Eomuk Bokkeum (Stir-fried Fish Cake)

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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.

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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. 

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Eomuk Bokkeum (Stir-fried Fish Cake)

4.55 from 11 votes
Servings: 6
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 sheets eomuk fish cake
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 small onion

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons gochugaru Korean red chili pepper flakes - only for the spicy version

Instructions

  • 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.
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  • Thinly slice the vegetables. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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Comments

  1. What type
    Of
    Fish is used to make the fish cake

  2. Hi! I was wondering if you had any insights into why my 어묵 always turns very hard when it cools off? When it’s eaten warm, it’s very pliable, but as soon as it cools off, it’s like eating 오징어 🤣.

    • Do you blanch it in boiling water before stir-frying it? Blanching will help. Or look for better quality eomuk. It will turn a bit hard in the fridge but shouldn’t be that tough.

  3. 5 stars
    I just wanted to say thank you for the great recipe. This has always been my favorite banchan but I’ve never tried to make it at home. Your homemade version is so much better then the stuff I get at the restaurant. I never knew it was so easy! My three year old LOVES it and asks for it often.

  4. 5 stars
    It’s my favourite side dish in Korean restaurants, I had no idea it’s so easy to make! My Seolleongtang is on the stove right now and in the meantime I was checking some side dishes I could make from things I already have at home. Turned out I have everything I need and just made it. It’s really delicious!
    Thank you Mrs. Hyosun! Thanks to you I’m learning how to cook for my Korean husband.

    • You’re welcome, Klaudia! I’m happy to hear you’re learning Korean cooking and making all those delicious dishes for your family.

  5. this is new to me I have never heard of fish cake,though a great recipe.

  6. How long does this dish last for, if I store it in the refrigerator?

  7. Can I use mirin instead of rice wine? Or would you recommend using white wine instead? Thanks! Love your blog btw, keep it up! 🙂

  8. Always enjoyed Eomuk Bokkeum as a banchan at the local Korean Restaurant. Have made it several times at home but for some reason it never last long (because I can’t stay out of it…lol). Love your recipes because they are so authentic. I can read one of your recipes and go right to my Asian Market and found the ingredients with no problem.

    • Hi Sharon – I’m glad to hear you’re making it at home, and thank you so much for taking the time to write me comments. It means a lot to me.

  9. can I use honey instead of sugar?

  10. Do you blanch it frozen or thaw first?

    • Frozen eomuk will lower blanching water temperature too quickly. Just rinse under the warm water to quickly defrost.

  11. This is my children’s favorite side dish! Thank you for making it so simple to make. Now they can have it anytime.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Eomuk is my favorite!! but it’s very hard to find this in france!! :/