Odeng | The History and Crafting the Savory Korean Delicacy

As one delves into the rich tapestry of Korean street food, Odeng stands out as a beloved and flavorful delicacy enjoyed by locals and food enthusiasts alike. This fish cake skewer has a fascinating history that adds an extra layer of flavor to its delectable taste. Join us as we explore the origins of Odeng and learn how to recreate this iconic Korean dish in your own kitchen.

A Glimpse into Odeng’s History

Odeng, also known as Eomuk or Oden, has deep roots in Korean culinary traditions. Its history dates back to the late Joseon Dynasty, and it was initially influenced by Japanese fish cake dishes. Over time, Odeng has become an integral part of Korean street food culture, with vendors offering it on skewers accompanied by a steaming cup of savory broth. The dish has evolved, adapting to regional preferences and becoming a staple in Korean cuisine.

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Key Ingredients

The allure of Odeng lies in its simplicity and the combination of flavors in its fish cake base. To make Odeng at home, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of white fish fillets (such as pollack or cod)
  • 1 cup of potato starch or sweet potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 cups of water
  • Skewers for threading the fish cakes
  • Optional: radish slices and green onions for garnish

Step-by-Step Preparation

  1. Cut the fish fillets into small pieces and place them in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, and black pepper to the fish. Blend until you get a smooth fish paste.
  3. Transfer the fish paste to a mixing bowl and gradually add potato starch while stirring. Continue until the mixture achieves a sticky and firm consistency.
  4. Wet your hands and shape the fish paste into cylindrical forms, resembling sausages or skewers.
  5. Boil water in a pot and gently poach the fish cakes for about 5-7 minutes or until they float to the surface.
  6. Thread the fish cakes onto skewers for the classic Odeng presentation.
  7. Serve with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and a touch of sugar. Garnish with radish slices and green onions if desired.

Serving Suggestions

Odeng is often enjoyed on its own as a flavorful street snack, but it can also be served in a warming broth, elevating its comforting qualities. The skewered fish cakes can be paired with a variety of dipping sauces, allowing you to customize the flavor profile to your liking.

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Whether you’re savoring the historical significance of Odeng or crafting this savory Korean delight in your own kitchen, the journey promises a culinary experience rich in tradition and flavor. Share the joy of Odeng with friends and family, and immerse yourself in the vibrant world of Korean street food.

Explore more Korean culinary wonders and recipes at reputable food portals like Maangchi.