Home Korean Ingredient Glossary Korean Fish Cake (Eomuk or Odeng)

Korean Fish Cake (Eomuk or Odeng)

by Emily
Korean fish cakes of different shapes and sizes.

 This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for details at the bottom of this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases on this article about fish cakes in Korean cooking. I hope you enjoy learning about Korean fish cake, otherwise known as eomuk or odeng!

Have you ever watched a Korean TV show, drama, or movie? If so, more likely than not, you have seen Korean fish cakes. This incredibly popular ingredient is used in some of the most popular (and famous) Korean street food dishes. 

In this Korean ingredient article, we will learn about Korean fish cakes! Let’s get started!   

What Are Eomuk (Or Odeng)?

Fish cakes, otherwise known as ‘eomuk’ (어묵) or ‘odeng’ (오뎅), are a Korean processed ingredient made using ground white fish, shrimp, and other ingredients such as potato starch, wheat flour, sugar, and minced vegetables. This popular ingredient is used in stir-fries, soups, bokkeum, kimbap, and more! 

While traditional Korean fish cakes are thin and rectangular, you can find different shapes, colors, and flavors available on the market. 

Eomuk vs Odeng:

Originally, fish cakes came to Korea through Japan during the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula. The term ‘odeng’ comes from the Japanese word ‘oden’, meaning ‘fish cakes.’ 

‘Eomuk’ is the purely Korean term used to describe fish cakes. 

Korean fish cakes in broth. The fish cakes are on sticks.
Korean Fish Cakes! Delicious Street Food!

Fish Cakes in Korean Cuisine:

As stated above, in South Korea, people refer to fish cakes as ‘eomuk’ (어묵) or ‘odeng’ (오뎅). Below, I list a few well-known dishes that often include this ingredient:

  • Eomuk Bokkeum (어묵 볶음): Stir-fried Korean fish cake side dish
  • Eomuk-guk (어묵국) or Odeng-guk (오뎅국): Korean fish cake soup
  • Tteokbokki (떡볶이): Spicy stir-fried Korean rice cakes with fish cakes

Korean Fish Cake Frequently Asked Questions:

Now that we learned about eomuk in Korean cuisine, I want to answer some questions you may have about this ingredient! If I do not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email me at carvingajourney@gmail.com

What Does a Korean Fish Cake Taste Like?

I actually find the flavor of fish cakes to be hard to describe. While they are obviously fishy, these savory and slightly sweet fish cakes are not extremely strong in flavor. Rather, they taste delicately mild with a soft, sponge-like texture. 

Sometimes, fish cakes include finely chopped vegetables so you may taste ingredients such as carrots or green onions as well! 

Where Can I Buy This Ingredient?

When shopping for Korean fish cake, I recommend visiting your local Asian grocery store in the freezer or refrigerator sections.

Korean fish cakes on a stick in broth.
Do You Like Fish Cakes?

How Do I Properly Store a Korean Fish Cake Package?

Once opened, I recommend placing your Korean fish cake package in the refrigerator or freezer. 

  • If the fish cakes are pre-frozen, continue to store them in the freeze and defrost when you are ready to use them. 
  • If fresh, you can store them in the refrigerator in the short term but place them in the freezer if you do not plan to use them within a few days. 

What Is a Korean Fish Cake Substitute?

Unfortunately, there are no good substitutes for Korean fish cakes. If you need fish cakes in a soup or stew, you can always use fresh seafood instead. 

If you cannot find Korean fish cakes, you can always make your own from scratch! 

I Hope You Enjoyed Learning About Korean Fish Cakes (Eomuk or Odeng)!

In the end, I hope you enjoyed learning about Korean fish cakes, otherwise known as eomuk or odeng! If so, let me know in the comment section! 

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find recipes as well as further Korean ingredient articles on my blog. I listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by my family’s blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Korean Ingredient Articles: 

Further Carving A Journey Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email me at carvingajourney@gmail.com. And, finally, I would love to hear from you through social media as well! You can follow me at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to my blog by joining the mailing list. Let me know if you try using a Korean fish cake as an ingredient! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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