A super-easy Korean side dish
On Saturday my wife, mother and I went to Flushing, New York for my cousin’s borthday. My Uncle and two cousins took us into Koreatown to go shopping. The two things Miyoung jumped at were cucumber kimchi and odeng.
Actually Eomuk. The Hanareum Mart that we went to had plenty of girls and ajummas giving out free samples, and the girl doling out the Busan Eomuk and I had a passionate discussion about the difference between odeng and eomuk and the proper English term for it. ‘Is it fish paste?’ Her sign said ‘fish cake’, which I know isn’t technically correct but is much more appetizing. It seems to us that both fish paste and fish cake are misnomers, but what are the other options? Fish Roll-up? Fish sheets?
As you may well know, odeng is considered an import from Japan, while eomuk, associated most closely with Busan, is the ‘original Korean article’. I would say in general eomuk is somewhat softer and spongy than odeng, but otherwise tastes the same.
Anyway, today I’ve got a nice easy recipe for fried odeng/eomuk.
First get your nice sheets of odeng/eomuk.
Slice it into whatever shape you like, rinse and soak it in hot water to release some of the grease and delicious saturated fat.
Slice up a nice onion.
Get out your soy sauce. I recommend Korean ‘Jin’ Soy Sauce (진간장) You’ll need about a tablespoon.
Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the cut odeng/eomuk, the sliced onion, the soy sauce and about a tablespoon of sugar
Fry it up until it looks like this.
That’ll last you about three days if you’re Korean or, if you want to eat it American-ly, it won’t be enough for one meal.