There are several varieties of fish which do not command a ready market as fresh fish, but are comparable to many table fish in nutritive value and other attributes. One of the ways of ensuring effective utilization of such fish is to process ready-to-serve or ready-to-cook value added 'convenience' products, for which there already exists great demand from within the country as also from abroad. Fish ball is one such product prepared using fish mince and starch that can be processed as a coated product or as a heat-processed product in a suitable fluid medium.
* Dress the fish after heading , gutting and washing thoroughly.
* Prepare fish mince either manually or using a mechanical meat bone separator.
* Mix mince with 1% salt and 5% corn starch (if required, spices like garlic, ginger etc. can be added).
* Prepare balls, 2-3 cm in diameter, from the resultant mass and cook in boiling 1% brine for 5-10 minutes..
* After cooling pre-dust with batter powder and dip in batter solution using a bamboo stick and then roll in bread crumbs and fry in oil.
* Pack the balls preferably in thermoformed trays as such or after flash frying in hot vegetable oil.
* Preserve by freezing and store at -18oC
Method of Batter Preparation
* Ingredients serially numbered from 7 to 13 are required for batter mix.
* The ingredients like American flour (maida), corn flour, bengal gram, salt, guar gum and turmeric powder should mix well to get dry batter mix.
* Add potable water to the dry batter mix in the 1:2 ratio (dry batter : water) to get batter mix.
Though mince from different species of fish can be used for processing fish balls, threadfin bream (Nemipterus japonicas) , Pallikora (Otolithus argenteus) and Barracuda (Sphyraena spp.) are found to yield satisfactory products. Mince from freshwater fishes such as Rohu (Labeo rohita) and Catla (Catla catla) also can be used. However, in such cases, the mince needs to be refined by passing through a mechanical strainer to get rid of the interstitial spines