Hacking Manong’s Fishball Sauce: Here’s How to Make Your Own at Home

About a week ago, we published an article on how to make your own fish balls. Sure, you can buy premade ones, but when they’re this easy to make, why deprive yourself of the homemade variety, eh?


Now, we did say that the accompanying sauce deserved its own article, hence today’s topic. If you’ve ever eaten fish balls off the street, you may have dipped them into a big container of goopy brown stuff. You know the sort. Every manong in the trade has it. 


While most street food carts certainly don’t lack variety, they seem to have only one sauce for everything. From the humble fish ball to the ostentatiously orange kwek-kwek, this unassuming sweet and sour sauce coats them all. 


Not that we mind, of course. This magical substance is practically what livens up your snack of choice. Too bad no one’s thought of bottling it up and selling it on the market yet.


However, you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s not too difficult to make. The ingredients aren’t hard to find either, whether you’re home or abroad.


And so, here’s a recipe hack to complete your authentic street food experience:


Fish Ball Sauce

(Good for about twelve servings, as adapted from Foxy Folksy)

Fish Ball Sauce  


  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

  • 1 small red chili (siling labuyo), chopped (remove the seeds beforehand if you prefer a milder sauce)



  1. Combine all ingredients except the red chili in a saucepan. Whisk together until the flour and sugar are dissolved.

  2. Stir continuously over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, add the chopped red chili and stir until the sauce thickens. This shouldn’t take longer than five minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a sterilized jar or serve immediately alongside your fish balls. 


Bon appetit!

Serena Estrella

Serena joined Remit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.


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