This sweet and spicy Fishball Sauce recipe is a one-for-all sauce for your favorite Filipino street food like fish balls, squid balls, kikiam, and kwek kwek.
What is fishball sauce?
Fishball sauce is the one used by Filipino street food vendors as a one-for-all dipping sauce. It is used for fishball, chicken balls, squidball, kikiam, kwek kwek, tokneneng, dynamite or whatever new invention they come up with.
This is my version of Manong's sauce which is a term we also use to refer to this dip, while we normally call the seller, Manong, a term of address for an eldery man or older brother as a sign of respect.
Fishball Sauce Recipe
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 small red chili (labuyo) - chopped
- In a saucepan, combine all ingredients, except the red chili, and mix until flour and sugar are dissolved.
- Bring it to a simmer over medium heat while stirring continuously. Add the chopped red chili and stir until the sauce thickens. Usually takes about 3-5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl or a jar and let it cool down a bit before serving.
This is the sauce I used for Kwek Kwek on my last post and I thought I would write about it separately since it is very versatile and not limited to Kwek Kwek only.
I titled it Fishball Sauce because I do not know what else to call it all. Sweet brown sauce? Too generic. And since it is originally used for fishballs by the street food vendors (when there were only fishballs and no other choices yet), so people know it only as of the sauce for fishballs.
It is fairly easy to make and only needs 8 basic ingredients:
- soy sauce
- red chili
- ground pepper, and salt.
You can even skip the chili if you are not into spicy but Armin and I definitely are, the hotter the better.
- To prevent the flour from clumping together, mix it with the other dry ingredients first then gradually add the water while mixing.
- Do not use hot water, also, to prevent the flour from clumping. Just use tap water.
- Stir constantly once it starts to warm up so it will not form lumps at the bottom of the saucepan and to prevent it from burning.
- remember that the sauce will continue to thicken even after cooking while it is cooling down, so turn the heat off once it is thick but still fluid.
- You can also set aside half without the chili and then add it to the other half and continue to simmer over low heat for some seconds to a minute. This was you have two options, the sweet and sweet-spicy.
How to use and store
Enjoy this sauce as the perfect dip for these all-time Filipino street food:
This sauce is best used on the same day but it is made but it can also be made ahead. It will stay good in the fridge for some days. It is normal for the sauce to form into a jelly once refrigerated. Just reheat in the microwave or stove-top until warm, if needed add a bit of water.
Do you have the recipe for the other sauce as well? I can't wait to try them both. Thank you
Miles Amante says
Very usefull and helpful recipes for me as a begginer to cook a tasty, delicious and a good recipe ideas to start for a business.
Thank you for sharing your ads
My go to sauce. 🥰 kids loved it! Thanks always!
Rona Alba says
Hi Cabalen! Dacal a salamat keng recipe mu! It was so delicious and easy to make. I truly enjoyed it and reminded me of the fish ball vendor's sauce back home. Kudos for an excellent recipe!
Ingat and God Bless!
Dacal a salamat mu rin Cabalen!
This is the best manong sauce replica I've ever made. Highly recommended.
First Time to Make One 🙂
I'm no cook, haha. But my hubby bought "kikiam". Suddenly, I thought of making a sauce. Since I had no idea on how to do so, I turned to none other than Mr Google and found this recipe. I'm a bit innovative, so I added about 5 tablespoon vinergar, but had it simmered first before adding the pre-mixed ingredients. The amount of vinegar and sugar would actually depend on one's preference. I used chili flakes instead. Thanks for this!
I added half onion to the recipe. It’s amazing, thank you for sharing
I do suggest to add vinegar just a little bit😊
NASARAPAN MO MGA COSTUMER NAMIN
Analisa Robles says
Got it perfect! Sarap!
Thanks for the perfect review, Analisa! Glad you like it.
thank you for this recipe. it's delicious.
living abroad, it's been surely more than 15 years since i last ate streetfood fishballs. I truly appreciate this recipe so thanks for sharing. That being said, i find that adding some vinegar and onion made it closer to how i remembered it (maybe coz the sweet and vinegar sauces which were usually separated by the vendors got somehow mixed thanks to those double dippers haha)
Hi. Is it ok to use cornstarch than flour?
Tamang-tama yung timpla. Exactly like the fish ball sauce you taste on street-side food carts. 😋
So happy that you like it Kevin!
Love it...i finally foynd the perfect partner for my fishball
That is great, Mhonna! Thanks for the perfect score 😉
it was bad
Hi Sofia, not according to all the other comments we've got so far so I am sorry that it is not to your liking, hope you find what you are looking for though.
Ratbu Petmalu says
Tried and loved the recipe 👌🏻
That is great, Cha.
it's too salty and i already cut the salt in half. i added a little bit of water and still salty. it's very good but i think next time i will not add salt. i will still recommend it.
Can I use white sugar instead of brown sugar?
Sure, but use a little lesser as it is normally sweeter than brown sugar.
benjo del rosario says
Perfect for my Quikiam. My friends love it.
That is great!
I remember my childhood memories with your recipe. Very tasty!
That is nice, Andrew!
It was too salty for me and my family. I'll still use this recipe though. But next time, I'll skip the salt. 😅 Thank you!
too salty indeed. I just tried now. 1 tsp is too much for this ratio
It says 1/2 teaspoon.
Thanks! Tried without chilli and it was perfect for the kids!
Glad you and the kids like it, Sabby.
I started my street food business and I used this recipe . My customers enjoyed my sauce 😅😅 Thanks for this yummy recipe.
Madel Lim says
Thank you sooo much! We ended up making 2 batches - 1 for the kids and 1 spicy for adults. Perfect for air-fried balls hahaha 🙂
You`re welcome...glad you guys like it 🤗
For me, it's salty. So I added more water and sugar.
you are wellcome..
Hi. Just wanted to ask if cream flour is right for this sauce? Thanks
Hi Mella, what do you mean by cream flour?
hi, just want to ask how long will this sauce last in the fridge?
It should be ok for a couple of days. It will not spoil so fast but the texture that will not stay the same for too long. But you can reheat it and adjust. Add water if it gets too thick or cornstarch if it is too thin.
Hi! Thank you for sharing your recipe! It was fairly easy to make and tasted even better than the one I bought a few days ago. Thanks again! 🙂
happy to hear it, Liane.
Hi Bebs..my famiy loved your fishball sauce recipe.I just added an extra chilli according to our pteference..thanks. 😄
Thanks Bebs..😀 my family loved your sauce recipe. I added an extra chilli to their liking..
Oh yes, chili is always welcome! Thanks, Lenie.
Algelyn I says
Good for business 😍
Thank you, I'll try
Hi! I have to say it's a perfect match! Already tried it 3 times but I suggest that we'd add 1/2 more cup of water because it came out too thick. Thanks, though!
Thanks, Romeo! Of course, you can always adjust to your liking..
I wouldnt recommend using flour. Try using cornstarch instead just like how street vendors do
Hi Macy, I have to disagree with you. You know that the sauce is made with flour if it is opaque/cloudy and not translucent like if you use cornstarch. The ones used by street vendors are not transparent. Another problem with using cornstarch is that it becomes runny after a while. But if you insist on using cornstarch for this recipe, note that you have to add the cornstarch towards the end of cooking it because overcooking will make it runny instead of thick.
Hi I tried your recipe and it came out salty. Probably it’s because the soy sauce that I’ve used? I’ve used the SilverSwan Soy Sauce, and if I’ll try it again later, should I reduce the soy sauce to half spoon?
Hi Kris, or reduce the salt until you get the saltiness to your liking.
unfortunately recipe too salty.
Hi Laine, should not be...but then again saltiness is different from one person to the other...since I only used soy sauce for seasoning maybe you could use a milder one or reduce it.
sally de chavez says
its a good help for my business
Glad to hear that, Sally.
Success! Thank you for this recipe Bebs!
Glad to hear that Ever...
Maria Teresa Chua says
I did the fishball recipe from your website and it was a success. Please share also how to make the sauce on the picture (with the kwek-kwek) as another option for fishball sauce.
Hi Maria, it is simply a spicy vinegar dip. 1 cup vinegar, 1 small red onion-chopped, 1 red chili-chopped, salt, and pepper.
Joey Totanes says