Fish Cake Soup

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This past winter (while preparing for culinary school), I traveled to Korea for the second time. Korea has a tremendous amount of night markets as well as street food vendors. They serve a variety of traditional and non-traditional foods; the food that I absolutely love indulging in whilst wandering the streets of Hongdae is called “Eomuk (어묵)” or “fish cake.” Fish cakes are puréed fish paired with a variety of ingredients formed in different shapes and sizes. One common shape of fish cake is a flat version. Many Korean night stands tend to use this shape; the flat fish cake is formed with rectangle sheets of fish cake that are sliced into pieces, placed on a stick, and are then left soaking in a sardine and kelp based stock. After initial preparation they are then fried. Today I’ve decided to replicate this soup for my friends and I, street vendor style in honour of Korea and all of their delicious comfort foods. Below you’ll find my recipe for a party of 4.

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How much

  • 400 g

  • 600 g

  • 1 litre

  • 1/2 litre

  • 1/4

  • 2 Slices

  • 1

  • 5

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp

  • 1 Tbsp

  • 2

What's in it

  • Fish Cake (rectangle)

  • Fish Cake different shapes

  • Chicken Stock

  • Water

  • Small Daikon Radish

  • Ginger

  • Shallot

  • Thai Chilis (depending on how spicy you’d like it)

  • Soy Sauce Soup Base

  • Rice Wine

  • Garlic and Chilli Oil (optional)

  • Green Onions

Gadgets

  • Kitchen Knife

  • Pairing Knife

  • Cutting board

  • 1 Package Medium size skewers

  • Medium Size Pot

  • Wooden Spoon

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Advance Prep

  1. Collect all equipment.

  2. Clean and sanitize work space.

  3. Collect, cut and measure all ingredients.

  4. Wash fish cakes! They hold a significant amount of oil on the top layer.

  5. Slice your rectangle fish cake and other miscellaneous cakes and put them on skewers.

    Cooking

  6. Place pot over moderate heat.

  7. Immediately add chicken stock and water.

  8. Once you see it simmering add radish, ginger, shallot, chilli.

  9. When you see it starting to slightly boil add soup base soy sauce, rice wine, garlic chilli oil, and adjust as need be.

  10. When vegetables slightly soften add fish cake skewers.

  11. Top with green onions and allow it to rest for a couple minutes.

    Fin.

You can purchase fish cakes at your local Korean Market, Chinese market, fresh or frozen. You can also make these yourself. I purchased “fresh” fish cakes for todays recipe.

Instead of the classic sardine and kelp stock used with the famous fish cakes, I prepared chicken stock with the clarifying consommé method.

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This was the first time I made this dish; I envisioned the recipe and although I feel it came out great, there are some methods and ingredients that I would change in the future. I have come to learn (through this exercise) that I am still not confident and as knowledgeable as I'd like to be in this field; especially when it comes to stocks. I have made it my top priority to ensure that I completely understand it. Practice makes perfect, and although this stock was not my exact vision, it has shown me that I’m headed in the right direction. Testing my knowledge and culinary skills until I am able to use simple fundamentals to make each dish as close to perfection is possible is what I aim for. My boyfriend and some of our friends did enjoy the fish cake soup but they said it was a touch too salty. I did add salt to it initially, but left it out of the recipe as all the ingredients have a good quantity of sodium. I also feel that less green onions would have been more ideal. I’ve lowered the amount on the recipe so this doesn’t happen to you. Overall this has been a great experience, and I've always known that I need more work in the kitchen. I am prepared for the challenge and excited for what's ahead of me!