- half-cup brown sugar (or adjust according to taste,)
- 1/3 cup Datu Puti vinegar (it has to be this brand if you want authentic taste)
- 1 cup water
- 2 spoonfuls of all purpose starch diluted in 1/4 cup water
- 3-5 siling labuyo (pepper), chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 full red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt (garlic salt is optional)
- In a bowl mix together the brown sugar, water, black pepper, and salt. Mix until the sugar and salt grains melt.
- In a deep saucepan, put a few drops of cooking oil. Pan fry the onion until translucent.
- Then pour the mixture into the sauce pan. Let boil.
- After it boils put the siling labuyo and diluted starch into the mixture. Whisk continuously until it boils and thickens.
- Finally, pour the vinegar into the thickened mix. (You may add water to adjust to desired thickness and taste.)
- Your sauce is ready. Set aside and start frying your fish balls.
In New York, fish balls (or basically all sorts of balls/flavors: squid, beef, chicken, cuttle, tendon, veggie, roe, scallion, etc) are available in Asian-Chinese groceries. They are also available in small single-flavor packets or sold by the pound. I usually prefer buying them by the pound to have a variety of flavors.
Aside from the standard sweet spicy sauce, I also like dipping the fish balls in a bowl of vinegar sauce. The suggested mixture:
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 spoon white sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 siling labuyo, optional
- 2 spoonfuls of lemon or calamansi juice
- 1 spoon chopped red onion, fresh
So there goes. It feels like bringing the much-missed fish ball cart to New York.
But the real secret? Great company while you eat your blues ….err … balls away.