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.

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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)

Ingredients

  • 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

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Directions

  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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76 Comments:

  1. [email protected] Australia joined 11/17
    Posted November 18th, 2017 at 12:10 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, can I use basa fish?

  2. Akvile Norway joined 9/17
    Posted October 4th, 2017 at 2:48 pm | # |

    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?

  3. Mi Heui Iran - Tehran joined 5/16
    Posted June 28th, 2017 at 9:04 am | # |

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

  4. kgumaru West Virginia joined 5/17
    Posted May 29th, 2017 at 9:31 am | # |

    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!

  5. KathyFaye London 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 :(

  6. Deelicioco Surabaya 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.


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    • JeffB Florida 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?

  7. JayJayJay 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.


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    • JayJayJay joined 10/15
      Posted June 13th, 2016 at 2:20 pm | # |

      Or maybe these were so fluffy because I made them so small.

  8. JayJayJay 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.


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  9. Schannou Paris 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!!!!


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  10. amoung Houston 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?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 18th, 2016 at 5:43 pm | # |

      I would add more starch powder to the mixture.

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

    Hello Maangchi,

    Can I bake the fish cake instead of frying it?

  12. tigr P 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!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 2:28 pm | # |

      Let me know the result when you make it!

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