We came up with these fish balls as part of our Have a Ball party theme, where all the offerings are in the shape of a ball. How cool is that? These are wonderful to serve along with traditional meat-based versions, as well as a couple of vegetarian variations. Just make sure to label each one.
If you can’t find cod, you can substitute with sole, halibut, catfish or tilapia—just see what looks best at the fish monger.
See the other recipes to cover all the bases: meaty versions, some for vegetarians, one using pork with a Vietnamese twist, and even a dessert.
MAKES 26 BALLS (ABOUT 1 INCH)
COOK THE FISH
1 LB fresh cod fillets
Steam the fish in a steamer. Or, in a large pan, cover fillets with water, and boil until the water is all gone, up to 5 min. Let cool. Transfer to a large bowl and break into pieces.
FLAVOR THE FISH
2 cloves garlic, crushed in a press
1 TB parsley, finely chopped
3 scallions, sliced thinly
1/2 carrot, grated
1 jalapeño, diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 CUP panko bread crumbs
1 CUP spelt flour, set in a bowl
Add all the ingredients, except flour, to the pieces of fish, and mix well. (I used a potato masher to work the fish into tiny bits.) To make 1-inch balls, take a small amount in the middle of your palm and really squeeze the mixture, passing it back and forth, then roll lightly to create the ball. Lastly, roll the balls in the spelt flour.
FRY THE BALLS
Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet. Drop balls in carefully, do not overcrowd. Fry until golden brown, this cooks quickly, so turn frequently with tongs. Drain on paper towels.
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
If you have any leftover sauce, save it to use on sandwiches, or as part of a tangy salad dressing.
MAKES ABOUT 1.5 CUPS
IN A SAUCEPAN
1/2 CUP peach preserves
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 TB cognac
4 TB First Field Jersey ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 TB tamari
1 clove garlic, crushed in a press
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp Thai red curry powder
1 TB sesame seeds, for garnish
Add all ingredients except sesame seeds to a saucepan and simmer until thick, about 10 min. Let cool a bit. Transfer to a blender to smooth it out. Move to a bowl and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.
We've got more recipes for food in the shape of a ball in 10 Black Tie