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Squid balls and fish balls, fried and served on a stick are street food staples in the Philippines. On the side are containers of sweet, spicy and vinegary sauces ready for dunking to each customer's fancy.

We ate these as an after school snack or what's known as merienda, a light meal typically taken in the late afternoon. This recipe was created with those memories in mind.

You can find frozen squid and fish balls at an Asian grocery near you.

sinigang mix + bagoong + coconut milk


Serves 2-3. Add cooked noodles for a more substantial meal.


  • 2 tbs Kusi sinigang mix

  • 1 tbs shrimp paste (bagoong)

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced

  • 1 whole chili pepper, sliced

  • 1 thumb ginger, grated into pot

  • 1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer leaves removed and flesh bruised

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 200 g squid balls

  • 200 g fish balls

  • 1 small bunch bok choy or similar leafy green

  • 1 lime

  • fish sauce, to taste

  • cooked noodles of choice (optional)


  1. In a stockpot over medium heat, stir fry shrimp paste, onion and chili pepper for 1-2 minutes.

  2. Add Kusi sinigang mix, ginger, lemongrass and water. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer about 5 minutes.

  3. Add coconut milk, squid balls, fish balls and a dash or so of fish sauce. Simmer about 10 minutes.

  4. Take off heat and add bok choy + cooked noodles, if using.

  5. Finish with freshly squeezed lime and fish sauce to taste.


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