Vegan Spicy Eomuk Bokkeum, Korean fish cake side dish vegan version!
Eomuk bokkeum is a Korean fish cake side dish. It is a super typical side dish that you will see in almost every Korean restaurant. It’s soft, tender, savory, and sweet that kids to adults love it. This side dish is so typical in Korea because of how cheap and easy it to make. Of course, super yummy and delicious with rice too. It is one of Jacob’s absolute favorite side dishes from Korea. When we both went plant-based, he missed eomuk bokkeum a lot when we’re eating Korean meals. So I wanted to come up with a great recipe that can satisfy Jacob’s craving.
The main ingredient for eomuk bokkeum is fishcake. Eomuk means fishcake in Korean. I’m making spicy eomuk bokkeum today but you can omit the spicy part and make it sweet & savory. I was thinking about how I can substitute the texture and taste of eomuk with plant-based ingredients? The answer was pop into my head one day, tofu sheet! I eat and use tofu sheets very often. Even before I was plant-based, it is one of my favorite ingredients! If you are looking for a low-carb noodle option, tofu sheets will be an excellent option for you!
Tofu sheet and one of Korean fishcake type have quite a pretty similar look and texture, so I tried one day. Guess what? It was bombdiggity!! It was SO GOOD, and I couldn’t!! I’m super excited to share this vegan version of eomuk bokkeum with you, hope you try it soon at home!
Let’s get started!
Slice 1 large onion into 1/2″ wide.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp cooking oil (I used coconut oil. Avocado oil is also great.) and swirl to coat. Add sliced onion, stir fry for 1 minute.
Meanwhile, chop 4 cloves of garlic. Add chopped garlic and stir fry for 2 more minutes.
The tofu sheet is what it sounds like. It’s made with soybean, as will make tofu. The only different thing is it shaped as a thin layer of sheets. So many recipes you can make with tofu sheets. It’s endless!
You can find tofu sheets from your local Asian grocery stores in the refrigerator or freezer section. I personally like this brand but the blue color package. This red one has Chinese five spices in it and didn’t go perfectly with a Korean flavor. So when you’re getting tofu sheets, make sure you get plain one for this recipe!
I’m going to use the whole package, about 18 oz. Slice tofu sheets into 3″ long 1/2″ inch side. Separate them before adding them to the pan.
Add sliced tofu sheets and stir fry for 3 minutes.
Now, add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce, 2 tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup) and 2 tbsp gochugaru. Mix everything together until it’s all evenly coated with the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Slice 2 green onions diagnal angle. I used Korean large green onion “Dae-pa”. Add green onion, cook for 1 more minute so green onion will soften. Turn off heat and add sesame oil and sesame seeds.
You can enjoy it with a warm bowl of rice while it’s hot or even when it’s cold! Place this vegan eomuk bokkeum in an airtight container and keep it in a refrigerator, it will last 7 days. Enjoy!
- 2 tbsp coconut or any cooking oil
- 1 medium-size onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 18 oz tofu sheet, cut into 3” long and 1/2” wide
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp agave nectar, maple syrup, or raw sugar
- 2 tbsp gochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add sliced onion, stir fry for 1 minute. Add chopped garlic and stir fry for 2 more minutes. Add tofu sheet and stir fry for 3 minutes. Make sure tofu sheet is all separated.
- Now, add soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, agave nectar, and gochugaru. Mix everything together until it’s all evenly coated, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add green onion, cook for 1 more minute so green onion will soften. Turn off heat and add sesame oil and sesame seeds. You can enjoy it with a warm bowl of rice while it’s hot or even when it’s cold! Place this vegan eomuk bokkeum in an airtight container and keep it in a refrigerator, it will last 7 days. Enjoy!