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 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.



  1. KathyFaye London My profile page joined 1/17
    Posted January 22nd, 2017 at 6:22 am | # |

    @Maangchi Hi Maangchi! I’ve been a long-time follower of your blog & YT channel, thanks to you I’ve learned how to make soo many Korean dishes, even when I lived in Korea, I still used your recipes sometimes ^_^

    I have a question about the eomuk – can I replace shrimp with something? I’m allergic :(

  2. Deelicioco Surabaya My profile page joined 11/16
    Posted November 10th, 2016 at 12:21 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    Thank you for the recipe and the tehnique to make it. Your fishcake recipe is sooo good I like the texture very much, but I add more sugar and salt to make it taste better.
    I wonder how to make flat fish cake, is it the same recipe? I trird to make it from the same recipe but it looklike need more flexible.

    See full size image

    • JeffB Florida My profile page joined 1/17
      Posted January 3rd, 2017 at 6:51 pm | # |

      I could not find squid in my local markets. I did find octopus in my local Asian market. Can I us octopus in place of squid?

  3. JayJayJay My profile page joined 10/15
    Posted June 13th, 2016 at 2:07 pm | # |

    I made fishcakes again. They turned out very nice. Although I wonder if I used too much flour because my fishcakes are very airy/fluffy and your cakes look so firm.

    See full size image

  4. JayJayJay My profile page joined 10/15
    Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 4:36 pm | # |

    My fish cakes turned out pretty nice. Although I didn’t have any squid to use so these fish cakes didn’t have that springy quality like your ones did on the video. Also I found it to be quite difficult to keep the oil in 180 Celsius degrees. And I also thought it was much easier to shape the fish cakes by hand that use that spatula technique.

    See full size image

  5. Schannou Paris My profile page joined 3/16
    Posted March 22nd, 2016 at 4:21 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!!!! Today i made your recipe! It’s very easy to make eomuk! I made for at least 3 mouth! Loooool! Thank you very much! I love fish cakes!!!!

    See full size image

  6. amoung Houston My profile page joined 3/16
    Posted March 14th, 2016 at 10:13 am | # |

    Hi Maagchi,

    I follow your recipe but i double size the ingredients.
    Somehow i need to blend for a long time in order to make it smooth.
    But once i finish, the fish paste come come very wet, not sticky at all.
    What i did wrong? How can i improve it?

  7. Sid Baltimore My profile page joined 2/16
    Posted February 29th, 2016 at 6:27 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi,

    Can I bake the fish cake instead of frying it?

  8. tigr P My profile page joined 2/16
    Posted February 1st, 2016 at 6:46 am | # |

    Hello, Maangchi!
    Thank you so, so much for this recipe – fish cakes were one of my favorite food items when I was studying in Taiwan and even though I’ve tried to make them after coming back, none of the recipes I used resulted in something similar to what I could eat in my university’s cafeteria. Judging by your pictures, though, I think I finally found what I was looking for :) Can’t wait to try it!

  9. stage89 singapore My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted January 21st, 2016 at 11:35 am | # |

    Hi maangchi, may I ask your seafood 1/2 pound and 1/4 pound is how many gms? ?

    • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
      Posted January 21st, 2016 at 12:19 pm | # |

      On each and every one of Maangchi’s recipe-sites is the link to a conversion-machine. Just scroll down a bit and look on the right side.

      Bye, Sanne.

      • stage89 singapore My profile page joined 2/15
        Posted January 22nd, 2016 at 10:52 am | # |

        The fish don’t have 1/2 pound only no gms I am worry turn out wrong

  10. stage89 singapore My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted January 21st, 2016 at 11:31 am | # |

    Hi maangchi, may I ask the 3 seafood weighting change to gm instead of pound?please

    • tigr P My profile page joined 2/16
      Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 1:19 am | # |

      there are many online convertors to convert the weight measures; the quickest way is to simply type something like “0.5 pound to grams” into Google bar and it will convert it for you.

      • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
        Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 7:00 am | # |

        Or one may just look for “Convert your ingredient units:” on this very site (as mentioned before)…

        Bye, Sanne.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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


    Can I use dory instead of cod?

  14. 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

  15. 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:)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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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