or color of your sauce as they have different color and sugar content.

You can also adjust the sweetness by increasing or decreasing the sugar in the recipe. Personally, I think the level of sweetness in this recipe is just great for me.

To achieve a thick consistency, we are adding flour or cornstarch. Some recipe calls for cornstarch alone or flour alone. Although this will work, I find that combining flour and cornstarch results in more texture in the recipe. However, you can use one of the two as you desired. Or you can use cassava flour as well if that’s what you have.

Also some recipes doesn’t include vinegar in their recipe. I made one with and without. But for me personally, I like the hint of sour flavor in my fish ball sauce.


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My suggestion is that you divide the sauce into two equal part before putting the vinegar. One sauce will have no vinegar and the other with it (just divide the amount of vinegar in this recipe). Try tasting both and see what you’d like. You can omit it entirely if you are hesitant and don’t want it in your sauce.

You can add more chilies if you want to make it more spicy. But I guess, 3 thai chilies will be the maximum as it be too spicy to enjoy it.

How to make Fish ball sauce

Making fish ball sauce is quite simple and easy. You just need to combine water, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch and all-purpose flour. Mix it, boil in low heat and stir until it thickens. Then add garlic, onion and chilies, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I also love to add vinegar and let it simmer for a minute before stirring. Then you can serve it with your favorite street foods.

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How to store

Left over sauce can be stored in an airtight container inside the fridge. It will be good for 3-4 days. You can freeze it as well to increase shelf life and it will last for about 2-3 months.

Spice up your street food experience with this fish ball sauce and satisfy your cravings! Happy tummy!

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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.