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 kosher 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, kosher 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. Clairince77 New York joined 6/21 & has 1 comment

    I’m Jewish, and can’t eat shellfish. Is there something I could replace it with? (Simply put, a fish has to have fins and scales to be considered kosher.)

    • MarleyMint NYC joined 5/22 & has 2 comments

      It’s been a while since you posted this; but when I was a kid, they made similar fish cakes in Norway out of white fish like halibut only. Amazing and delicious. And pretty similar, too: fish ground up fine mixed with starch (they usually used potato) and some onion, salt, and white pepper, deep fried. I bet you could just use a pound of white fish for the cakes and exclude the shrimp and squid.

    • hangrypandaz United States joined 7/22 & has 1 comment

      Also a bit late to the game, but typically, shrimp is used as a source of sweetness and texture in Asian style fish cakes. If you can’t eat shellfish, you can probably make this purely from white fish. It won’t be as bouncy, but you can at least still make these.

  2. SnookieBme Aurora, Colorado joined 3/19 & has 1 comment

    These are so awesome! The “skin” is bit tough. Is this how it should be? I used cassava flour and tapioca instead of flour and potato starch. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  3. gimjia 대전 joined 1/20 & has 1 comment

    What can you substitute the shrimp for if you are allergic to it?

  4. Knightqueen28 Dubai joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    thanks a lot for the amazing recipes… LOVE YA!

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  5. Silk Taylor Los Angeles joined 8/18 & has 1 comment

    I made this recipe exactly, except I used all cod and no shrimp or squid, but it didn’t come out spongy.
    My wife said it tasted great but missed the springy texture.
    More potato starch maybe?
    Or does the squid have something to do with it?

  6. mirwur Minesota joined 7/18 & has 4 comments

    Can you use other fish like tilapia, whiting ?

    • TaraMaiden Nottinghamshire, England joined 12/16 & has 26 comments

      As long as it’s a good, firm meaty white fish, that will be great. Monkfish would also be good, but that’s quite expensive…And you must cut off the membrane, or it goes really tough. But yes, any good, solid white meaty fish will do.

  7. Khal_2017 Malaysia joined 7/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi maangchi..can i know how i should reheat if i want to eat the fish cakes as it is if keep the fish cakes in the freezer?? Should i fry it half cook or until fully cook and keep? Should i reheat in microwave or can i thaw and fry it again in oil?

  8. TaraMaiden Nottinghamshire, England joined 12/16 & has 26 comments

    Oh my goodness me! Maangchi is right – you will never taste better fish cakes! I just made these – I used an ice-cream scoop to make the fish balls – and oh my word, they are phenomenally GOOD!! Delicious! I am going to slice one or two finely, once they are cold, and add them to my Mul-naengmyeon! Yes, I made that too! Can’t wait to try everything together!

  9. LiljaS Iceland joined 3/18 & has 16 comments

    Maangchi, these are amazing. Reminded me a little of the fishcakes my grandma used to make, but sweeter and more firm and elastic. I’m definitely making these again ;)

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  10. Hi Maangchi, can I use basa fish?

  11. Akvile Norway joined 9/17 & has 3 comments

    hi :) I made Tteokbokki several times now but without fish cakes as we dont have that type here, but I was wondering if I could use this recipe to make the round fishcakes like the ones u put in your Tteokbokki recipe?

  12. Mi Heui Iran - Tehran joined 5/16 & has 18 comments

    Hi dear ^^
    I can’t found potato starch. Can i use corn starch?

  13. kgumaru West Virginia joined 5/17 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,

    I just bought tteokbokki and I want to make eomukguk as well because I’ve heard that they go so well together. I want to make the fish cakes in sheet form. Would that be possible with this recipe? Thank you!

  14. KathyFaye London joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    @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 :(

  15. Deelicioco Surabaya joined 11/16 & has 1 comment

    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.

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  16. JayJayJay joined 10/15 & has 6 comments

    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.

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