Ambulant fishballs vendor Ambulant fish ball vendor

Ambulant fishballs vendors are a familiar sight all over the Philippines. From the humblest neighborhood to the posh business districts, their customers range from the barefoot toddlers in slum areas to the yuppies in Makati City. The “kitchen in wheels” include a portable liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank and a small gas burner on which the fishballs are deep fried. Customers take a bamboo skewer from the cart (seen tied on the arm of the umbrella) with which they pierce the hot fishballs as they brown in oil. The wide-necked bottles contain the different sauces for the fishballs–sweet, sweet and sour, and spicy–into which the skewered fishballs are dipped. Ambulant fish ball vendor

When these vendors first appeared on the streets of the Philippines, they only sold fishballs. Today, they sell chicken balls, squid balls, hot dog and kikiam as well.

The price? Back in 2004, PhP 2.00 per chicken ball, PhP 1.00 per squid ball and PhP 0.50 per fish ball. These days, I have no idea. Unlike in our old neighborhood, ambulant fish ball vendors don’t sell their stuff in our village. Speedy took these photos near the Antipolo market the other day.


  1. rose says

    i’m having a craving for those pinoy fishballs but for the life of me can’t get the recipe.. could you help? PPPPPLLLLEEEEAAASSSSSEEE?

      • says

        hi all. In regards to you fish balls request. I know the procedure on how to make them but being a chef, I do a lot of eye balling, meaning cooking without measuring. All you have to do is to de-bone your white fish (Bangus). Then mix it with flour, corn starch and a little bit of baking powder. Season the mixture with ground white pepper and salt. You may even garnish it with chopped chives or green onions. Form the mixture into balls and drop them in seasoned boiling water. They are cooked when each one of them starts to float on the surface. Skim them out and lay them on clean dry towel to drain. You can then store these in the fridge until you’re ready to fry them ala magpi-fishball. Get it?

        • says

          By the way, “bind” the fish ball mixture with either eggs or a bit of water. Sorry, I spaced out on that part. I knew this was missing something. You may form the balls with your bare hands, just remember to coat them well with a bit of flour. So your hands don’t get all messy and sticky. Enjoy.

          • Ben says

            Pwede po bang mag paturo po ng pag gawa ng pinoy fish ball kasi po miss na miss ko na po iyo wala po rito sa UK. salamat po

          • ana halawany says

            may fishball machine 1,000 balls/min ako at may area na pwede gawing commissary I like to help people who are jobless actually i have other business can you please send me some guielines on how to run this kind of business please

        • Malicdem Tony says

          Gud dat cheh,i tried to cook ur recipe about fish ball,pero di siya pa rin kagaya ng fish ball sa tinitinda sa kalye na kapag niluto ay nalobo at kapag malamig na nag deplate.

  2. rose says

    hi chef gio,
    thanks for the recipe i am still dying for them
    haven’t made them yet but do you think they would be like the ones in the phillipines, i mean they are round when deepfried then they kind of deflate as you skewer them?
    my gosh can’t wait to try them
    thanks again.. oh by the way is there any sugar in them they tasted a bit sweet

    • odette says

      hmmm…i miss fish balls sooo much :P specially that sweet and spicy dip yummm hay cant wait to try that recipe from chef gio :) how about squid balls :) do i just replace fish with squid hehe i miss that too…wish i can find a pinoy store round here :(

      • says

        Salamat Chef Gio, Thanks for taking the time to share w/ us the recipe. ang hirap hanapin, puro kasi missleading ang karamihang sites.

  3. lani says

    i am planning to open a fish and squidball counter however i do not have any idea on how to make the 3 the sauces. please send me how to make the 3 kinds of sauce — sweet, sweet & sour, spicy.thank you and hoping for your immediate response.:razz::wink: