Veggie balls is one of the top-rating and most sold street food in almost any town. It can be described as small, bite-sized vegetable pancakes packed with different flavors and a lot of nutrients. It is best enjoyed with fishball sauce in a plastic cup with a stick while hanging with your friends after school.
I discovered veggie balls when I was in high school. There is a street food vendor outside of our school which sells fishballs, kikiams, veggie balls and others. There is no one day that I do not buy from that street food vendor. I would not ride the jeepney home unless I was able to buy some street food snack. I was not a fan of trying new food before so the fishballs and kikiams where the ones I always buy. But then one day, all the fishballs and kikiam ran out and the veggie balls and lumpia were just the ones left. I am not in the mood to eat lumpia during that day so I took courage and try those veggie balls. Firstly, I was shocked because it was so cheap. It cost 5 pesos to have 5 veggie balls. I enjoyed the veggie balls and bought a lot before I rode the jeepney. Since then, veggie balls were included from my favourite street food choices.
During one of me and my barkada’s girl’s sleep over, we got hungry in the middle of the night and decided to make some snack. With what’s available from my friend’s food counter, I suggested making veggie balls with fishball sauce. Unlike the common cabbage and carrots used in the street food veggie balls, we tried using a more variety of vegetables. I realized that the street food veggie balls can still taste better. Since then I make my own veggie balls whenever I crave for one. It is so easy to make and would not cost you a lot of time and money. I introduced the veggie balls to my niece who is really not a fan of vegetables but she liked it. This just proves the powerful taste of the veggie balls. Veggie balls can also be enjoyed with different sauces but I think the fishball sauce is the best of them.
HOW TO MAKE VEGGIE BALLS
Veggie balls is similar to making vegetable pancakes – only that the pancakes are ball-shaped. The two components of a good veggie ball combo is the veggie balls and the sweet and spicy fishball sauce. For the veggie balls, start by preparing the main vegetables. Wash, peel and chop the squash and carrot. These two vegetables are honestly some of those vegetables which are hard to grate so if you have an easy chopper, use it. Do not forget to remove the squash’s core and seeds. Those must not be included in the veggie balls. Grate the squash and the carrot and place in a large bowl. Prepare and chop the other vegetables and add them in the large bowl. In this recipe, the other vegetables are specifically spring onions, onion and garlic. You can definitely add whatever vegetable you like to add in your veggie balls. It would be advisable to use the leafy ones like malunggay as it also adds color and appeal to the resulting veggie balls. Add the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, sugar, eggs and seasonings. Mix the components well and add some water until you reach the desired consistency.
Based on my research, some people drain the carrots and squash before they put it in the veggie ball batter. It would be a lot more nutritious to retain the natural liquid from these vegetables rather than throwing them away during draining. With this method, you will also need to add lesser water since there are already liquid from the vegetables in achieving the desired consistency. The desired consistency must not be to flowy and not too thick. If you are not confident, you can try frying some of the batter. Use two teaspoons in forming the batter into balls. If you have a mini scooper, that will make the work easier. When frying, the batter must form a ball and not spread. That is how you know that you are on the right track. After you achieve the right consistency, start frying the veggie balls. I recommend to deep-fry the balls. But if there are less cooking oil available, the oil must reach at least a half of the ball. You can fry the balls in batches but make sure that they are not crowded in the pan. Continue frying until the veggie balls are golden brown. Do not make too much large veggie balls. The outside may be golden brown but the insides are not cooked. When cooked, place the balls in a strainer or in a tissue paper to drain the excess oil.
Since the veggie balls are often sold side by side with the other streetfoods like fishballs, a classic fishball sauce is the perfect partner for our veggie balls. To cook the fishball sauce, simply add all the ingredients into a sauce pan. Mix it well especially that the flour and cornstarch must be totally dissolved. If not, it would create small floating balls of boiled flour which is not good for a fishball sauce. Heat the mixture and continuously stir until it thickens. The sauce will fully thicken as it cools down. Serve your veggie balls in a plate and drench this flavorful sauce.
If you’re not a fan of fishball sauce, other sauces that would more likely compliment the veggie balls are seasoned vinegar, ketchup or mayonnaise.
Veggie Balls with Sweet Spicy SauceCourse: Vegetable Recipes
- For the veggie balls:
1 medium-sized carrot
¼ cup spring onions, minced
1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
2 medium-sized eggs
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons water
- For the sweet and spicy fishball sauce:
2 cups water
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 piece chili (optional)
- For the veggie balls:
- Wash, peel and chop 300 grams of squash. Do not forget to remove the seeds and core. Wash and peel 1 medium-sized carrot. Grate the squash and carrot. Do not drain the grated vegetables.
- In a mixing bowl, put the grated squash and the grated carrots. Add ¼ cup minced spring onions, 1 medium-sized chopped red onions, 5 cloves of minced garlic, ¾ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon white sugar and 2 medium-sized eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Mix it well.
- Add around 2 to 3 tablespoons of water as you mix until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Heat some oil in a pan. Using 2 teaspoons, shape the veggie batter into a ball and then drop into the hot oil. Repeat this process until the veggie ball batter is fully consumed.
- Put the cooked veggie balls in a strainer or tissue paper to remove excess oil
- For the sweet and spicy fishball sauce:
- Add water in a pan. Add in the brown sugar, soy sauce, minced red onions, minced garlic, all-purpose flour, cornstarch. Mix it well until the all the flour and cornstarch is completely dissolved.
- Cook the sauce under low heat and allow it boil. When it is starting to boil, stir the sauce gently to avoid overflowing. [Optional] Add 1 piece chili. Season with salt and pepper. Stir vigorously. Cook the sauce until it slightly thickens. The sauce will fully thicken as it cools down later on. Transfer the sauce into a bowl or a container.
- Serve the veggie balls with the sweet and spicy fishball sauce and enjoy.