Korean fish cake, also known as eomuk, is a popular street food in Korea. Made from minced fish and various ingredients, this savory snack is loved for its chewy texture and flavorful taste.
What is Korean fish cake?
Korean fish cake, also known as eomuk (??) in Korean, is a popular street food and ingredient in Korean cuisine. It is a type of processed seafood made from ground white fish or surimi (fish paste), mixed with various seasonings and shaped into flat oval shapes. The texture of Korean fish cake is chewy and slightly springy, with a subtle savory flavor.
Korean fish cake can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or used as an ingredient in various dishes such as soups, stews, and stir-fries. It is often sold at street food stalls or served at restaurants specializing in Korean cuisine.
History of Korean Fish Cake
Fish cakes have been consumed in Korea for centuries, but the modern version of Korean fish cake was first introduced during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945). At that time, Japanese-style fish cakes were imported to Korea and became popular among Koreans. However, due to the high cost of imported fish cakes, local entrepreneurs began producing their own version using domestic white fish.
Over time, Korean fish cake evolved into its own unique style with distinct flavors and textures. Today, it remains a beloved staple in Korean cuisine.
Where did Korean fish cake originate from?
As mentioned above, the modern version of Korean fish cake was introduced during the Japanese colonial period. However, variations of fish cakes have been consumed in Korea for centuries. In fact, there are records dating back to the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) that mention “fish jelly,” which may have been an early form of fish cake.
During Japan’s occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945, many aspects of Japanese culture were introduced to Korea including food. This included Japanese-style fish cakes, which were popular in Japan at the time. Korean entrepreneurs began producing their own version of fish cake using domestic white fish, and over time, it evolved into its own unique style with distinct flavors and textures.
Traditional Korean Fish Cake
Before the introduction of Japanese-style fish cakes, traditional Korean fish cakes were made by boiling ground fish paste in a seasoned broth. The resulting mixture was then shaped into small balls or flat patties and served as a side dish or snack.
What are the ingredients used to make Korean fish cake?
The main ingredient in Korean fish cake is ground white fish or surimi (fish paste). Other common ingredients include potato starch, wheat flour, salt, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, onion, and black pepper. Some variations may also include additional seasonings such as chili powder or sesame oil.
The type of white fish used to make the paste can vary depending on availability and preference. Common types include cod, pollock, and haddock. The fish is typically filleted and deboned before being ground into a fine paste.
Potato starch and wheat flour are added to the fish paste to give it structure and texture. The ratio of starch to fish paste can vary depending on the desired texture.
Salt is added for flavor while sugar helps balance out the savory notes. Soy sauce adds depth of flavor while garlic and onion provide aromatic notes. Black pepper adds a subtle kick of heat.
How is Korean fish cake traditionally prepared and cooked?
Traditionally, Korean fish cake was made by boiling ground whitefish paste in a seasoned broth until cooked through. The resulting mixture was then shaped into small balls or flat patties and served as a side dish or snack.
Today, Korean fish cake is often sold pre-made in supermarkets or at street food stalls. It can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or used as an ingredient in various dishes such as soups, stews, and stir-fries.
To cook Korean fish cake, it is typically boiled in a seasoned broth until cooked through. The broth may include ingredients such as dried kelp, anchovy, and onion for added flavor.
Another popular way to prepare Korean fish cake is by pan-frying it until crispy on the outside. This method of cooking adds a layer of texture and enhances the savory flavor of the fish cake.
What are some popular dishes that include Korean fish cake as an ingredient?
Korean fish cake is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. Here are some popular examples:
Tteokbokki is a popular Korean street food made with chewy rice cakes simmered in a spicy sauce made with gochujang (Korean chili paste), soy sauce, sugar, and garlic. Sliced Korean fish cake is often added to the dish for added texture and flavor.
Odeng guk is a simple Korean soup made with sliced Korean fish cakes simmered in a clear broth made with dashima (dried kelp) and anchovies. It’s often served as a comforting meal or snack during cold weather.
Japchae is a popular Korean noodle dish made with sweet potato noodles stir-fried with vegetables and meat. Sliced Korean fish cakes can be added to the dish for added protein and texture.
How is Korean fish cake typically served or eaten in Korea?
Korean fish cake is a popular street food in Korea and can be found at many street food stalls throughout the country. It is often served on skewers and brushed with a sweet and savory sauce.
Korean fish cake can also be enjoyed as an ingredient in various dishes such as soups, stews, and stir-fries. In these dishes, it is typically sliced into thin pieces and added to the dish for added texture and flavor.
When sold as a street food, Korean fish cake is often served on skewers or toothpicks and brushed with a sweet and savory sauce made with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
In dishes such as tteokbokki or odeng guk, Korean fish cake is typically sliced into thin pieces and simmered in the broth until cooked through. In stir-fries or noodle dishes like japchae, it can be sliced into thin strips or bite-sized pieces and stir-fried with other ingredients.
Are there any regional variations of Korean fish cake across Korea?
Yes, there are regional variations of Korean fish cake across Korea. For example:
Busan-style Fish Cake
Busan-style fish cakes are known for their large size and chewy texture. They are typically made using mackerel or pollock instead of whitefish paste.
Mokpo-style Fish Cake
Mokpo-style fish cakes are known for their soft texture and delicate flavor. They are typically made using fresh anchovies instead of whitefish paste.
Can you find Korean fish cake outside of Korea?
Yes, Korean fish cake can be found outside of Korea at Korean supermarkets or restaurants specializing in Korean cuisine. It may also be available at other Asian grocery stores or markets. In some cases, it may be labeled as “fish cake” or “surimi.”
In conclusion, Korean fish cake is a popular and delicious snack that has been enjoyed in Korea for centuries. With its unique texture and flavor, it’s no wonder that it has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger dish, Korean fish cake is definitely worth trying for those looking to explore the diverse cuisine of Korea.
What is a Korean fish cake made of?
Fish cakes from Korea are created using a blend of pureed fish or fish paste mixed with a variety of spices and other flavorings. They are both tasty and convenient, as they can be frozen and prepared in just a few minutes for any meal.
What is a Korean fish cake called?
In South Korea, fishcakes are known as eomuk or odeng, borrowed from the Japanese dish oden. Typically made from corvina or cuttlefish, which are low in fat.
What does Tteokbokki fish cake taste like?
Tteokbokki is a flavorful dish that can be described as both sweet and spicy, with a hint of garlic in the aftertaste. It has a chewy and tender texture, similar to semi-soft cheese.
What is Korean fish cake taste like?
Korean fish cake, also known as “eomuk” or “odeng”, is a type of processed fish cake that is made by combining pureed fish, starch, and various vegetables. The flavor of Korean fish cakes is mild with a slightly savory and sweet taste that is lightly fishy. They have a soft, spongey texture that is delicately mild.
Is Korean fish cake healthy?
If Korean Fish Cake is made with high-quality fish and is not filled with too many additives, and is deep fried in clean oil, it can be healthy. However, fish cakes that are of lower quality may be deep fried in oil that has been used excessively, resulting in a rancid smell and potentially unhealthy consumption.
What is inside fish cake?
Fish cakes, which are created by combining ground fish with flour or starch and shaping the mixture into small loaves before cooking them through steaming or frying, are a staple in Japanese cuisine. They can be found in a range of dishes, from soups and stews to appetizers and bento boxes.
Korean fish cake, also known as eomuk, is a popular street food and ingredient in Korean cuisine made from ground white fish or surimi mixed with seasonings and shaped into flat oval shapes. It can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient in various dishes. Its modern version was first introduced during the Japanese colonial period, but variations of fish cakes have been consumed in Korea for centuries. Korean entrepreneurs began producing their own version of fish cake using domestic white fish, and over time, it evolved into its own unique style with distinct flavors and textures.