Recipes

Fish-shaped bread with sweet red bean filling

Bungeoppang 붕어빵

Hi everybody! Bungeoppang, the super-popular Korean street snack is here! : )

After watching this video you’ll be able to make it at home whenever you want. This will be a relief for those of you who used to live in Korea, because I’m sure you’re missing this sweet, hot, delicious treat.

For those of you who never had it, it’s a crispy outside, hot, fish shaped bread in the shape of a fish, with a red bean filling. In Korean, a “bungeo” is a crucian carp, which looks like a big goldfish. And “ppang” is the Korean word for bread. They sell them all over the Korea in the streets, and they’re very cheap.

My readers have been requesting this recipe for years, but I thought it would be impossible to make at home and have it taste like it does on the streets of Korea. And I didn’t think I’d be able to find the fish-shaped pan that I needed. Then on a recent trip to Los Angeles I found one in a kitchenware store in Koreatown!

I was thrilled! I couldn’t wait to get back home and try it out. I missed the taste of bungeoppang so much, and since I always closely watched the vendors working, I had a pretty good idea of how to make it. And I also remembered the taste and texture of the bread. It should be soft and fluffy, but not spongy. It should still be a little crispy.

I also set out to make it more nutritious by adding milk to the batter, and even though this was delicious it wasn’t the taste I remembered and used to love, so I don’t use it anymore. It’s funny that trying to upgrade my childhood snack ended up being unsatisfying! Food, taste, and memory are closely tied together, sometimes it’s hard to change them.

I never like cold bungeoppang. I’d rather go hungry than eat it. So if you make this for your loved ones, make them gather round as you make it, and serve it to them right off the pan. “Ok, this is yours… and the next batch will be yours…”

Beware, it’s going to be super-hot, especially the filling!

Try making this at home! Here’s some info on where to buy the pan, and let me know how it turns out if you make it!

Ingredients (for 6 bungeoppang)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon brown or white sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Sweet red beans (canned or homemade): for homemade, use the method from my patbingsu recipe

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar in a bowl. Add water and mix it well.
  2. Sieve the mixture through a strainer to get a silky batter without any lumps.

    bungeoppang (붕어빵)
  3. Heat up the bunggeoppang pan and turn the heat down to low.
  4. Open the pan and grease both the upper and lower fish molds with a light coating of vegetable oil.
  5. Pour the batter into one side of the fish mold until it’s 1/3 full. Add  1 tablespoon of sweet red beans to the center, and then gently fill up the rest of the fish mold to totally cover the red beans.bungeoppang (붕어빵) bungeoppang (붕어빵)
  6. Close the mold and cook for about 3 minutes over low heat.
  7. Turn the pan over and let it cook another 3 minutes. Open it and turn it over again for another 30 seconds, to make the bread a little more crispy.
    bungeoppang (붕어빵)
  8. Take out and serve immediately.
    bungeoppang (붕어빵)

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