My girlfriend and her husband caught some fresh ladyfish and gave me a couple to experiment with. My husband and I really liked the result of this experimental recipe using fresh ladyfish meat. I focus on how to make the fish balls using ladyfish paste in this pictorial recipe.
- prep time: 1 hour
- cook time: 30 minutes
- Servings: makes about 20-24 fish balls
For the fish balls –
- 1 pound ladyfish flesh
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1.5 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup black fungus (woodear)
- 1/4 cup Tbsp grated carrots
- 1 large chicken or duck egg
- 1/2 cup roe (tiny orange fish eggs)
- 2 dozen quail eggs (canned or fresh)
- 1/4 cup chives
- 1 Maggi chicken bouillon cube
- 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
For the soup in this pictorial –
- 1 14-oz can Swanson’s chicken broth
- 1 quart chicken bone broth
- 1 quart corn broth
- 1 tsp minced garlic + 1 tsp oil
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 3-4 large tomatoes
- 1 bunch Chinese celery
- 1 block soft tofu
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch + 1/2 cup water (optional)
Notes: I’ll have to go back and update this pictorial with pictures for all the step next time I make it again. I didn’t expect this experimental recipe came out well. You can substitute the broth with water and canned chicken broth. I just like to stock up my freezer with homemade broths.
1.. Gather and prep the ingredients. That includes washing vegetables and cutting the Chinese celery and tomatoes. Soak, rinse, and minced the black fungus. Shred the carrot.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the ladyfish paste together except for the vegetable oil. Reserve the 1/2 tablespoon of oil. You will use that to coat your hand while forming the fish paste into ball shapes to stuff the quail eggs and put in into the soup later. Set aside and make the soup broth.
3. In a 6 quart pot, heat up oil and sizzle the garlic. Then add in the broths and seasoning ingredients. Bring the broth to a boil on high heat.
4. Once the broth boils, lower to medium low heat. The broth should be simmering lightly. Coat your hands with vegetable oil. Using an Asian soup spoon or measuring tablespoon, scoop the fish paste into the palm of your hand. Form a ball and press it down like you would when making steamed bao, stuff a quail egg in the center and gather the paste to cover up the quail egg. You may need to add a little more fish paste to cover the egg completely. The stuffed fish balls are bigger than the size of a golfball.
5. Drop the stuffed fish balls into the broth as you go. When you are done with all the fish balls, bring the pot to a boil on high heat. Add the chopped Chinese celery and tomatoes. Add in the soft tofu last. Turn off stove. Serve the soup by itself or with thin vermicelli rice noodles. Add fish sauce to the broth if it needs more flavoring. Enjoy!