Manong-Style Fishball Sauce

When I was younger, there was this Manong who goes around our village to sell fishballs. My brothers were fond of buying from him that later on, I found myself frequently buying from him too.  Now, almost everywhere I go, usually near offices and schools, there is this Manong fishball who is our suki.  With our daily craving for fried streetfood in a cart-wielded store, comes our love for the sauces and dips these stick picks come with. Want to whip it up at home? Try this fishball, squidball, chicken ball, and kikiam sauce -- Manong-style.

Serves 5
Prep Time 10 minutes 
Cooking Time 15 minutes


  • 4 tbsps soy sauce (regular, not light) 
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 2 tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsps cornstarch 
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 siling labuyo
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 pack of fishballs, squidballs, chicken balls, or kikiam, or a combination of these
  • short bbq sticks
  • oil for frying

Cooking Procedure:
  1. In a cool saucepan, mix the soy sauce, white vinegar, flour, cornstarch, brown sugar, and water.  Mix well until it is free of lumps and granules. 
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally to not burn the sugar. 
  3. Once the mixture boils, lower the heat, and add the onion, garlic, and sili.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Continue stirring and heating over low flame until its consistency is near to what is desired.  Residual heat will thicken it a bit more.
  6. Pour it in a serving bowl or deep sauce dish. You may directly put it in a jar for easy dipping and storing. 
  7. Fry the fishballs, squidballs, chicken balls, or kikiam to your desired crispiness. 
  8. Skewer them from the pan and drain. (Consistent to our manong-style vibe!) 
  9. Dip in the sauce and enjoy.

  1. Do not use any other type of vinegar.  Spiced vinegars are overpowering. You may eliminate the vinegar if you do not want to add sourness to your sauce. 
  2. White onion may be replaced with shallots, or any sweet onion variety.  We want it with just a hint of onion flavor that will not overpower the sweet-salty mix we want to achieve.  But of course, you may adjust this to your liking. If you want stronger flavor, use red onion. 
  3. You may use more than 1 siling labuyo, depending on the hotness you want to achieve.  Siling labuyo may be replaced with Bird's Eye Chili, but this has lesser hotness than the labuyo variety.  Adjust as desired.

Dip and re-dip all you want! :-) Enjoy!

The initial recipe was shared by the Manong near the church I go to. He was unsure of the measurements (or perhaps does not want to divulge haha!).  I just tried and retried combinations based on recipes I saw online, and finally settled with this. :-)

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