The History of Fish Cakes and Balls
Fish cakes and fish balls are common round-shaped foods that accompany many dishes from soups to pastas. They have been found in food history for thousands of years and are considered a delicacy in regions like the Philippines. Many countries have adapted fish cakes to their culture including North America, but they are more common among the Asian, Chinese, and Scandinavian countries.
Technology today has made it possible for those who don’t live in fish-cake popular regions to order them online with the click of a button. There are many forms including halal (acceptable foods for Muslims), and non-halal.
Popular Regions and Fish Sources
Commonly found in China, Macau, Hong Kong and generally in the Southeast region of Asia, fish cakes and balls are typically made from fish paste from the fish being used. However, fish cakes and balls are also found historically in Scandinavia, where they use hammock or cod to create their balls. Because they are found in so many different regions, there is a natural cultural difference in what they’re made with.
In Hong Kong, there is more than one type of fish ball and the difference is their colour. The first kind is yellow, the second kind is white, and the third kind is a very specific golden shade that’s different from the yellow. The colour of the fish cake has to do with where it comes from. Yellow fish cakes are usually found in the street from vendors, whereas white is purer and comes from a restaurant.
Scandinavian fish balls are not usually made at home or in the streets like Asian and Chinese regions. Instead, fish balls in Norway and Sweden are typically bought in canned form. The Scandinavian versions are usually served with two different types of dishes.
Types of Dishes Fish Cakes and Balls Are Used In
Having a fresh fish cake for your noodle soup is common, but also there are many other dishes these delicious cakes and balls are used with. Depending on the region, these dishes will vary. In Asian countries, these fish balls are commonly known as meatballs, like the other popular ground beef or pork versions.
In Sweden, they are typically served with a form of potato or rice as well as a vegetable side and a seafood sauce of some sort. Norway does things a little differently and adds curry alongside their mashed potato and fish ball meal.
Thailand and Norway have one thing in common and it’s serving fish balls alongside curry. Thai cuisine has many dishes that feature this snack in grilled form. They are also found in noodle soups as well as just in snack style.
In North America, New England also had its own version of a fish cake that was quite popular more than fifteen years ago. They were often served with mashed potatoes and created from salt cod; a well-known fish to the area. Those who have stuck with traditional dishes still incorporate fish cakes today, but they are rarely found in restaurants in New England anymore, unless the restaurant is older and family run.