Eomuk Bokkeum (Stir-fried Fish Cake)

Korean stir-fried fish cake recipe

Eomuk (어묵) is processed seafood made with pureed fish. It translates to fish cake, but obviously not the fish cake known in Western cooking. There are various dishes made with eomuk, which are hugely popular as street foods in Korea, such as eomuk soup sold in street carts. Eomuk bokkeum (어묵 볶음) is a staple side dish at home. It’s a stir-fried dish that’s quick and easy to prepare.

Busan, a southern coastal city, is famous for the most delicious eomuk, so I normally buy the ones made in Busan. Outside Korea, you can find them in the frozen section of Korean markets. There are various types and shapes of fish cakes, and you can use any type or shape for this eomuk bokkeum recipe. Slice them if they are thick so the sauce can easily penetrate. However, the thin rectangle shape eomuk is most commonly used for this dish. It’s the type of eomuk we grew up with before the eomuk industry became highly sophisticated. It’s also the type commonly used in gimbap and tteokbokki.

Korean fish cake

While it’s not absolutely necessary, quick blanching of the fish cakes in boiling water removes excess oil and softens them.

I used onion and bell peppers here to accompany the fish cake because I happened to have some in my fridge, but I sometimes make it with onion, carrot, and scallion. You can substitute bell peppers with green and red chili peppers if you like.

You can make it mild or spicy with this recipe. Simply add some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) to the sauce to make it spicy. 

stir-fried fish cakes

Eomuk Bokkeum (Stir-fried Fish Cake)
Serves 6
A quick and easy side dish made with eomuk (fish cake). Make it mild or spicy to your taste.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 sheets eomuk (fish cake)
  2. 1/4 red bell pepper
  3. 1/4 green bell pepper
  4. 1/4 small onion
Sauce Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  2. 1 tablespoon rice wine
  3. 2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup
  4. 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  5. pinch black pepper
  6. 2 to 3 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) - only for the spicy version
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Plunge the eomuk sheets for 30 seconds. Drain and cool. This step removes excess oil and makes the fish cakes tender, but you can skip it if you want.
    Korean fish cake recipe
  2. Thinly slice the vegetables. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
    Eomuk Bokkeum
  3. Heat a non-stick pan with a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the vegetables, and cook for a minute until slightly softened. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the fish cake, and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
    Eomuk Bokkeum
  4. Drizzle the sauce over the fish cake and vegetables. Stir well, and cook until the sauce is all absorbed and the fish cakes and vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes.
    Eomuk Bokkeum
Korean Bapsang http://www.koreanbapsang.com/

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Comments

  1. Eomuk is my favorite!! but it's very hard to find this in france!! :/
  2. Oh I so can't wait to try this. I love fish cakes. I recently discovered them after trying to cook some Korean dishes. The flavor brings back memories of being a little girl with my Halmoni. This stir fry looks delightful though. Thank you for sharing.
    • You're welcome, Melissa! I am happy to hear this dish helped bring back memories with your grandma. Hope you try to make it soon.
  3. Thanks! I buy a portion of these from the prepared section at H-mart every shopping trip because I do not know how to make it myself. Definitely going to try.
  4. I tried this last night (spicy version) and it was so delicious! Just like in restaurants/H-mart. Thanks for the easy and fast recipe!
  5. Theresa says:
    Another delicious and easy recipe that impressed my 80 year old Korean mom! She wanted to know how I made it taste so good so I showed her my secret--your website! Thank you for teaching us how to cook great Korean food with your clear directions and beautiful photos!
  6. This was super easy and so delicious! The aroma of the stir fried eomuk was great on a rainy day. I made it spicy with the veggies I had on hand; carrots, celery and onion. The celery added a nice crunch. Will make this again and often. Better than restaurants and store bought banchan because it's fresher and I'm able to control of the amount oil used. Thank you!
  7. Wow this is my favorite banchan when I eat at Korean restaurants! I can't wait to make this recipe. How long does this last in the fridge? I live alone, so I hope to make a big batch that I can leave in fridge and take out for every meal. Or do they go bad fast? Thanks!
  8. This is my children's favorite side dish! Thank you for making it so simple to make. Now they can have it anytime.
  9. Do you blanch it frozen or thaw first?