Korean Odeng - Classic Lunchbox Banchan!
The Korean word for fishcake is Eomuk (어묵). But many – including myself – grew up calling it Odeng – which comes from the Japanese word “odeng”.
(History note: Korea was colonized by Japan from 1910 to 1945 - and Koreans were forced to learn Japanese during this period.)
As a result, many Japanese-based words are still integrated in colloquial Korean
Back to the recipe! So why is Odeng loved so much? It’s tasty, cheap and perfect as a filler ingredient.
If you visit Seoul, you’ll see street carts that sell Tteokbokki, Sundae and Skewered Odeng (Eomuk). One skewer typically goes for 500 won ($0.50).
The best part about eating this is the broth that the skewers simmer in. At the street carts, you can pour yourself a cup (self-service).
It’s salty, savory and especially good on cold days!
When it comes to Korean homecooking, eomuk is typically stir-fried into a savory banchan.
Today, I will teach you a simple recipe that's delicious and easy to make:
Before we start, what is Korean Odeng (Eomuk) made of?
It’s typically, a mix of alaskan pollock, cod, tilapia, and others depending on the region and season.
The leftover pieces from these fishes are grounded into a paste and mixed with flour.
Then finely-chopped carrots, onion, salt, sugar and other ingredients are mixed into the thick and sticky paste.
The paste is rolled, shaped and cut into various shapes (sheets, balls and ovals). Then deep-fried for a few minutes.
You can think of it as the sausage of the sea!
This Stir-fried Odeng banchan is very popular as a simple banchan. You’ll see it included in meals at school cafeterias, restaurants and convenience-store dosirak lunch boxes.
Add some water into the frying pan after you stir-fry the pieces – it will create steam which helps to tenderize and soften the fishcake pieces.
Don't forget that slight touch of sweetness – add-in a scoop of honey (1 Tablespoon).
When purchasing Korean fish cakes, we recommend Busan-based brands. Busan is a port city that is famous for its fresh seafood products.
If you make it home, give us a tag on IG! We love seeing flipping through your pics in the morning!
Much love to you from Korea. Daniel out! 🕺
P.s. If you're cooking (or eating alone) at home - don't get too lonely! Play our latest discussions in the background and enjoy some food-for-thought 🙉:
- Odeng - 250 grams
- Onion - ½ a whole
- Carrot - ⅓ a whole
- Spring Onion - 1 stalk
- Minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- Water - ¼ cup
- Soy sauce - 2 Tablespoon
- Honey - 1 Tablespoon
- Mirin - 1 Teaspoon
- Sesame seeds - garnish
- Cut odeng into 1 inch rectangles. Cut carrots into small half-circles pieces. Cut onion and spring onions into thin strips.
- Put frying pan on a medium heat. Once it is hot, place minced garlic in. Stir garlic in the oil. Then place in the odeng pieces. Stir odeng around for a few minutes until it gets a light browning on the edges.
- Then add in the water. Stir around until most of the water has evaporated.
- Then add in the soy sauce, mirin and honey. Mix it all around together.
- Then add in carrots and onions and give another mix.
- Turn off the heat and add spring onions. Garnish with sesame seeds.
- Watch video below for details