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Korean Fish Cake Soup

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Learn how to make popular Korean fish cake soup at home. It’s refreshing, tasty and so comforting!
Korean Fish Cake Soup - A popular Korean street snack made at home! It's delicious and comforting! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

As the weather gets colder, soup gains popularity as a side meal. This Korean fish cake soup (Eomuk-guk, 어묵국 or Odeng-guk, 오뎅국) is a perfect Korean comfort food.

It is quite easy to make and also all the ingredients used are quite affordable. Maybe that’s why it is also a popular drink snack to accompany soju (소주) – a Korean distilled alcoholic drink.

Some facts about Korean fish cakes  

  • Korean fish cakes are called Odeng (오뎅) or Eomuk (어묵). Though Odeng is influenced by Oden from Japan. So in recent years, as part of a Korean language purification movement, the use of Eomuk is more encouraged.
  • Typically Korean fish cakes are made with surimi, wheat flour, carrots, onion, salt, sugar and other additives. These ingredients are mixed, kneaded, shaped then boiled, steamed or fried.
  • I don’t know about you, but in general, the perception is that packaged Korean fish cakes typically available from a Korean grocery stores are “not healthy”. But nonetheless, it’s cheaper and more convenient than making them yourself.
  • If you’re looking for a healthier choice of Korean fish cakes, you should check out two of my fish cake recipes. One is for side dishes and the other one is for soup making.

Korean fish cake soup served with steamed rice and other Korean side dishes | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Some facts about Korean fish cake soup

  • Korean fish cake soup is also a popular Korean street snack. When I was a child, I used to pay 100 won (approx US $0.10) for one stick of Korean fish cake (with a cup of soup) but I heard that it’s around 1000 won (approx US $1) nowadays.
  • When people buy Korean fish cake soup at the street vendor, they also typically order Korean spicy rice cake (Tteokbokki, 떡볶이). They go really well together, like bread and butter.

My fish cake soup was really nice. Definitely good comforting food for a cold night. My broth turned out really well and it really made the soup taste refreshing, warm, comforting and tasted healthy!

To make my soup more presentable, I even used a special pot that I brought from Korea 10 years ago! (It’s a popular Japanese hot pot.) This was actually my first time using this pot and I was quite excited about it.

FYI, you don’t need to use this type of pot but it does look fancy and presents nicely! It would be great if you’re having a guest over for this type of soup.

I hope you enjoy my recipe and also the comfort it brings. Let me know how you liked it! xo

Korean fish cake soup | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Ingredients for Korean Fish Cake Soup (Serves 2)

Main

  • 200g (7 ounces) Korean fish cakes (4 rectangle fish cake sheets) or homemade fish cakes
  • 30g (1 ounce) green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • A few cracks of ground black pepper
  • (Optional) fine sea salt to taste – I didn’t use any.

Broth

* 1 Tbsp = 15ml, 1 Cup = 250ml

**If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my 30 essential Korean cooking ingredients list!

How to Make Korean Fish Cake Soup

Broth

1.Put the water (6 cups) in a medium/large pot and add the dried kelp and anchovies. (If you can use a large tea infuser, it will be a much neater process later!) Boil it for 10 mins uncovered on medium heat.

Korean fish cake soup - making broth

2. Take out (& discard) the kelp and add the radish slices. Boil the radish and anchovy for a further 10 mins.

Korean fish cake soup - making broth 2

3. Take out and set aside the radish. Sieve through the boiled stock over damp cheese/linen cloth to remove small particles from the kelp and anchovies. (If you don’t mind these particles floating in your soup, you can skip sieving and just remove the anchovies from the broth. But I recommend sieving!)

Korean fish cake soup - sieving the broth

Main

4.(This step should start co-currently as step 1 or step 2 to save your time.) Run some hot water onto the fish cake sheets to remove the excess oil coating. (Store bought fish cakes are deep fried!)

Slice the fish cakes into small rectangle size. Or slice them in long strips and stick through with some wooden skewers for a fancier look. (I made 6 skewers and each stick has 2 long strips of fish cakes on it.)

Korean fish cake soup - preparing fish cakes

5. Boil the broth and radish (from step 3) on medium high heat and add the soy sauce, rice wine and garlic. Stir briefly. Once boiled, reduce the heat to medium. Add the fish cakes into the soup then boil until they are soft and the flavour from the soup has soaked up (about 3 to 5 mins).

Depending on your size of pot, you may want to splash some soup over the fish cakes with your ladle to deepen the flavour. (Add some salt to taste if you require, but I didn’t add any.) Sprinkle a few cracks of ground black pepper and green onions just before serving.

Korean fish cake soup - boiling the soup

6. Serve hot (with freshly cooked steamed rice and side dishes).

Korean Fish Cake Soup Hot Pot | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Note

  • If you can only find dried kelp or dried anchovy but not both, supplement that portion by using the other available ingredients. You may need to season with salt at the end.
  • I also served with sweet, tangy, soy dipping sauce for fish cakes. You can check out my recipe from here.

Update: This post was originally written in October 30th, 2006 and updated with better instructions, photos and outcome.


Korean Fish Cake Soup - Popular Korean street snack made at home! It's delicious and comforting! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Fish Cake Soup

Learn how to make Korean fish cake soup! This refreshing and tasty Korean soup is one of popular Korean street food.
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

MAIN

  • 200 g Korean fish cakes (7 ounces)
  • 30 g green onion (1 ounce), thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • A few sprinkles ground black pepper
  • fine sea salt to taste , optional, I didn’ use any.

BROTH

  • 6 cups water
  • 10 g dried kelp (0.4 ounces)
  • 30 g dried anchovy (1 ounce), head and black innards removed
  • 100 g white radish / Korean radish / daikon radish (3.5 ounces), thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Put the water (6 cups) in a medium/large pot and add the dried kelp and anchovies. (If you can use a large tea infuser, it will be a much neater process later!) Boil it for 10 mins uncovered on medium heat.
  • Take out (& discard) the kelp and add the radish slices. Boil the radish and anchovy for a further 10 mins.
  • Take out and set aside the radish. Sieve through the boiled stock over damp cheese/linen cloth to remove small particles from the kelp and anchovies. (If you don’t mind these particles floating in your soup, you can skip sieving and just remove the anchovies from the broth. But I recommend sieving!)
  • (This step should start co-currently as step 1 or step 2 to save your time.) Run some hot water onto the fish cake sheets to remove the excess oil coating. (Store bought fish cakes are deep fried!) Slice the fish cakes into small rectangle size. Or slice them in long strips and stick through with some wooden skewers for a fancier look. (I made 6 skewers and each stick has 2 long strips of fish cakes on it.)
  • Boil the broth and radish (from step 3) on medium high heat and add the soy sauce, rice wine and garlic. Stir briefly. Once boiled, reduce the heat to medium. Add the fish cakes into the soup then boil until they are soft and the flavour from the soup has soaked up (about 3 to 5 mins). Depending on your size of pot, you may want to splash some soup over the fish cakes with your ladle to deepen the flavour. (Add some salt to taste if you require, but I didn’t add any.) Sprinkle a few cracks of ground black pepper and green onions just before serving.
  • Serve hot (with freshly cooked steamed rice and side dishes).

Notes

 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 14.3mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

 

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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35 thoughts on “Korean Fish Cake Soup”

    • I do not know whether you have fish cakes in Philippine. But most Korean grocers should have it! If not, make it from scratch following the link provided in the post above. 🙂

    • Fishcakes are available in the Philippines. Just bought one from an online korean grocery store via Shopee. Also bought dried kelp, and anchovy soup base. 🙂 Can’t wait to try this. ❤

  1. My Korean wife and I have been married for 37 years. I have eaten all the foods she prepares with very few exceptions. While I am adept at American and basic European foods I have not had the time over the years to learn Korean cooking. Six months ago, my wife became seriously ill. Her only lament has been she has no one close by to do her cooking for her. Even though she will eat some American food, these are not her preferred foods. No-one likes ramen constantly so when I was introduced to your web site I was elated that I might be able to provide her a taste of her own meals. Her attitude and life out look have both improved. While I can’t claim perfection she at least acknowledges my efforts. For the aid you give me providing her comfort, I truly thank you.

    • Oh, Richard! Such a touching story! Sorry about your wife’s illness but I’m glad that you’re able to cook some Korean food for her. I’m sure it’s very comforting for her. 🙂

    • If you can’t have rice wine, then skip it.
      If it was used in a meat marinade, I would suggest replacing it with a very small dose of lemon juice or vinegar, but I don’t think these would be good in the soup. (Lemon juice and vinegar were suggested by my other Muslim readers.)

  2. Your Eomuk-guk looks delicious but I’m unable to get fish cake sheets here in Sarawak. We can only get frozen fish tofu cubes & fish balls from the supermarket.

  3. This soup looks wonderful! When I find a recipe I like, I use the Print icon to save it as a pdf in My Documents on my laptop. Then, when I am ready to cook, I just open the recipe on my laptop) and read it from the screen on the kitchen counter. Sometimes I print them out, if they are really detailed, and then add them to my old photo album cookbooks.
    I LOVE that the pictures aren’t included, though I know some people want them. There is a Japanese-American blogger, NoRecipes, whose “print” pop-up allows you to include or eliminate the photos with one little check box), so if you get people saying they want the photos, I hope you will use something like that!

    Thanks for all the great recipes!

    • Thanks Channon, For now, I’m happy with my current way of sharing my recipes. But for sure, down the track I might revise the recipe card area so that it’s easy to print with or without the image. 🙂

  4. Yay! I like fish cakes, and now that we have a Korean grocery in our city I can buy the basic ingredients that I need and I can make more of the dishes in your recipes. ^_^ I have a lot of your recipes bookmarked in my PC browser and since our house is not very large I often leave the recipe open in the browser, familiarize myself with the steps, and then run to check as needed. XD

  5. The person I’m intending to make this for can’t eat spring onions so would the taste be effected if I were to not use them? If so what could I use instead?

    • Hi Kaytlin, You can skip it if you don’t want it. Spring onion releases very nice subtle flavour (which I think add value to the soup). I can’t think of anything that can be used instead! Enjoy!

  6. Regarding to the recipe where it says ‘refined rice wine’, what kind would be suitable or just any type? Would a normal makgeolli be fine?

  7. I’ve heard that skimming the foam from the top of the soup after the radishes boil will help remove the bitterness. Mine used to be bitter before I did this.

  8. dried kelp is not available in my country.. I’ve been searching for it but couldn’t find one..any suggestion for alternate ingredients?

  9. I thought it was called odeng soup! My mom made it and it’s super yummy. I’m glad you have this blog up! Now I can learn to make my own korean dishes (for some reason my korean mother won’t teach me how to cook)

    =)

  10. Thank you, this is an excellent recipe. I’ve just made it. It’s one of the easiest soup dishes I’ve ever tried! 🙂 And I like the pictures too!

  11. is fishcake called odeng in korean? i remember eating it as street food when i went to korea. its good 🙂 is it the same fish cake as used here?

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