Albondigas de Pescado (Fish Balls)

Albondigas de Pescado (Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce) Recipe. Summertime and beach flavors on your table!

Summer, summer, summer!

It’s everywhere. It’s “summer this”, and “summer that”. Girls in bikinis, over-tanned idiots and kids playing with garden hoses. Will the cliches never end?

But I’m going to let you in on a little dirty secret: summer is my least favorite part of the year.

Albondigas de Pescado (Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce) Recipe. Summertime and beach flavors on your table!

If you don’t understand why I just don’t feel as enthusiastic about the whole summer thing, it means that you have obviously never lived in the tropics. And by tropics, I don’t mean southern Florida (however insanely hot it can get there).

Grab your maps, kids. We’re going on a tour.

There’s a good reason why our national Poet Laureate wrote that ours is “an island under the very trajectory of the sun”, which I’m sure is poetry for “it’s fricking hot here”. This will come as news to nobody. If you only knew one thing about the Dominican Republic, it would probably be that this is a tropical country.

Albondigas de Pescado (Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce) Recipe. Summertime and beach flavors on your table!

With summer comes unbearable heat, merciless humidity and hurricanes.

If one goes by the fact that the usual summer greeting around here is some sort of complaint about the heat, it would seem as if we haven’t got used to this fact. I, myself, have been thinking that perhaps I’m having a small case of the menopause since I was a teen. I’m not looking forward to the real thing.

Albondigas de Pescado (Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce) Recipe. Summertime and beach flavors on your table!

If you’re looking for a good summer dish, this is it. It cooks in a very short time, and served with a bit of rice and some fresh salad it makes for a light meal. After all, spending long hours in the kitchen in the summer heat is not really anyone’s definition of fun. Fish balls is one of my favorite ways to make fish, and it is also a great way to make the most of inexpensive fish.

Pass the iced water.

Aunt Clara
Albondigas de pescado (Fish balls)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
For the fish balls
  • 4 slices of day-old bread
  • 1 small white onion
  • ½ bell pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sprigs of parsley
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1½ lb [0.75 kg] of skinned fish filet (see notes)
For the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1½ bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup pitted olives (optional)
  • 2 sprigs of cilantro
  • 3 limes (cut into wedges)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
For the fish balls
  1. Pulse the bread in the food processor until it has the texture of coarse sugar. Reserve.
  2. Mix bell pepper, onion, garlic, parsley, a pinch of pepper and a teaspoon of salt and pulse in the food processor until you obtain a coarse paste. Reserve.
  3. Cut the fish into cubes and pulse in the food processor until it turns into a uniform paste.
  4. Mix fish, breadcrumbs and seasoning paste from step 2. Mix well.
  5. Make the fish paste into balls of about 1½" in diameter. Reserve.
For the sauce
  1. Heat the oil over low heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook and stir until it becomes transparent.
  3. Add garlic, tomato and pepper and cook and stir for a minute over medium heat.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, water and olives. Mix well.
  5. Very gently add the fish balls, making sure they don't break.
  6. Cover and cook over low heat for five minutes. Turn the fish balls and cook for another five minutes.
  7. Add the cilantro, season with salt to taste and remove from the heat.
  8. Serve with white rice or tostones and garnish with the limes.
Nearly any fish fillet available in supermarkets can be used in this dish. Traditionally it is prepared with warm water fish (lower in fat) like bass, grouper or red snapper.
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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • katheryn January 23, 2014, 10:38 PM

    What if you don’t have tomatoes can you just use the tomatoes paste

    • Aunt Clara January 27, 2014, 4:23 PM

      You could, but beware of changes in texture and flavor.

  • Tariq December 21, 2013, 2:17 PM

    I had a quick question, would I be able to use breadcrumbs if I don’t have old bread. and how much would i have to use to equal 4 slices?


  • Hunval July 19, 2012, 1:50 AM

    Thank you aunt Clara for your receipts of albondiga de pescado, I love it and as you say it is easy to do.

  • Jeannette Baez July 18, 2012, 10:34 AM

    OMG, I made this for my family last night, what a hit….it was delicious, I made it with red snapper, rice, and fried green plaintains, avocado salad. I have to say the lemon gives it a kick….definitely a must try. My family and I definitely enjoyed it.

    • Aunt Clara July 19, 2012, 5:59 AM

      I am so glad to hear you family liked it. It’s a great way to “trick” the little ones into eating fish too.

  • Kankana July 17, 2012, 5:22 PM

    love your humor :) Last time I made fish balls they became so dry! Will follow your steps next time.

    • Aunt Clara July 19, 2012, 6:00 AM

      Hehe. And yes, no dry fish balls with this method. The sauce makes them really juicy.

  • Veronica Cruz July 17, 2012, 1:20 PM

    Delicious. Las voy a hacer esta misma noche.