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!
- ½ pound fish cakes (fish cakes store-bought or homemade), sliced into thin pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons hot pepper paste
- 1 tablespoon rice syrup, corn syrup, or sugar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- ½ medium onion (¼ cup), sliced thinly
- ¼ cup worth carrot, sliced thinly
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 green chili pepper, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 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.
- Add onion, carrot, garlic, and green chili pepper, and keep stirring for a few minutes until the onion looks a little translucent.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove it from the heat. Add green onion, toasted sesame oil, and sprinkle some sesame seeds over top.
- Serve with rice.