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. Lucahjin New England, USA joined 12/10 & has 1 comment

    Oh my gosh!!! Thank you thank you so much for this recipe! I had a bag of fishcakes in my freezer for… way too long :P I picked them up once at a Korean market and didn’t know what to do with them! I put a few in ramen once, and it was ok. But I left the rest of the bag in the freezer to be forgotten about xD

    I just made this with the rest of the bag and it’s one of the most delicious things ever!!! I’m going back to the store to buy more fishcakes! :P

  2. Ikkin-bot edmonton joined 9/10 & has 27 comments

    Made this tonight! It was great, so I made a blog about it! Check it out as its fun!

  3. alohalo Toronto joined 10/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    Do you know by any chance where I can find fish cakes in Toronto?

    Thanks and keep up the good work! :)

  4. Since its usual for Koreans to serve a number of side dishes for a meal, do they prepare it fresh everyday? Or they make a batch and keep them in the fridge to be eaten over a few days?

    How long can this spicy fried fish cake be kept in the fridge?

    Thanks for a wonderful blog and keep up the great work! Everytime I come here, I find new things and I don’t ever get bored!

    home remodeling

  5. Brian_Montoya Colorado Springs,Colorado joined 12/09 & has 14 comments

    Yum i just tried it with the flat fishcakes, theyre so good, thanks again!

    I LOVE your hair in this video by the way!

  6. MTZero North Carolina joined 4/09 & has 1 comment

    I’ve made this dish at least 4 times since it was posted, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it each time (and as I’m typing this, I’m craving it again). It’s a great spicy-sweet-savory combination of flavors.

    Here’s what I’ve done with the dish:
    – I don’t use sesame oil because I don’t like it very much. I like sesame seeds, however, and add them when I can remember to do so.
    – I add thinly sliced carrots to it for extra sweetness and color.
    – I used a red onion (instead of the white onion) a couple of times for the same reason.
    – On one occasion, I stir-fried some cold leftover rice with the gochujang and corn syrup until the rice was soft and hot.
    – Another time, I cooked about 1/4 of a large pack of dangmyeon and stirred that in with the gochujang/corn syrup mixture.

  7. eve Germany joined 6/10 & has 4 comments

    Hello Maangchi!
    Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipes. This dish came out soooooooo delicious, a real life saver when you are hungry!

  8. Jean Philippines joined 6/10 & has 3 comments

    I love this!<3 <3 <3 delicious….

  9. KKVL Belfast, joined 4/10 & has 15 comments

    hie maangchi,

    i’m very interested in trying this recipe out..thing is, i don’t have corn it ok to replace it with honey or sugar?

    thanks! =D

  10. Maangchi~
    I love watching your videos they are all great and very helpful^^
    I want to try and make the rainbow rice cake..
    Where can you buy a rice steamer similar to yours??
    Also are they expensive?
    I want to make this rainbow rice cake for my friends birthday.
    Your videos are great

  11. oooo! this looks REAL DELICIOUS! imma try this out someday to pack in my lunchbox! :D

  12. Hello Maangchi,

    I made this dish a couple of days ago with some oisobagi and rice. It was sooooo delicious! I was wondering could I use this recipe with something else, like shrimp? Thank you!

    Amber ;)

  13. Maangchi if u get the frozen fish cakes do u have to wait for them to defrost to start cookin them?
    the one i bought are like sheets different to wat u used.

  14. Samantha T.& has 1 comment

    HI! I just wanted to say that You rock!! I made this dish today with bulgogi and kimchi jjigae!! Delish!! I couldn’t find the fish cakes in the balls at the korean Grocery store near my house. HOwever, I found the fish cake sheets roll and I made this dish using that and it turned out awsome. My brother can not stop eating. I would love to e-mail you the pics of my 1st korean food!

  15. i’m gonna try this recipe soon..
    i don’t eat much of korean food cause i don’t eat pork and beef so love to chicken and seafood…

  16. Hey Slugger& has 1 comment

    I LOVE your choice in music! The KKK took my baby away PLUS delicous K-Food?!! Life is good. Thanks for the videos.

  17. Hi,

    I’m looking for the recipe called “Gujeolpan”? A nine-sectioned dish with wheat pancakes.
    Hope you can help me.
    Great site!

  18. I made this the other day along with the spinach side dish and it was great! I was a little intimidated to try to make Korean dishes but now I’m excited to try more. Thanks!!

  19. yumyum, everything in here look so delicious.
    actually i was looking for some korean recipes
    i always see fishcakes or something on korean dramas
    and movies. the one sold n the streets.
    i wonder how it’s made, if you could include this in your to do list,
    i’d be very grateful.

    for now, im going to try your jajangmyun recipe. *drooling* :D
    great website by the way.

  20. Maangchi, I have a three year old who doesn’t like spicy food, could I leave out the red pepper paste?

  21. sophia nguyen& has 1 comment

    heyy! i was wonderinng if i can substitute anything for the corn syrup?

  22. Maangchi, I really like your videos. It’s really useful and makes me want to try korean dishes.
    Anyway, for this fish cake dish, how long it last if you store it in the fridge?

  23. annyeong maangchi nuna!
    i’m getting good at korean neh?
    i made this today served it with kimchi and rice
    and it was so delicious!!!

  24. Hello Maangchi, I have been a vegetarian for a year but love Japchae. Is it possible to omit the beef and double the amount of shiitake for protein? Is there any other ingredient/s you might suggest for protein?

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

      Put more colorful vegetables in your japchae. More sliced onion, spinachi, mushrooms…and lots of sesame oil and roasted sesame seeds. It’s delicious even though you don’t use beef. I sometimes make japchae using fish cake instead of meat.

  25. Does the green chilli pepper have some sort of special taste that adds to the dish or is it just put in for extra spiciness?
    I only have mini dried red chilli peppers and i was wondering if it is ok to use them instead?
    Or will the dish taste different?
    Thank you~

  26. I made this today (Good Friday-no meat today-fish is ok). It is fantastic!! So delicious!!
    I love how it’s spicy and sweet at the same time.
    My son loves this.

  27. Austin Salazar& has 4 comments

    Sorry Maangchi~ I found the new videos on itunes~~ Silly me!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  28. Austin Salazar& has 1 comment

    Maangchi~~ just wondering when you were going to post your new videos on itunes podcast!! can’t wait to make this dish~!! THANK YOU!!

  29. annie& has 14 comments

    looks so delicious! maanchi please cook for me! i live in nyc :)

  30. Libelle& has 30 comments

    Maangchi ssi, annyeong!
    Aigoo, so cute when you tasted it!lol :-) Looks delicious, I hope I can find uh mook at the store. Kamsahamida for yet another yummy recipe!

  31. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    I can’t wait to get some fish cakes and try this recipe. Thank you again for keeping us cooking!!

  32. Are those fishcakes frozen?? The only one I ever bought was the rolled one that are in thin sheets and are frozen…

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

    If you can, get the same fish cakes as I used for this recipe. It’s good quality and not expensive. I like fish cake that doesn’t contain much starch. I think I should post the photo of the bag of fish cakes in my “ingredient” section on my website.

    yeah, you won’t make any mistakes with this dish because it’s very easy.

  34. HOORAY FOR THE NEW VEDIO…finally!!!I’m gonna make it this weekend. I love fish cakes in Oden, so I’m sure I will love this dish as well:)

  35. Yum! That looks really simple and delicious- i’ll make it asap.
    Do you think it will be easy to find a bag of mixed fish cakes like you have in your video? I’m going to the korean grocery store soon- do the fish cakes only look different? or do they have different flavours? (lol, i’ve never bought fish cakes before :P)


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