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How to Make Quick and Delicious Korean Fish Cake Side Dish

How to Make Quick and Delicious Korean Fish Cake Side Dish

Embarking on a culinary adventure with Korean side dishes can transform an ordinary meal into an extraordinary dining experience. One of my family’s favorite banchan is the Korean fish cake side dish, known as eomuk bokkeum. This popular side dish not only offers a delicious blend of savory flavors and subtle sweetness but is also incredibly easy to prepare. Using sesame oil, green onions, and bell peppers, I create a stir-fried dish that captures the essence of Korean cuisine. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a newcomer to Korean flavors, mastering this fish cake recipe will add a delightful touch to your meal repertoire – we might only make korean food once or twice a week, but we incorporate the idea of banchan with most of other meals too!

My own journey into the flavorsome world of Korean cuisine began a decade ago when I watched my first kdrama, Boys Over Flowers. It launched me into an obsession with Korea’s food, music, TV, and culture that has since become a shared love with my teen daughters — and a staple in our family meals.

Among the plethora of Korean dishes that grace our table on any given night, Korean fish cakes or eomuk bokkeum hold a special place. This popular side dish captured my heart during a memorable visit to Koreana, a Korean BBQ spot in Cambridge, just outside of Boston. Since then, it has become a delightful addition to our meals, often stealing the spotlight with its savory and slightly sweet allure – I’m usually the one who hogs all the fish cake!

fish cake Eomuk Bokkeum korean banchan

Preparing Korean stir-fried fish cake at home is surprisingly simple and satisfies even the busiest of schedules. At our local Korean grocer, Sun Oriental Market in Portland, Maine, the owners are always eager to share tips and tricks, making each trip an educational delight. Armed with their advice, I’ve mastered this dish using a large skillet, sesame oil, a pinch of salt, and, of course, fish cakes sliced into thin sheets.

Ingredients and Cooking Method

The beauty of this dish lies in its versatility and ease. Here’s a quick rundown of how to bring this savory umami sauce-laden dish to life:

  • Fish Cakes: Available in different shapes and sizes, these are the main ingredient. I prefer the flat sheets or thin strips for even cooking.
  • Vegetables: A mix of green onions, bell peppers, and green chili peppers add crunch and color.
  • Flavor Enhancers: Sesame oil and a tablespoon of soy sauce are key to achieving the best flavors, complemented by a sprinkle of sesame seeds for a nutty finish.
fish cake Eomuk Bokkeum korean banchan

To cook, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet, add the fish cakes, and stir-fry until they start to golden. Toss in the vegetables, sauce ingredients, and stir until everything is beautifully combined and aromatic. This dish is not just a complimentary side dish; it often becomes the star of the show.

fish cake Eomuk Bokkeum korean banchan

Accompanying Banchan

No Korean meal is complete without an array of side dishes. Along with fish cake stir fry, other favorites include:

  • Korean Cucumber Salad: Crunchy, refreshing, and slightly spicy, this salad balances the richer flavors of other dishes.
  • Mayak Eggs: Soy-marinated eggs that are a hit with my kids for their melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Korean Egg Roll: A soft, savory roll filled with finely chopped vegetables and sometimes a hint of cheese for the younger ones.
fish cake Eomuk Bokkeum korean banchan

Each side dish, whether a robust fish cake soup during Maine’s long, cold winter months or a non-spicy version of tofu sheets for our youngest, adds depth and variety to our meals. Preparing these in a big batch not only saves time but also ensures that a healthy and delicious side dish is always at hand, stored in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

Korean Cuisine as a Bridge

Korean food does more than just satisfy hunger; it’s a bridge that connects my family through shared experiences and interests. From exploring lots of Korean restaurants in new cities to belting out songs at Korean karaoke bars, our adventures in Korean culture have brought us closer. My daughters and I have made countless core memories exploring stores, watching dramas together, learning the language, and perfecting recipes together in the kitchen.

Sharing the Passion

In conclusion, whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to the kitchen, incorporating Korean side dishes into your culinary repertoire can transform mealtime into an exciting cultural exploration. Fish cake stir fry, with its simple preparation and delightful taste, is a great starting point. So, grab your skillet and let’s make some magic in the kitchen.

fish cake Eomuk Bokkeum korean banchan

Korean Fish Cake Side Dish

Delicious, savory fish cake that comes together in just minutes to create the perfect side dish for any meal!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Cuisine korean


  • 2 cups of Korean fish cakes cut into bite-sized pieces. I prefer thin strips.
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • Sesame seeds for garnish


  • Begin by heating the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. The sesame oil is the secret to that authentic Korean flavor – it’s worth having a bottle in your kitchen.
  • Toss in the minced garlic and sliced onion, and let them sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. The aroma will start to fill your kitchen, and that’s when you know good things are happening.
  • Next, add the Korean fish cakes to the skillet. Stir and watch as they get a lovely, light golden crust, about 3 minutes.
  • Time for color! Throw in the red and green bell peppers and keep everything moving in the skillet for another 2 minutes. We want those peppers crisp, not soggy.
  • Now, lower the flame to medium. It’s sauce time! Add the soy sauce and sugar, stirring well to coat every piece with the glossy, savory sauce.
  • After about a minute more, everything should be beautifully caramelized and ready to serve.
  • Plate your fish cake stir-fry hot, and for the final touch, sprinkle over some sesame seeds for that extra nutty crunch.
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