Hi everybody! I’m going to introduce you to the Korean snack Eomukguk today. Eomuk are fish cakes and guk is the Korean word for soup, so this recipe is fish cake soup with anchovy stock. If you’ve ever been to Korea, you’ve probably seen this food being sold by street vendors. You’ll always see people gathering around their steaming carts in the wintertime, enjoying the sizzling eomukguk.

eomukguk street vendors

Many of these street carts are also selling tteokbokki, which is hot and spicy, so this soup goes well with it. After having some tteokbokki many people like to chase it down with some eomukguk broth. I have a lot of memories of standing around the street cart, enjoying the fish cakes. In my video I put many cakes on a single skewer, but vendors sell them one cake per skewer. Eat as many as you like, and when you’re finished, the vendor will ask you:

“How many did you eat?”

For each one I ate, I’ll have an empty skewer in my hand. So it’s easy to calculate! I show the vendor my skewers and they tell me the price. This way, I can just eat as many as I like, comfortably, and worry about paying later.

korean snack bar

What I’m showing you here is an upgraded version of eomukguk. Most street carts only use low quality fish cake made with lots of starch instead of fish, but I’m using gourmet fish cakes in this video. I worked a long time to perfect this broth and make it as delicious as I could remember it being. I tried  adding dried shrimp, mussels, dried mushrooms, but found that a simple, well-seasoned broth gave me the best flavor.  If I ever develop a better broth I’ll let you know, but in the meantime, make this for your family, friends, or yourself, and pretend you’re on the street in Korea.


For broth:

For yangnyeomjang (dipping sauce):


Make the broth:

  1. Put the water in a large pot. Peel the radish and cut it into 1 inch cubes (or balls) and put them into a soup strainer (gukmulmang). Put the strainer into the pot. If you don’t have a soup strainer, you can use soup sock or cheese cloth.
  2. Add the the onion, dried kelp, and the leftover bits of radish (including the skin) to the pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat for 20 minutes with the lid closed.
  3. While it’s boiling, cook the anchovies in the microwave for 1 minute (or sauté without oil in a pan for a few minutes).
  4. Add the dried anchovies to the pot and boil for another for 20 minutes, uncovered. This will allow some of the fishy smell of the anchovies to evaporate.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and strain. Take out the cooked radish cubes from the soup strainer and set aside. You’ll get about 8 cups of stock. Add the soy sauce and salt and mix well.brothbroth-stirred

Add the fish cakes:

  1. Stick 5 or 6 fishcake pieces on a skewer, and make 4 or 5 skewers. Put them in a shallow pot and add enough broth to totally submerge the fishcakes.
  2. Bring to a boil for 10 to 15 minutes until the fishcakes are soft.

Make the yangnyeomjang (dipping sauce):

  1. Combine soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, green onion, green chili pepper, garlic, sugar, toasted sesame oil, and sesame seeds in a small mixing bowl.


  1. Prepare individual bowls and plates, a ladle for the soup, and a small spoon for the dipping sauce. Serve hot and scoop some of the soup, with a skewer, into a bowl for each person. When they eat a fish cake from the skewer they can put some dipping sauce on it first. Delicious!

Enjoy the recipe! Let me know how it turns out.

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  1. a_westervelt Portland OR USA joined 10/20 & has 7 comments

    Wow! This turned out so amazingly good!!!! Thank you Maangchi for being my Korean “Auntie” and teaching me all this goodness!!! I’m so thankful for this distraction during quarantine!

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  2. mrssteinert Dortmund, Germany joined 2/13 & has 7 comments

    Did your recipe today! Total hit! super yummy – absolutely recommending! put a little more soy sauce and salt into it because I did more broth. YUM!!! Thanks!

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  3. sleepywarlord Connecticut joined 6/18 & has 1 comment

    Anyone else end up with just more than a cup of stock? I’m having to reboil the ingredients to hopefully make more, but I started with 12cups, might’ve gotten two? I’m from Connecticut and it’s the summer, so maybe those are my issues? If anyone else had this problem did you just add more water to begin with? Say 20cups?

  4. Nuprin2993 Tega Cay sc joined 5/18 & has 1 comment

    First attempt. Burned my mouth eating the fish cakes but totally worth it

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  5. Chef Jim Corona California joined 2/18 & has 7 comments

    An older post but it looks delicious depending on the quality of Fish Cakes.
    Any chance I could get you to guess on the WEIGHT OF 20 LARGE ANCHOVIES?
    They are so varied in size. The ones I have in the fridge now are about 1 1/4 inches long, and I have no idea how many ounces 20 large ones would weigh.
    I do have shaved Bonita Flakes if that would be easier to figure. How many grams of Bonita Flakes would go into 12 cups of water to make a similar strength broth?
    Thanks. Love your You Tube videos and always let the commercials play all the way so you get the income. Also a subscriber on You Tube.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      I just measured my anchovies. They are about 1 ounce, and the anchovies should be at least 2 and a half inches long to 3 and a half.

      • Chef Jim Corona California joined 2/18 & has 7 comments

        Maangchi – So cool you answered me. And such a perfect answer. It is so easy to figure out ingredients when weights are given. i see so many recipes from other countries where they specify something small, medium, or large. And often, they are so different in size in different countries, Even between California and Canada, a large Grapefruit in California is TWICE the size of a large one there. They just don’t ship the giants up north. The pinks I have in the kitchen now are the size of large Cantaloupes. There, now I’m doing it. I think a “large cabbage” in Poland or Russia is infinitely larger than those grown commercially grown in the States. Hope I have made my point, As said, love your recipes and your presentation of them. You make them “easy to follow and replicate”,

  6. Celinejph FRANCE joined 1/16 & has 6 comments

    It was cold, yesterday so i made my soup after looking at the video i couldn’t resist and i don’t regret it , it was really good :p

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  7. Estar Singapore joined 7/14 & has 7 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    Why do you microwave the anchovies in this recipe? In some of your other soup or stew recipes, you just put the anchovies straight in to boil with the kelp. I don’t have a microwave – is there a big difference?

  8. Hi, Maangchi! Can I use salted kelp? Coz I can’t find any dried kelp so I just bought it. Thank you!

  9. ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09 & has 45 comments

    Can I skip the kelp?

  10. Thu Huyen viet nam joined 12/14 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi: could you show me how to make “doenjang”?

  11. Mkim43 Long Beach, CA joined 7/14 & has 1 comment

    Just cooked this tonight. Turned out so good! Just like how I remember it when I used to eat it when I was a child. Maangchi~ I love your website! Thanks so much for helping me learn how to make Korean food! :)

  12. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11 & has 20 comments

    FYI: This is an episode of the variety show I mentioned: http://www.gooddrama.net/korean-drama/barefoot-friends-episode-24 It is just one of many episodes that had cooking in it. It might be nostalgic for you, but it was definitely an eye-opening show for me! So many delicious food … however, I don’t like the stuffing-the-mouth – that was unappealing. xp

  13. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11 & has 20 comments

    This reminds me of Japanese oden. I must try it ~ I love soups. In watching Korean dramas I see them eating this and wondered if the folded ‘thing’ was intestines! Now I know they are fish cakes (so relieved – I don’t like innards! xp) I’ve been watching ‘Barefoot Friends’ and the last few episodes (about 4 or 5) have been about home cooking, so I’ll be seeking them out. Hope you have them made! Thank you for sharing your know how! ^^

  14. KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13 & has 54 comments

    Nevermind! I found a nice recipe to make them!

  15. KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13 & has 54 comments

    Can I make the fish cakes at home?
    I didn’t have luck finding it at mylocal Korean supermarket.

  16. CynthiaH Wichita joined 1/12 & has 14 comments

    I also added very small (1/2 inch) cubes of stew meat (beef) for my carnivorous husband. I added these with the anchovy sauce, so when I strained the other vegetables out, I just put the meat back in the broth. It was nice and soft meat, but next time I don’t need to do this because he loved this fish cake. Yay! :)

  17. CynthiaH Wichita joined 1/12 & has 14 comments

    Hi, Maangchi! I made this today, but I couldn’t find dried while anchovies, so I used some anchovy sauce. Maybe a little too much, but I will make it again when I find the real anchovies. I was too impatient… But I don’t care. I had to have some fish cake today, even though it is in the mid-80s here. :) I couldn’t find my little flower cutter, so I used my tiny gingerbread man. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. awkwardsoul Long Beach, CA joined 4/11 & has 1 comment

    I made this tonight and it was excellent, my husband loved it too! The broth was very good! I found dealing with the dried anchovy a little scary, but it was well worth it!

  19. xelloss1989 United States joined 1/13 & has 15 comments

    I love all the kitchenwares! The shallow pot, the bowls, and the copper color small small at the end! Your knife looks so easy to use too! Where did you get all these?

  20. choe_annie VA joined 4/09 & has 4 comments

    When I’ve made this soup, sometimes I use japanese flavors by using bonito flakes instead of the anochovie for stock—- the smokiness from the bonito makes the broth taste more wholesome, i think ^_^

  21. makemequiche DC joined 5/12 & has 12 comments

    The broth has a deep, clean flavor. YUM!

  22. Neza2214 United States joined 11/12 & has 2 comments

    My three year old is screaming “I want some Mommy!”When I make it for him is there anything that I can make with it that he’ll like?

  23. sohngj Seattle, WA joined 12/12 & has 7 comments

    I can’t wait to make this! My grandma used to make this for me all the time. She also made me lots of sujebi as a child.

    Is eomu guk the same as odeng guk, by the way?

  24. MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11 & has 55 comments


    I was gonna email you requesting this dish after i watched 2 last episode of Running Man (Korean variety show)

    Thank you for the recipe <3 :)

  25. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    beautiful !! can’t wait to try them !!

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