Fish cakes

Eomuk 어묵

Hi everybody! Today I’m very happy to show you my recipe for homemade fish cake, called eomuk in Korean.

I had never made eomuk before I started working on this recipe. All my life I was satisfied to buy it premade or from a street cart in Korea. I always chose the most expensive kind I could find, figuring it would be the highest quality.

But many of my readers asked me how to make it at home because they didn’t live near  Korean grocery store and couldn’t find it. At first I thought it was impossible to make in a home kitchen, but eventually I changed my mind and worked on developing a way to make delicious, easy, and simple eomuk anytime I want. That’s the recipe I want to share with you today.

So many of my readers tell me I’m their inspiration, but in reality they are the ones inspiring me to develop better recipes and always try my best.

I went through many variations of this recipe. Some of them were too starchy, others not elastic enough, and others not smooth enough. In the end, this is the seafood-to-flour ratio that satisfied me in terms of taste, texture, and flavor.

And as you see in the video, I shape the fish cakes into a roll before frying them: this is the shape preferred by Korean street vendors, but it takes some skill to do. A simpler way is to use a spoon to shape the cakes into balls.

Korean fish cakes (Eomuk: 어묵)


  • ½ pound fresh white fresh fish fillet (cod, pollock, flounder, or snapper)
  • ¼ pound (4 ounces) squid: cleaned, rinsed, and chopped
  • ¼ pound (4 ounces) shrimp: shelled, deveined, rinsed, and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ medium onion (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 cups plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch (or sweet potato starch)
  • 1 large egg white


  1. Inspect the fish fillet and remove any remaining fish bones. Cut the fish fillets into chunks and put them into a food processor. Add the squid, shrimp, garlic, onion, salt, sugar, ground white pepper, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, flour, starch, and egg white. Blend for a couple of minutes until the mixture turns into a smooth paste.
    fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)
  2. Transfer to a bowl.
    fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)
  3. Heat 3 cups vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium (about 330-350° F or 180° C)
  4. Brush some cooking oil on a large and wide  rectangular spatula. Spread about ¼ to ⅓ cup of the fish paste to the spatula with a knife. Use your knife to carefully roll the paste into a cylinder, and gently slide it into the hot oil.
    (If this method is too tricky, simply use a spoon to scoop up some of the paste, and then another one to push it off the first and into the hot oil.)fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)
  5. Repeat shaping and pushing the fish mixture to hot oil,  3 to 4 sticks in the skillet, and be sure not to to crowd them. Stir the fish cakes occasionally to fry all sides evenly. Let them cook about 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat until golden brown. Take the fish cakes out and put them in a strainer over small bowl. Pat the fish cakes with paper towel to remove the excess oil.fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)fish cake (Eomuk: 어묵 만들기)
  6. Serve hot as a snack right away. For later use, cool it down and put it into a plastic bag. Keep the bag into a fridge up to 1 week or freezer up to 3 months.


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  1. babatheturk My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 9th, 2015 at 11:07 pm | # |

    I made chicken noodle soup of yours for lunch today, and for dinner I made fish cakes. My husband and I didn’t want to eat too much for dinner, so we said we’d just have this for a little bit.
    We ended up making another batch and almost finished all of it. We put shishito pepper bits in the paste and it was just delightful.

    Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe


    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 13th, 2015 at 7:17 am | # |

      “We ended up making another batch and almost finished all of it.” : ) Your fish cakes look so handsome!

  2. aida11st My profile page joined 4/15
    Posted April 5th, 2015 at 3:59 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I really like your fish cake or eomuk I tried 4 times already and I can’t do the elastic the way you did I followed all the exact recipe of yours is there any trick or secret to make the fish cake elastic.

  3. Neal0707 Manila My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 31st, 2014 at 1:16 pm | # |


    Can I use dory instead of cod?

  4. missdhani Indonesia My profile page joined 12/13
    Posted October 28th, 2014 at 2:15 am | # |

    Hi, maangchi…
    I’m your fan from indonesia. I want to know what can i use to subtitute the potato starch? Because potato and sweet potato starch is difficult to found in my town. Can i use corn starch or casava starch? Thanks before

  5. nariswariputri indonesia My profile page joined 9/13
    Posted October 9th, 2014 at 5:36 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi, i don’t hv food processor, can i use blender? thankyou:)

  6. Romy1978 Argentina My profile page joined 4/13
    Posted October 7th, 2014 at 4:18 pm | # |

    Hi ! You are really amazing! Thanks for this recipe. I always wanted to how prepare homemade fish cake. I’ll do it for sure! Thanks again.

  7. PYIM Brazil My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 4th, 2014 at 8:40 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    I am a big fan of you from Brazil!! Your recipes and videos are delightful! I just love them!!!
    My father loves fish cakes, so I intend to it in the dinner. Can I prepare the batter on Sunday, leave it on the fridge and fry it on Tuesday? I want them as freshly fried.
    Thank you again for your wonderful recipes!!

    • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
      Posted October 4th, 2014 at 9:25 am | # |

      Hi PYIM,

      “Can I prepare the batter on Sunday, leave it on the fridge and fry it on Tuesday? I want them as freshly fried.”

      Don’t! The batter will spoil!
      Fry them on low-medium heat until yellowish (cooked through) on Sunday, refrigerate them and fry them again (after patting them dry) on medium-high heat until golden brown on Tuesday.

      Bye, Sanne.

  8. Skates Doylestown, PA My profile page joined 9/14
    Posted September 22nd, 2014 at 9:38 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Today I made this recipe and they came out very good, I think. I love your YouTube channel and look forward to your videos. Hope you have a great week!

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