Spicy stir-fried fish cakes

Eomuk-bokkeum 어묵볶음

Today I’m going to show you how to make one of the most popular Korean lunchbox side dishes: spicy stirfried fish cakes, or eomuk-bokkeum in Korean. It’s sweet, spicy, chewy, and salty, which means it goes perfectly with rice: the blandness of the rice offsets the bolder flavors of eomuk-bokkeum, and the spicy fish cakes add life to white rice.

All Korean kids love this dish. When my children were young, they loved it when I put it in their dosirak. They never got tired of eomuk-bokkeum!

You can make this recipe with fish cakes bought from the store, or from fish cakes you make at home, either way will be delicious. And for a nonspicy version, skip the spicy stuff – hot pepper paste and green chili peppers – and add 1 tablespoon soy sauce.

Let me know if you make this dish, especially if you make it with your homemade fish cakes. I want to hear how it turns out!



  1. Heat up a frying pan over medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and the sliced fish cakes. Stir them with a wooden spoon for a few minutes until light golden brown.
    fishcakes (어묵)
  2. Add onion, carrot, garlic, and  green chili pepper, and keep stirring for a few minutes until the onion looks a little translucent.
  3. Turn the heat down to low. Push the fishcakes and vegetables to the edge of the pan with a wooden spoon to clear out a spot in the middle of the pan.eomuk (fishcakes): 어묵볶음
  4. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, hot pepper paste, and rice syrup to the center of the pan. Mix well for a few seconds, and then mix in the fishcakes and the vegetables from the edges of the pan.eomukbokkeum (어묵볶음)eomuk (fishcakes): 어묵볶음eomuk (fishcakes): 어묵볶음
  5. Remove it from the heat. Add green onion, toasted sesame oil, and sprinkle some sesame seeds over top.
  6. Serve with rice.

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  1. echacha Toronto, Canada joined 4/20 & has 6 comments

    Most of the time when I go to Korean Restaurent. This is so popular side but in non-spicy version. I am glad that you mentioned the non-spicy version on video. I could enjoy this side at home. I will buy your cook soon. Thank you Maangchi.

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  2. kksoemaung Canada joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I love your recipes and I am so glad to find your website.I have started collecting Korean Dried Ingredients to have everything ready when I start cooking your recipes.One thing I want to ask you is , do you use Circulon Pots and Pans? If yes, how do you clean the inner bottom of them? Since they have concentric circles at the bottom of the pots and pans, mine always has food stuck in them even after washing them with a brush.You could not see them after washing when it is wet,but when the pot gets dry, you can see the dried food in the concentric circles .I even tried putting one third cup vinegar and one cup water into the pot again and boil for a few minutes, but the dried stuff did not go away.Any suggestions?They are very good quality pots and pans.I don’t even know what to do.Help me.

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

    Ooooh! I am SO HAPPY!! Today I received my chilli paste – I can cook lots of wonderful things now! Maangchi, I am going to buy the fish next, and make the fish cakes! I love them, and I have bought them in shops, but I think I would prefer to know what goes into them, and prepare them myself!
    I will report back!

  4. g.sparkes London joined 6/17 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    I decided to make this today but I didn’t have time to make fish cakes, and I couldn’t find any to buy that I liked the look of…so instead I thought I would replace the fish cakes with pork belly! It turned out very well, and I can’t wait to try it with other replacements! Thanks for the recipe!

    See full size image

  5. makionyx Missouri joined 5/17 & has 3 comments

    I love this side dish. I had it in a Korean restaurant and fell in love with the sweet and spicy (but not burning or hot) flavor. I have bought fishcake from the market in a few variations and tried making this. When I use this type of sheet thin fishcake, cut up, it comes out alright, but never as good as when I had it in the restaurant. I tried other fishcakes as well and they tasted unpleasant (but they were so cute shaped like little crabs). I haven’t made my own fishcakes due to never having the time, but maybe in the preparation of making your own, you can change the flavor of the cake its self to add to the dish.

  6. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16 & has 40 comments

    This is so delicious. I love this recipe. I made this today for the 2nd time. I love the sweetness and spiciness and you are so right when you say it goes perfectly with rice. I add some fish sauce to make it salty to my own taste – and mirin because I like it to be a little juicier…Anaheim peppers (mild green chillis) are perfect in this.

  7. Dangokon Singapore joined 1/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi maangchi, may i request a recipe for a non spicy 어묵볶음? It is my favourite dish XD

  8. KwonC Los Angeles joined 6/14 & has 1 comment

    I tried making this today, and it turned out great! This is one of my fav side dishes, so I know I will be making this often. It was so easy to make. Thanks, Maangchi!

  9. sherrysfu Los Angeles, CA joined 2/11 & has 2 comments

    I love your recipes!
    Can you make gopchang bokkeum (곱창 볶음) next time?
    Or even soondae bokkeum (순대 볶음)?

    I would love to learn how to make that.

    Thank you!! :):)

  10. Who thinks Maangchi is a Korean cooking genius?????
    Whoot Whoot! I just finished eating a delicious bowl of ponytail kimchi, rice and Uhmook Bokkeum, and it was so delicious that I want to have it for dinner tonight as well! Yum!
    I do have a question, however: in many of your recipes/videos, including this one, you use a long curly green chili pepper. Is this a hot chili or a sweet chili, because there are so many hundreds of varieties of peppers, I want to make sure I get the flavour right? I bought one this morning that looks identical to the ones you use and after cooking the meal I popped a piece in my mouth and almost screamed: HOT!!!
    Otherwise, thanks for another amazing recipe.

  11. Mal23 Auckland, New Zealand joined 2/12 & has 5 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    i love these at korean restaurants but have never made it myself. I made it lastnight for dinner and it was so so so good. AMAZING! I love your passion and love for food!!! YUM!!!!

  12. pongwoody florida joined 12/11 & has 1 comment

    thank u so much…i llike this menu…..

  13. maziana kuala lumpur, malaysia joined 10/11 & has 1 comment

    wow!.. all your recipe really delicious.. really easy.. I like korean drama, korean food and all about korean..

  14. tofu19 Carmel joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    I love fish cakes and make it pretty often but when I saw this recipe I had to try your version. Thankfully I did because it was out of this world good. My whole family enjoyed it very much even my mom who is not a big fan of fish cakes. Thank you so much, Maangchi!

  15. Hello!
    I like spicy but I am not a fan of chili peppers. Would the taste change if I simply left them out?

  16. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

    I made these yesterday to go with my other side dishes. Everyone loved them and the whole lot was eaten in one dinner! The spicy sauce is so rich, sweet, tangy, and delicious.

  17. Fabulous!!!! Oh.. every time I make your recipes it is like I’m a child again and my mom is in the kitchen making food for me. She’s too busy to cook now so it’s wonderful that I can do it myself. Thank you!!

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