Fish cake soup

Eomukguk 어묵국

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 ddukbokkie, which is hot and spicy, so this soup goes well with it. After having some ddukbokkie 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, 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.



  1. Mkim43 Long Beach, CA joined 7/14
    Posted July 9th, 2014 at 12:24 am | # |

    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! :)

  2. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11
    Posted October 2nd, 2013 at 5:42 am | # |

    FYI: This is an episode of the variety show I mentioned: 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

  3. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11
    Posted October 1st, 2013 at 5:28 pm | # |

    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! ^^

  4. KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13
    Posted September 17th, 2013 at 10:46 am | # |

    Nevermind! I found a nice recipe to make them!

  5. KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13
    Posted September 15th, 2013 at 5:12 am | # |

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

  6. CynthiaH Wichita joined 1/12
    Posted May 20th, 2013 at 8:38 pm | # |

    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! :)

  7. CynthiaH Wichita joined 1/12
    Posted May 20th, 2013 at 6:53 pm | # |

    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!

  8. awkwardsoul Long Beach, CA joined 4/11
    Posted January 15th, 2013 at 9:32 pm | # |

    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!

  9. xelloss1989 United States joined 1/13
    Posted January 11th, 2013 at 1:28 pm | # |

    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?

  10. choe_annie VA joined 4/09
    Posted January 8th, 2013 at 6:42 pm | # |

    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 ^_^

  11. makemequiche DC joined 5/12
    Posted January 5th, 2013 at 8:29 am | # |

    The broth has a deep, clean flavor. YUM!

  12. Neza2214 United States joined 11/12
    Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 7:05 pm | # |

    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?

  13. sohngj Seattle, WA joined 12/12
    Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 12:09 am | # |

    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?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 5th, 2013 at 3:25 am | # |

      yes, it is.

      • Jeeyon Seattle, WA joined 12/12
        Posted January 7th, 2013 at 11:13 pm | # |

        I made it tonight and it was delicious! I also made steamed egg and buchu kimchi. Thanks for the recipe. :)

        I was always hesitant to try to cook Korean dishes because when I tried to make them in the past (before I discovered your website), it never turned out like my mom made it, so I didn’t like it. But now, I have really expanded my list of dishes I can make well. Even my dad likes it. So far I have made miyuk guk, baechu dwenjang guk, bean sprout guk, dduk guk, dwenjang jigae, yukae jang, and now eomu guk! The taste is very similar to how my mom makes it, soI am happy. Next up, mackeral jjorim and soon dubu jigae!

  14. MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11
    Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 10:38 pm | # |


    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 :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 12:19 am | # |

      Thank you Mariska! I’m looking forward to your feedback!

  15. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10
    Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 6:01 pm | # |

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

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 12:17 am | # |

      ooh I am excited about yours!

      • jaylivg Houston joined 7/10
        Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 3:48 pm | # |

        I love the soup ! I just made it for my lunch .. though my fish cakes wasn’t as pretty and colorful , it was still delicious . I didnt use radish either , didnt have it on hand . Thanks for a great recipe ,Maangchi !

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 2

Leave a Reply