Fish Ball Sauce Recipe, Just Like Manong’s

There is no doubt we Filipinos love our street food. And if you ask me about my favorite, it’ll have to be fish balls (or fishball). Nothing beats eating fishballs off a stick, piping hot after you just skewered them off a street vendor’s deep-frying pan. But THE best part of it all is dipping them into their famous fishball sauce. YUM!

Fishball sauce recipe just like Manong's!

I’ve always been curious about this well-loved fishball sauce recipe. I studied in UP Diliman and I’m sure many of you have heard that we love eating fishballs there from Manongs who sell them across the campus. It was where I got hooked on the sweet sauce, and I then moved on to the spicy version. I noticed something. It seemed to me that wherever I go, even outside the campus, the taste of the fishball sauce of every Manong fishball vendor (yes, I call all of them manong) I met had the same taste. I wondered, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!? πŸ˜€

Over the past decade or so (ugh, I’m old), I’ve asked different vendors about their sauce. Most of them took wild guesses. There were a couple who refused to tell me anything, which, to me, was an indication they really had no idea, and some were so convinced they had the right recipe.

Of course, I tried to make them at home and failed three times (twice, I was adding vinegar). It was only in late 2004 that I learned the right recipe. The manong who sold fishballs at our home in Navotas told me about his fish ball sauce recipe. The thing is, I didn’t get to making it til a year later. It was too late for me to thank him because we already moved to Malabon, but I’m forever thankful. Charot! πŸ˜€

Okay, enough blabber. I have never shared this recipe with anyone before. But because of a friend from down under (yes, you bes Mavz! πŸ˜‰ ), I decided to post here.  And just to make sure I’m giving you the correct fishball sauce recipe with that familiar taste we all love, I tested this twice ’cause the last time I made this was in 2011. I hope you enjoy this recipe! πŸ™‚

Fishball sauce

Fish Ball Sauce Recipe – Just Like Manong’s!


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsps cornstarch
    Update: If the sauce doesn’t thicken quickly, just add more cornstarch or flour. Do this gradually since you might end up with a very thick sauce.
  • 2 tbsps all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsps Silver Swan soy sauce
    I’m sure other brands will work, but I have never tried any other soy sauce. Let me know if you tried other brands and got the same taste. I think my family already had too much fishballs for me to test again. πŸ˜€
    Update: We heard Marca Piña soy sauce worked well too, so it’s okay to try other brands.
  • 1 small red onion, chopped or minced
    I prefer minced. Make sure you only use 1 small red onion, otherwise the flavor would be too strong. But, if you prefer it that way, then go ahead.
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
    Again, use small ones, but adjust to your liking.
  • 1 siling labuyo / chili pepper
    Adjust to your preferred hotness or skip this altogether if you’re making this for kids. But, I think they’ll be okay with 1 chili.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Update: If you check the comments below, you’ll see some people suggested you add a few tablespoons of Sprite or 7up. So you might want to do this if in case you’re still not happy with the outcome.

Minced garlic, chili and onion

I minced the garlic, onion and chili in one go using our Tupperware Speedy Chopper. πŸ˜‰

How to Make Fishball Sauce

1. (NOTE: Do not put this on the stove yet.) Mix water, cornstarch, all purpose flour, brown sugar and soy sauce in a sauce pan until the dry ingredients are dissolved. The reason why you shouldn’t heat this yet is because the cornstarch won’t dissolve properly in hot water.

Mix ingredients til the dry ingredients are completely dissolved

2. Once all the dry ingredients are dissolved, place the sauce pan over medium heat.

3. Stir often until the mixture boils.

Place mixture on medium heat and let it boil while stirring

4. Add the garlic, onions, chili and salt. Reduce heat to low.

This is the perfect time for you to start frying those fishballs! I prefer them real crunchy. We only used regular fishballs you can buy frozen from the grocery or at the market. (We’ll see if we can come up with our own fishball recipe soon for our foodie friends abroad. πŸ˜‰ )

I want fishballs a li'l crunchy and brown

5. Stir the mixture frequently and wait til you ALMOST get the consistency or thickness you prefer.

Fry the fishballs while waiting for the sauce to thicken up

My first attempt (shown in the photos on this post) got a li’l too thick ’cause I was already eating some of the cooked fishballs and forgot to turn off the heat. πŸ˜€ So make sure you remove the pan off the heat as soon as you see the thickness of the fishball sauce to be closer to your preference. It’ll continue to thicken because of the residual heat. πŸ™‚

Double dip all you want!

Sorry, I only had chopsticks available. πŸ˜€

That’s it! Super easy, right?! You can now transfer this to a bowl or a jar (I recycled our Biscoff cookie butter jars). Tusukin ang fishballs and dip them in this sweet, spicy fishball sauce! πŸ˜€

Fishball sauce just like manong's!

You can use this for fried kikiam, chicken balls and squid balls. The fun part is you can double dip all you want! Go ahead! πŸ˜‰ Let us know if you’ve tried making this fishball sauce at home and how it went. Enjoy!!! πŸ™‚

459 thoughts on “Fish Ball Sauce Recipe, Just Like Manong’s”

  1. Aaahh… memories of elementary school days… and at the risk of hepatitis or other diseases too. Hahaha!!!

  2. na-miss kong bigla ang fishball ni Manong sa UP Campus hehehe. thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll do this one weekend. will let you know, hope it’ll be sucessful.

  3. Sauce looks so yummy!..Dadagdagan pa ng Garlic pra mas yumminess,Then siling labuyo,Mmmm..Pwede na!! Ready na, na may kasamang kanin! Sarap! :Try ko talaga ito..Hahaha!! sira na namn ang Diet ko nito…Thanks sa pag Post Sweety!….Γ’β„’Β₯

    1. Adjust lang the garlic, siling labuyo and onions to your liking. The first time I made it, saktong pampulutan. I used 1 medium red onion, 4 cloves of garlic, and 2 siling labuyo. Kulang pa sa anghang for me hahaha. I adjusted this for the general taste and for kids kasi.

  4. I tried making my own recipe of this few years back and I think It has vinegar in it that’s why it taste different from Manong’s sauce..

    I remember my high school days where me and my classmates has this “suki” fishball vendor in Sucat by the name of “Mang Willy” How I wish I could see him again and ask him for his recipe too.. For me, he has the best sauce in entire Sucat, Pque.

    Thanks for sharing this.. I will try this w/o the vinegar.. πŸ™‚

    1. My first 2 attempts had vinegar in it. And I had this breakthrough moment when one vendor (totally forgot to ask his name) told me his recipe. I had to ask him 3x if he’s sure there’s no vinegar. And he was right!! πŸ™‚

      Let me know how it goes. πŸ™‚

  5. Is it ok to put the leftover sauce in the fridge? I want to double the recipe so i will have a sauce ready whenever i want to eat fishballs

      1. thanks, it is ok now, i print everything. tagal ko na hnahanap tong recipe na ito. hehehehehe thanks for sharing.

          1. oo buti at gumana, sa kakapilit kong iprint kasi gsto ko nga makuha un recipe, πŸ™‚

            yes sa fb, one of my frend post the recipe kya aun, check ko agad… hehehehe

          2. We thought a page with many followers shared this. Marami lang pala nagshare hehehe.

            By the way, we added a printable version para di sayang ink. πŸ™‚

  6. Finally THE sauce!!!! i’ve been also trying to experiment on how to get the right consistency so I’m going to try this!!! Thanks Mhel!!!

  7. The holy grail of sauces……it took me 30 years but thanks to you Mhel, you cracked this bitch up- the sauce code. I bow to you sensei!!!! Now to make some and maybe bathe in a tub of delish manong’s sauce! (does that sound dirty?)

    1. Hahahahaha yeah, the last part sounded a li’l dirty, but that’s how fishballs should be enjoyed, right? πŸ˜‰

      Try it and let me know if you like it the same way you like manong’s. πŸ˜‰

  8. Thanks for posting this. Like u, ive tried and failed many times to make this iconic pinoy sauce. Now at last, the secret is out! BWAHAHAHAHA (complete with evil, mad scientist laugh).

    But there are TWO fish ball sauces. The other one being the vinegary, onion and garlic-laden, darker sauce. Do you have the recipe for that one as well?

    1. Bwahahahaha natawa naman ako. :)) Try it and let me know if you like this sauce too. πŸ™‚

      I can’t remember the recipe for the ‘vinegary’ version that I made before. It was good, but I like this one a lot more. πŸ™‚

  9. EUREKA!!! Thank you so very much Ms. Mhel πŸ˜€ My wife knows how addicted I am to Manong’s fishball. Pagdating ng hapon sa Makati, pag nakita ko na si Manong fishball, kahit bawal huminto eh humihinto ako at naghahazard para lang tumuhog ng fishball ni manong. Actually kahit nasaang lugar kami kahit naka coat & tie pa ko or kahit naka barong pa basta may nakita akong fishball sa kalye eh humihinto ako πŸ˜€ I will definitely try this one. Thanks again.

    1. I can imagine you wearing coat & tie tapos nagtutusok ng fishballs, with matching tulo pa ng sauce sa baba. Hahaha. πŸ˜€

      I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let us know how it goes. πŸ™‚

  10. Parang recipe rin ng sauce ng lumpiang sariwa! 1 cup water, 2tbsp soy sauce, 1/3 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 cloves chopped garlic (optional). πŸ™‚ Triny ko rin with vinegar dati mali pala yun!

  11. Wow!!! Thank u for sharing! Sobrang miss ko na pinas so I’ll be making this. But I hope I can find brown sugar here in Vancouver.

  12. it might be easier and give better consistency/texture to heat half the liquid with the sugar and soy sauce first, while separately dissolving the flour and cornstarch with the other half of the water. Once the soy-sugar mixture starts boiling, carefully pour in the flour-starch slurry while stirring. this would ensure that all the starches are properly gelatinized and cooked.

    1. Good tips, Kayenne. It can also be done that way. πŸ™‚

      The consistency was spot on the second time I made it, following the same procedure, but I turned off the heat before I got the thickness I wanted. It’s easy, no fuss. It’s exactly how Manong taught me how to make the sauce. πŸ™‚

  13. Oh I love Fish Balls and this sauce is unbelievable. Glad you nailed it. Thanks for sharing it with us. This is so addictive. I can just smell the aroma! Sarap!

  14. I tried it today and it does taste and look like Manong’s! Delish! I did not have any corn starch so I made do with what I have, I used (only) Gold Medal’s Wondra Quick Mixing Flour for sauce and gravy and used sriracha instead of a chili. It came out great. BTW, I also used Marca Pina Soy Sauce. It worked wonderfully too. Thanks for sharing your recipe πŸ™‚ More Power to you!

    1. Hi, Arien! You’re the second one who used Marca Pina and got the same result. Yay! Will take note of that. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing your adjustments. And glad you liked it. πŸ™‚

  15. Yum!! Living where I don’t have access to fish ball kalye, I hope I can come across a filipino fishball kalye recipe as well!! Miss it much!

  16. thanks. will try this on fishball and lumpiang sariwa, 2 of my fave foods. hope my kids will like it too. πŸ™‚

  17. thnx a lot for sharing…now i dnt have to go outside looking for manong just to eat his Fballs bec of his sauce (not even sure if it’s clean) i can now do the sauce myself..

    1. I think the not-clean concern is part of the fun of eating fishballs on the streets heeheheheh. But yeah, you can now enjoy fishballs anytime. πŸ™‚

      Let us know if you like it din like Manong’s. πŸ˜‰

      1. May I ask for your recommendation of the best brand of fishball in the supermarket? We used to buy at palengke before, but the quality is not consistent. Specially once you put it in the freezer.

  18. oohh myyy gooshh i’m salivating now!! so gonna try this one out! we’ve been trying to make manong sauce eversinncee but we always end up with a sweet and sour sauce~ LOL thank you for sharing this recipe!!! =D

    1. That should work too since we use garlic, onions and salt. I asked one of the manongs if they put MSG, they said wala naman daw. Magic Sarap / Ginisa Mix has MSG so I skipped it.

  19. At last! Thank you! I have asked a number of fishball vendors on the recipe of what’s the sauce is composed of and I never had a definitive answer. One time, I asked this manong fishball that I frequent on what he put on those sauces. The man said, “Basta pare-pareho lang ang timpla.” Again, I asked him, “Manong, yung linagay ninyo po sa sawsawan.” And he answered again, “Basta huwag magbago ng timpla, pare-pareho lang ng timpla.” This went on quite a bit. I really don’t know if he didn’t understand my Tagalog or what, or he was just dodging my question. Then, I just walked away after eating my heart’s content of fishball and knowing that the manong fishball got one over me.

    1. Hahaha oh my, I actually had almost the same answer from one manong fishball. He has no idea kaya he couldn’t give you an answer or they were told not to share. One of the manongs I talked to said they’re not allowed to share the recipe daw.

      1. Perhaps the reason is they think they will go out of business if they share the recipe. If people start making their own then who’s gonna buy from them right?

        1. Jayvee – Yeah, I thought of that. Pero I still get all giddy when I see a fishball cart even though I know their recipe for the sauce. Nothing beats that kasi – yung kumakain ka ng fishballs sa kalye. πŸ˜€

  20. You are such an angel for sharing the recipe! for years my nieces had that “what will it taste like now?” face whenever we try to cook fish balls at home with experimental sauce concoctions. since we live far from where most fishball vendors are, we end up with bottled sweet chili sauces that you can buy in groceries which never-ever got close to that satisfaction that you get when eating manong’s fish balls with his to-die-for sauce! just so you know, you have helped into bringing my family closer with your simple act of sharing. merienda time will never be the same, it will be more fun! I will be forever grateful. God bless!

  21. yum yum….thanks,,,and many more thnx…now i can make yabang to my barkada to make the sauce for our pulutan hhhmmm

  22. Hello! I tried your recipe and true enough, siyang siya yung hinahanap ko na recipe ni “Manong” haha. Thanks so much coz ang tagal ko na ring hnahanap ang recipe na ito! Thanks!

  23. How about the actual FISHBALL itself, where do you get the Manong variety? Where, and what brand, if it has one? I would like to have an authentic Manong Vendor fishball experience at home from time to time. πŸ˜€

    Awesome recipe for the sauce, will definitely try it once I buy me some Manong fishballs!

    1. I can’t remember the fishball varieties I cooked the first and second times to test this recipe again. I liked the second one kasi di ganun ka-fishy. I’ll check and will get back to you. πŸ™‚

      I say if you want an authentic Manong Vendor fishball experience, walang tatalo pa rin sa pagkain ng fishballs sa kalye. πŸ˜€

  24. I will try this soon! I’ve been looking for the recipe for a long time already, although I found some, I was not satisfied with the taste, there was something missing..
    I have datu puti soy sauce ( cause that’s the only pinoy brand I can find where I live) otherwise I’ll just use kikoman, hope it would be perfect this time. Thanks for sharing this recipe!xxx

    I found a recipe for fishballs(chinese style) they were good..Γ°ΕΈΛœΖ’

    1. I never really looked for the recipe online ’cause I thought it’s best to ask the manongs hehehe. I didn’t even know a lot of people wanted to know about this recipe kaya now ko lang na-share. Ang dami pala hahaha.

      I think Datu Puti will also work. I got feedback that Marca Pina works well too, so tty Datu Puti first. Kikkoman might be too concentrated. But let me know pag okay din. πŸ™‚

      Oh, and share that fishball recipe!! ^_^

  25. Thank you for the recipe. I tried it as soon as I read it (at least as soon as we got back from the grocery buying all the ingredients we didn’t have on hand like fishballs, squidballs etc). The whole family enjoyed it! Will make it again soon. =)

    PS. The brand of soy sauce that I used was Coconut since that was what we had at home.

  26. If you dip the fish balls in this and then dip it in the vinegar dip which I used to do in the Philippines, you will get a sort of sweet and sour effect.

  27. I am a parish priest (pastor) of a big Filipino-American parish near Washington, DC (Maryland) I am planning to serve fishballs with this recipe for the sauce on the feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz next month.

  28. so that’s the secret….. oo nga nman…. dapat pala munang tumawin ung cornstarch to make the consistency smooth… parang sa pag gawa ng maja blanca, tunaw muna bago i-heat….. now ko lang na realize… thanks for the info…. ngayon, makakagawa na ako ng fishball sauce na masarap…. ^_^

  29. Thanks Mhel. I think I’ll have a fishball party this weekend here in Winnipeg. No shortage of fishballs and squidballs dito. Madami sa Young’s Supermarket (local asian store na meron halos lahat ng pinoy ingredients).

  30. Kaya naman pala ang sarap sarap nung sa kalye puro asukal pala. Di ko nahulaan ganon karami pala asukal non versus toyo. At mali ko rin ang paglagay ng suka non hehehe….Thank you!

  31. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have looking for it for a long time so I can make it myself at home. I do not want to partake of the sauce provided by manong because of the Hepa virus that it might contain. How about the recipe of the fishball itself? Do you know any?

    1. I’ve eaten fishballs for a longggg time and I’m doing okay naman. I think it’s part of the fun of eating fishballs or any street food for that matter. Hehehe. πŸ˜‰

      I honestly haven’t tried making fishballs at home yet since we can easily buy packs of them at the market. Pero we’ll try if we can come up with our own recipe.

  32. The Seaglow brand of fishballs by Frabelle Foods is pretty spot on! Looks, smells and tastes like the real thing! Can’t wait to try it this time with the sauce! Thanks!

  33. I’m barely awake , I just did a 12 hour shift, I got to nap for 4 hours, checked email, FB & lo & behold .. I see something that would definitely put a smile on any Pinoy abroad. I’m about to purchase all the ingredients and I’ll b doing myself & my spouse a big favor this pm by making one of our favorite Pinoy street food in our house. I’ll give u a heads up on what my kids think about ur wonderful recipe. More power to u !!

  34. I will surely try this tomorrow… I have been wondering how to do the sauce for a long time now… Tnx! πŸ™‚

      1. Tried it and enjoyed it… also tried the Sinigang with tomato sauce from your previous post… It was all good… Will be waiting for other things to try from your future posts… Tnx again! πŸ™‚

  35. I love your recipe!! Thanks for sharing it πŸ™‚

    Just a suggestion though, for those who prefer the sweet blend (like me), you guys should forget about putting onion and garlic. It’s gonna taste weird if you won’t make it spicy. So just scratch those two ingredients and you’ll come up with an awesome sweet fishball sauce πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah. πŸ™‚

      Most people love the spicy version kasi. I want it spicier actually, but had to adjust the recipe considering most people’s preference. πŸ™‚

    1. That’ll be okay, but you might not get the same consistency since magiging oily yung bawang and sibuyas. But, of course, you could try and just use the least amount of oil para they’ll blend well with the sauce.

  36. Hi! Been carving for fishball street food but sadly Manong street vendor is very rare in my place. I tested your recipe and so happy that it taste just like Manong’s….yum…yum… Thanks for posting….more recipes to come… πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Msk! So glad you liked it. πŸ™‚

      Yes, we promise more recipes soon! You can check out our old recipes – daming masarap, especially Ken’s buffalo wings and pesto pasta. πŸ™‚

  37. Here is the recipe for the fishball I found. Good luck! Happy cooking..Γ°ΕΈΒΒ‘Γ°ΕΈΛœΖ’

    Homemade Fishball recipe

    For the fishpaste:

    1lb white fish (polloc or cod)
    1/2 cup tapioca starch or corn starch ( i used the corn starch)
    Egg white from 2 eggs
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp white pepper
    3 ice cubes

    For the fishball:
    1-2 cups fish paste
    Grated carrots
    Minced onions/scallions
    Minced parsley

    Prep for the fishpaste:

    Cut up the fish into cubes. Put all the ingredients except for the ice cubes in a food processor or blender and blend for about 2 mins. Or until smooth. Then add the ice cubes and continue to blend for another 3 mins or so. The paste should be a lot of elasticity and thick. The paste should be very smooth with no solid pieces of fish. Scoop the paste into a bowl and refrigirate for about an hour before using.

    Prep for fishball:
    Add grated carrots,minced onions/scallions and minced parsley into the cold fish paste and be sure to mix it very well. Then form the fishballs and cook them in boiling water for 3-5mins depending on the size you formed. Once they floated that means they are cooked.

    * I boiled my fishballs first before I fried them but I think it’s also okay to fry them immidiately.

    * Try to cook a few to know if the taste is fine or need some more adjustments.

      1. Your welcome!Γ°ΕΈΛœβ‚¬.. hope you’ll be able to try the recipe.I’ll be looking forward for the fishball recipe to match this perfect sauce, para naman samin na naka abroad who can’t buy or improvise, iba pa din kasi yung pinoy style talaga. By the way I was able to try the sauce already, it’s so delicious. Happy tummy once again!Γ°ΕΈΛœβ€ž

        Thanks again and more recipes to come…

    1. It’s better with vinegar than water. After use, if already at room temperature, can store at jars then put in fridge. Water lessens the shelf life of food πŸ™‚

      1. But the vinegar was the only ingredient that wasn’t supposed to be there in my previous failed attempts to making this. I suggest just make small batches of the sauce. We kept ours for over a week in the fridge and it was still as good after reheating.

  38. At dahil dyan siguradong gagayahin ko ito ayun inutusan ko si wonder maid to buy the ingredients as well sa the squid ball hehhehe…nanakam ang ate mo

      1. Yummy sya sis, hapunan namin kanina,,,sarap na sarap ang mga bagets,,,,Ill blog about it and post the pics tomorrow nasa tab n daughter ung pics hehhehe

      1. Yummy sya sis hapunan namin kanina…post ko bukas yung pics andun sa tab ni daughter…sarap na sarap ang mga bagets hehehhe

  39. wow thanks, masarap talaga..I just did it this afternoon and my kids loved it…I add a little vinegar and more chilli powder on my personal mixture at swabeng swabe naman…. this is really good rather than eating fishball sa tabi tabi, mahirap na at baka magka sakit ba nga bata….again thank you very much for the great recipe..

  40. Really close to manong’s! Made a few adjustments lang. Added 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce pa, and 1/4 tsp magic sarap and 1/4 tsp of vinegar and sriracha instead of chilis. Yum! πŸ™‚ Thanks for this recipe! πŸ™‚

  41. Thanks so much,its been also a long wait for me to have this kind of sauce that really suits my tastebuds,so deliciously good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Huwaaawww!!! Di ako maka-get over sa excitement! Can’t wait to try this soon! Sobrang miss ko n fishball + street sauce.. Gladly, I am going for vacation soon sa Pinas!!! Yippee!!! Check-out my blogsite too for various UAE destinations… Indulge! πŸ™‚

  43. The best part is that it is made at home. Ibig sabihin, hindi magagalit si mader kase malinis as in walang nagsawsaw na di mo kilala, hahaha. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

        1. Dun sa dati naming bahay sa Tres, Daanghari. Me nakatambay dun sa me palengke na fishball vendor. Nakalimutan ko itanong name nya πŸ™ I wasn’t sure kasi if it was the right recipe. Sayang. Sana natanong ko πŸ˜€

  44. Pwede bang kahit cornstarch lang or all purpose flour? or dapat bang need yan dalawa na yan? and pwdng white sugar pag walang brown sugarR?

    1. kuya ma smasarap po ang brown sugar…mas match po yun..pwede po ang cornstarch lang po alone o kaya po all purpose flour lang po..pampalapot lang naman po kasi yun eh…dati kasi po ako nagtitinda street foods kaya alam ko po..nabasa ko lang po comment nyo so i decided to reply πŸ™‚ hope nakatulong πŸ™‚

  45. i’d been cooking fishball sauce for my extra income sa store ko, me nag-advise sakin na para mas sumarap pa ang sauce, put a bit (1/16) lang ng isang knorr chicken cube (pde rin ang pork/beef. just a bit lang talaga kasi iiwasan nating malasahan naman ung flavor ng cube, just enough lang para malinamnam siya..and it works! sabi ng customers ko lasang pang mall daw ang sauce ko!: )

    1. now that i’m here na sa bahrain, try ko namang gawin yang fishball mismo para mapatikim ko si hubby ko ng sauce ko. thanks po sa recipe!

  46. Thank you for sharing with me this fish ball sauce recipe. Can you please share me too how to make a fish ball? I’ve been missing this food for a long time and I’d like to make this homemade! Thank you so much!

  47. in batangas which IMHO has the best fishball sauce…instead of brown sugar use pineapple juice na sweetened. sarap!

    1. We also received suggestions about the pineapple juice, but this recipe kasi was made in comparison to the fishball sauce we know about. Pero that sounds yummy din. πŸ™‚

  48. Wowww, just reading the comments and seeing the picture convinced me to try it, am sure we’ll love it too! You’re an angel dear, thanks for sharing a delicious recipe…thanks to Manong too wherever he is, God bless you both! πŸ™‚

    1. I agree, thanks to him! We didn’t know a lot of people wanted this recipe. πŸ˜€

      And you’re welcome. Hope you enjoy this as much as most people who came here did. πŸ™‚

  49. we just tried it today.. we add a little of chicken cubes and 1 tsp of chilli powder… it turned out perfect!!!.. πŸ˜€

    Thank you so much for sharing.. God bless!

  50. HI! came across this blog, wow been longing for someone to post fishball sauce, gotta try to make this para makakain mga bata… thanks for the recipe, will try to make it soon….

  51. In our province, I don’t remember the fishball sauce has garlic and onion. Just thick brown/red sauce yet still yummy. But I don’t have a recipe, so I would like to try yours. Thanks. πŸ™‚

    1. Here kasi, we have 3 options – one na almost no other spices added, a second sauce which has the garlic and onions like this recipe I shared, and the very spicy version with lotsa chili. Try this! Masarap pag spicy sya! πŸ™‚

  52. naalala ko tuloy nung bata pa ako na kaya daw masarap yung
    sauce ng fishball ni manong kasi may secret ingredient daw na butiki yun…has anyone had the same experienced?pero kain pa din ako ng kain..hahaha…anyway thank you to Madam Mhel for sharing this recipe.magluluto ako bukas nito sigurado…..

  53. I remember the manong fishball vendor in our school years ago that he poured a half-full bottle of coke into the sauce. Probably a sub for sugar.

  54. AT LAST!!! I’ve had countless trials and errors in making this sauce and have been wondering how the heck those vendors make it. yun lang pala yun! will try this real soon and maybe makapag sideline ako as fishball vendor sa harap ng bahay ko…wooot!

    1. I’ve always thought that vinegar is part of the ingredient…kaya pala sablay parati yung mga ginagawa kong sauce. i keep adjusting the amount of vinegar from more to less, dapat pala NONE…hahaha

      1. Ako rin!!! Hahahah. It made sense nga when the manong who gave me the recipe said na walang vinegar dapat kasi matamis lang talaga yung nalalasahan ko sa fishball sauce nila. πŸ˜€

  55. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been craving for fish ball too but not eager to buy ’cause i dont have the perfect sauce. Now my kids and I super excited to make this sauce.

  56. Thanks Mhel! I will try this at home. It’s been about 30years longing for this FISHBALL with its sauce. My family will love this……

    Thanks again

  57. Thanks for the awesome looking recipe I am sure it taste just as good. My problem is the fish balls, where can I buy those? Can I order them online? Or do you also have recipe??I live in Kansas and all we have down here is BBQ. lol

    1. Check out china town they should have it in the frozen areas and fresh section I am from Edmonton Canada and when I crave for those yummy street food I go to china town.

  58. just want to share my variation on how this sauce is done.
    In a heavy sauce pan heat
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    3 tablespoon butter
    add 2 tablespoon all purpose flour and stir until flour is light brown. set aside.
    saute in 1 tablespoon oil the chopped medium sized onion, chilli and 2 cloves minced garlic until soft. This will bring out the spice flavors.
    pour 4 cups of sprite or water, add the butter and flour mix and stir well. season with 4 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon salt.
    add the 3/4 cup brown sugar and continue stirring.
    dissolve 2 tablespoon corn starch with 2 tablespoon water and add to thicken shine your sauce. after a minute remove from heat and continue stirring for another minute. Let cool.

    enjoy your sauce without the taste of flour in your mouth. πŸ™‚

  59. apir! share ko nga to kay misis, pareho kameng adik sa pishballs.. next mo naman ipost eh how to make the kariton ^_^

  60. Silly question… How do you store the left over sauce for future use? Put inside ref or just normal room temp?

  61. Success! Just went a little overboard with the garlic but the extra sugar made it a hit with my 3 little fishball monsters. Thanks!

  62. The sauce was perfect! We tried it last night and enjoyed it. Tastes just like manong’s. Thank you so sharing the recipe. πŸ™‚

  63. thanks for the recipe however, I can’t find a perfect fishball from the market that’ll have the same taste from what we buy in the streets.. may i know which fishball brand you buy ?

    1. Oh I can’t remember. πŸ™ But it’s just a regular fishball brand. If we see a fishball vendor next time, we’ll ask them. And we’ll also check the brand we used.

  64. All I can say is Manong is very patient, it took ages to thicken to the gravy consistency we liked! Thank you for posting this recipe, it’s almost like manong’s, except my husband says it tastes ‘too clean.’ Hehe.

  65. Thanks for giving away Manong’s secret! My children who grew abroad love fishball, quekiam and kwek-kwek but all these taste bland without the sauce. Now we can enjoy without worrying about food poisoning and contamination.

  66. I had a sudden craving for street foods and my husband already saw this recipe so we just had to try it. It took forever to thicken the sauce but it tastes good. Didn’t put too much spices cause we like to have it sweet and it worked!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  67. Hello. I just followed your recipe because our yaya was a bit busy a while ago and I wanted to eat em fishballs right away. She told me to boil the vinegar first but I decided to search the usual sauce that Manong makes, and I found this, telling me not to put vinegar. Sadly first attempt was not good, I only tasted the sweetness so I ended up adding more soy sauce AND a tsp of vinegar. It did taste better, but next time I wont put vinegar anymore and I’ll use brown sugar instead of white.

    1. I actually tried using white sugar before and it didn’t come out the way I wanted it. So I guess the more molasses in the brown sugar made a difference on how everything turned out. Hope your next attempt will be more to your liking. πŸ™‚

  68. very timely i saw this posted on my wall. i’ll try this one. well start our street food business for additional income . Thank you

  69. I followed the instructions but mune turned watery not saucy. I used the brand ‘cream’ all purpose flour and pure cornstarch. Help! How long would it be cook? Been stirring for almost an hour πŸ™

    1. An hour? It does take awhile before it thickens, but not sure why it took an hour for yours to get the same consistency as ours. Hmmmm… bakit kaya, kasi I used the same all purpose flour and cornstarch.

      1. Ginawa ko po 3-4 tbsp ata nilagay ko na cornstarch saka all purpose flour saka lumapot.. pero success taste! thanks much sa pagsshare! winner!

    2. Thanks! Nagdagdag me 3-4 tbsp each ng cornstach saka ng flour nakuha ko na din ung lapot niya. Ginamit ko po kasi is ung cups ng 4 water.. yes ako din nahihiwagaan bakit di nagswak first try ko but Im so happy I found this site. Thank you so much po for sharing!

    3. Mine took 2 hrs! I wonder why.. Could it be the pot im using? Ive got an electric stove top though. I wonder if the heat was too low.. Hmm.. How long did yours take ms. Mhel? But anyway thank you for this! Always appreciate a taste from home..

      1. Whoa, 2 hours! Yeah, most probably the mixture isn’t getting enough heat. Mine was 20-30 minutes ata. Medyo di ko napansin ’cause I was already eating the fishballs and dipping them into the sauce while I was waiting for it to thicken hahaha πŸ˜€

  70. Followed every step, tastes really good. My first attempt turned out just as perfect! Thank you so much!

  71. Is there a certain brand of frozen fishballs used? I tried researching good brands and i cant find the right one. The fillipino store near my house has the same problem. We cant find the flatter crunchy fish balls… please

    1. SHANGHAI brand is the best. Yan talaga yun ginagamit ng karamihan nagtitinda. Sa mga palengke lang available yan wala sa mga supermarkets. Just look for the SHANGHAI name or logo when buying. 😊

  72. Is there a certain brand of frozen fishballs used? Ive researched everywhere online and cannont find the right brand. Even my local/ only Filipino store is having the same problem! We cant find the crunchy flatter ones to order. Please help. I know there are many Filipinos here in Alaska that would be very grateful. Thanks c:

    1. Hi, Sarsi! The fishball brand we saw manongs use here is the Golden Peacock. We used a different fishball brand, but we haven’t been back to the wet market to check out the name.

      We’ll see if we can have our nanay check out the wet market this weekend, or maybe someone reads here and can help you out.

      1. Thanks so much. πŸ™‚ My mom just came back home from Pampanga and brought me home a bag of “Rincon” brand fishballs. I showed it to the local store owner here and will tell her about the Golden Peacock brand but her vendor is from California and Seattle so I am not sure I will ever see those delicious little fishballs till I go home next year πŸ™

      2. SHANGHAI brand is the BEST. Yan talaga yun ginagamit ng karamihan ng mga or nina “Manongs”. I know it kasi yun ang binibili ko kapag magluluto sa bahay. Sa mga palengke lang availble yun wala sa mga supermarkets. 😊

  73. Fishballs is my fav nd im always craving for it..Γ°ΕΈΛœβ€Ή Tnx for this info ma’am!! But since im here abroad theres no way to find fishballs here 😞 hopefully you can give us also info on how to make fishballs!

  74. I so envy those guys eating fishball and dipping them into this sauce while watching them from afar..(i’m seating inside the jeep..Lol!) Now that you shared this recipe..i can now enjoy fishball , the manong way!! ( as you may call it) lol! Thanks!

  75. Thank you, thank you , thank you Michelle for this recipe. I stopped buying fishball from Manongs because I was confined in the hospital for 4 days many years ago for hepatitis from the fishball sauce. Now that I can make this at the convenience of our home, we have option to buy the kind of fishball that
    we want .


  76. Wow! Will definitely try this recipe later. Was contemplating on just using the sweet and spicy ufc ketchup, but found this and zi can’t wait to try it later for our merienda. :))

  77. Thanks for this. Tried it when I went home to Manila for a visit. Fabulous! Will make it again now that I’m back in Sydney.

    P.S. I have the Tupperware Speedy Chopper too! πŸ™‚

  78. I just tried this recipe. I doubled the measurements as it is intended for a big batch. I had to add more sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce and salt. Thanks for this recipe and finally I found out that vinegar is no longer needed. The garlic will suffice

  79. Gotta try this. Thanks for sharing. Food cart fishball nalang ang kulang. I wish they import those food cart type of fish balls from the Philippines here in the US.

  80. i will try this…pag na perfect ko na magtatayo aq ng harap ng bahay nmin as a single mom..kelangan q ng xtrang income pwede rin ba tong sauce na to sa kwek-kwek para marami clang pagpipilian..thank wish me luck..thanks for sharing..

  81. Thank you very much! This will definitely add spice to my planned food cart business. Cheers!

      1. have tried Frabelle fishballs (really tasty), pinang-sahog namin sa chopsuey… andami kong napapak bago nahalo sa gulay.. salap kasi eh! =D

    1. ang sauce ng tempura ay may kasamang ginadgad ng pino na “singkamas”.
      ang soy sauce ng tempura ay “kikoman”.
      malayo sa sauce ng fishballs.

    2. I think alyssa was refering to a different kind of ‘tempura’. Here in Cebu kasi we have a streetfood din na tempura. I think it’s kinda like to kikiam in Manila. Kasama din siya sa mga tinitindang fishball which you make tusok tusok din. Hehe

  82. Ayaw po maging thick πŸ™ huhu i followed everything naman po pero nung nilagay ko po yung garlic,onion ,chili and salt di pa siya nagththicken that time eh tas until now πŸ™

      1. The cornstarch should be the very last to be added πŸ™‚ i also followed the procedure above and had a hard time to thicken khit magdagdag ng magdagdag ng cornstarch…but if you put it last, then it will be just fine πŸ™‚

    1. Hi, J-Meister. Sorry for the late response, but as long as it’s in the fridge, I think 3-4 weeks is okay. You can smell naman if it’s not good for dipping/eating anymore.

  83. Thanks. They loved it. They never thougt that I can make this sauce. Lol! thanks for sharing this recipe.

  84. thanks ms. mhel, I love eating fish balls too & so as you, im curious on how to make this delicious sauce… thank you so much πŸ™‚

  85. looks like yummy…..i miss this street foods during my days in highschool ….i wil let my wife to make this sauce …thanks ms.mhel

  86. We tried this, pero hindi masyadong kuha yung lasa ng kalye fishball. We still haven’t found the right recipe.

  87. Add 1 tbsp of white vinegar and 1 tbsp of PEANUT butter. That’s the secret. Y.O.U. A.R.E. W.E.L.C.O.M.E πŸ™‚

  88. Its true about the Sprite or 7-up along w/ adding peanut butter. Sprite & 7-up is good to use in marinates as well, especially chicken.

  89. Sa wakas, ang sauce na ubod ng sarap (lalo na’t baliw na baliw ako ngayon sa Chickenballs) ay nasa aking kaalaman naaa! Maramamaraming salamaat~!

  90. Thanks πŸ™‚ the sauce was so good specially for us who’s outside the country who’s craving for fish ball with yummy sauce πŸ˜‰ perfect πŸ™‚

  91. Mine turned out really good! Thank you so much for sharing this! Will use this for our upcoming mobile foodcart business. It really helped me a lot!

  92. will try doing this within the week for my food stall business which will be opening on the second week of nov. hope it will turn out yummy!

  93. Can I use jalapeno peppers instead? I wanna make this tonight but I don’t have siling labuyo. I really like it spicy!

  94. Tried it but added 1 tbsp more of the soy sauce ( I used Marca Piña). Kuhang-kuha ang lasang kalye! Γ°ΕΈΛœβ€ž

  95. I add 1tbsp of vinegar. 😊 Thanks for the recipe! The taste was so good and my family love it! 😊

  96. thanks for sharing:) we Just tried it, we added one tablespoon of soysauce:) and we added sprite:) super thank youuu!:)

  97. Awesome article. Good idea to not put vinegar in the seeet sauce for me cause i like mixing the sweet sauce with spicy vinegar. Also got good brands pf fishball from the discussions. Seaglow is fair but nog as good as the streetood variety πŸ˜‰

  98. Tried it and it’s great. The vinegar and 7up did help and my family enjoyed it..will trt the one with peanut butter next time.. oh did i mention i used oyster sauce instead of soy sauce? the result was just as awesome..thanks for sharing this πŸ™‚

  99. Just tried it earlier since im pregnant and im craving for manong’s fishball!! We are so far from Philippines thus looked for an alternative. Lasang lasa katulad ng kay manong!:D salamat sa recipe!:)

  100. Can i get a recipe for fishball the streetfood version…. I tried the ones you can search online and it does not compare to manong’s. I miss philippines so much. I will try your fishball sauce recipe, looks yummy

  101. Hi! Thank you for sharing this recipe! πŸ˜€ Yesterday was my birthday & I tried it! Kalasa nga nung sauce na gusto ko! πŸ™‚

  102. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I tried it already and my daughter like it so much. God bless and more power.

  103. thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚ i’ve been looking for this recipe, finally I can cook it with the same taste as manong’s fishballs.

  104. Have made this so many times. i use this as a dipping sauce for kwek kwek. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us! πŸ™‚

  105. how many cups of sprite should be added ? I mean is there any certain measurements? by the way thanks for the recipe helped me a lot since Im planning to sell fishballs for summer πŸ˜€

  106. I remembered at one time i asked a fishball vendor in our area…he said his secret is the pineapple juice he’d mixed on his sauce.

    1. From all the comments we’ve been getting on here, it seems that some fishball vendors have their own recipes for the sauce. Makes me wonder why they seem to taste the same. hahah πŸ˜€

  107. I added white vinegar and ground pepper. Can’t wait to have a fish/chicken/squid ball/kikiam party with my friends! πŸ™‚

  108. Where can I get the original fishballs like the ones from the vendors from the Philippines. I live in NY and I’m really craving for fishballs. How and where can I get them from here? Please help.

  109. I live in the US and I’ve been searching high and low for that same fish ball (flat crispy) here. You mentioned that you found these fishballs are a local grocers. Could you mention me the name of this brand? I am hoping that somewhere in the internet is a vendor willing to sell me a frozen bag or two.

  110. ,..pls help me to make vinigar sauce…anyone? heres my number 09062339867..thanks in advance

  111. Thank you for posting this. I tried your recipe and the sauce turned out PERFECT, really just like mmanong’s.

  112. will try it later πŸ™‚ for the fishball brand i reccomend Shanghai. the one thats sold palengkes with blue print. it doesnt sag easily and guaranteed no “tinik” πŸ™‚

  113. Hi! This recipe is a winner! Just added 1more tbsp of cornstarch as I wanted it to be thicker in consistency. It amazingly tastes like the sauce used by manong fish balls vendor! Thank you very much for sharing πŸ™‚

  114. It would be better, i think if the constarch is dissolved in water. In the kitchen we call this a slurry. There is no need to add flour anymore as this will also act as a thickener the constarch is enough already .

  115. I just got this info. from one of the best fish ball sauces I ever tasted. You add to your recipe langka (jackfruit).

    1. I would suggest mga 5 – 6 days lang sa refrigerator. Wala syang suka Kaya malamang masira agad. No Double dipping either. To lessen maging panis. Mura lang naman ang ingredients nya, so why take the risk diba? Thx

  116. I used 6 TBSP of all purpose flour, 3 cups of water and 1 cup of pineapple juice. Tasted great! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the recipe.

  117. I’m based in Canada & we don’t have siling labuyo so I use chili flakes or cayenne powder and it works out fine. Recipe is just
    perfect… just like Manong’s. Thanks.

    1. yes we do Clar, it’s called bird chilli.. you can get it at any asian shops (including Filipino stores) such as t&t

      hope that helps

  118. thanks for sharing this! felt like cooking some fish ball this evening and this one tastes just like the one in the philippines!

  119. Hi. I tried this by mine was pretty dark and not as thick. How to get it to the same color in the last few photos of your post. Thanks.

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