Eomuk Tang - Homestyle Korean hotpot
Today, we’re making an amazing Eomuk Tang (Korean Fishcake Stew) - at home.
Most Koreans have a soft-spot for fishcake.
That’s because – during school days, Korean kids grow up snacking at neighborhood pojang machas (포장마차), Korean street vendors.
The menu at pojang mochas is the same - a combination of Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), Sundae (blood sausage), Twigim (fried tempura) and/or Skewered Eomuk (fishcake).
At pojang machas, the unwritten rule (know-how?)... is that the fishcake broth is free (but self-service).
While the owner is busying prepping your order, you take a paper cup and pour yourself a ladle full of fishcake broth.
It’s salty, savory and packed with umami! Ah... I can taste that salty broth as I write this!
Especially on cold or rainy winter days, holding that warm cup in your hands… it's very comforting!
The pojang machas typically make their broth using cost-effective powders like dashida, MSG, anchovy powder and other additives.
So it’s hard to re-create that exact flavor without the use of MSG. But I avoid cooking with MSG - especially for homecooking.
For today’s home recipe, we’ll work with natural ingredients to create a different but equally satisfying, deep-and-salty tasting broth.
You’ll absolutely love it!
Cooking tips for Eomuk Tang:
We’re going to use 2L (~8.5 cups) of water – this will make plenty of broth, in case you want to cook a packet of udon noodles in the leftover broth.
Use 2 Anchovy-Kelp Broth Packets (not 1) - we want a deep-tasting broth!
Use a mix of fishcakes - the more shapes, the better!
Start with a package of the rectangular fishcakes sheets, then add a package of assorted fish balls.
Using Korean radish – known as “mu” (무) in Korean – is a must for the broth. It adds that refreshing flavor.
In the fishcake packages, the manufacturers will often include a small packet of Tsuyu Sauce. It's fine for a 1-person portion, but it won’t be enough for flavoring 2L of broth.
But if want to use it, I would recommend the following ratio for seasoning our 2L of broth: Tsuyu Broth Seasoning (2T) + Korean Anchovy Fish Sauce (2T) + Minced Garlic (1T) + Mirim or Soju (2T)
For our version, we’ll skip those packets and build from scratch:
Start with 2T of Mirin - this will remove any faint fishy flavors or smells in the broth.
Then, we’ll season with Soy Sauce (2T), Korean Anchovy Fish Sauce (2T) and Minced Garlic (1T).
(Note: If you don’t have Korean Anchovy Fish Sauce, other fish sauces should be fine.)
After seasoning, give the broth a few minutes to simmer - so the smell from the anchovy fish sauce can cook-off…
It’s best to serve this eomuk stew in hot-pot.
Place in the middle of your dining table, on a small gas burner and let it gently simmer away
(Btw, here’s the shabu shabu pot we love – it’s the 24cm sized one).
Finally, if the broth reduces too much and tastes overly salty, simply add in a few dashes of water!
Alright ya’ll – grab some soju (or makgeolli) from the refrigerator and have a nice dinner with a partner or loved one!
Neighbors - one thing.
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And if you're cooking alone tonight, no worries! Listen to our latest podcast as you prep 😀
- 2 Bags Assorted Korean Fishcake (Eomuk)
- 2L Water (~8.5 Cups)
- 2 Anchovy-Kelp Broth Bags (Or use 20 dried anchovies + hand-sized piece of dried kelp)
- ¼ a whole Korean Radish (Cut into 2 large sections)
- 1 whole Onion
- 2 pieces of Spring Onion Stalk (each, the length of your forearm)
- 2 Whole Cheongyang Chili Peppers (Optional)
Eomuk Broth Seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons Mirin
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Korean Anchovy Fish Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
Eomuk Dipping Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Water
- Few shakes Sesame Seeds
- Small handful Chopped Scallions (or Spring Onions)
- Few shakes Gochugaru (optional, if you want some spice)
Start Eomuk Broth
- Take out a large pot. Add in water (2L). Then add in 2 Anchovy-Kelp Broth Packets. Then cut-off 2 large sections of Korean Radish (~¼ the whole radish). Then cut 1 onion in half. Then set-aside 2 pieces of spring onion stalk (each, forearm-length sized - use both white & green). Then cut 2 Cheongyang Chili Peppers in half (optional). Add all of these ingredients into your pot and bring it up to a boil.
- Once the pot is boiling - place lid on. Reduce the heat to a medium-low and set a timer for 40 minutes.
- 15 minutes into boiling, remove the anchovy-kelp broth packets. Also remove the spring onion stalks. Allow the rest to continue simmering together until time is up. In the meanwhile, continue to next steps...
Make Eomuk Skewers
- Fold the rectangle eomuk sheets (the "hot-dog" way) - two times. Then fold the piece into 3 waves (reference video).
- Stick a skewer through it.
- Repeat the process for however many skewers you want. Make skewers that include a variety of shapes & colors to make it even more appetizing!
- Place the finished skewers into a shabu-shabu pot (or any separate pot).
- After a total of 40 minutes, check on the broth. Open lid and check if the Korean radish has turned soft. Place a chopstick through it - it should go through easily.
- If so, the broth is ready. Remove and discard everything from the broth except for the radish.
- Then carefully take out the radish piece and let it cool down on a cutting board - it's too hot to cut now
Season & Finish Broth
- While its cooling down, let's season the broth. Start by adding Mirin (2 Tablespoon). Then add in Soy Sauce (2 Tablespoon), Korean Anchovy Fish Sauce (2 Tablespoon) and Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon).
- Afterwards, let the broth simmer away for a few minutes - so the fish sauce can cook away.
- Next, go back to the boiled radish. Slice the radish chunks into thin rectangular pieces. Then add the pieces back into the broth. The broth is now ready!
- When you're ready to dine, pour the broth into the pot with the skewers. Place the pot on a gentle simmer and let the skewers cook away in the broth for a few minutes.
- Now... pour yourself and your partner some soju (or makgeolli) - and enjoy!! Bon Appetit!
- If you're still hungry afterwards, cook some udon noodles (or pho noodles) in the broth.
- Note: If the broth reduces too much and starts to taste too salty, simply add in a few dashes of water!