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Are Korean Fish Cakes Healthy?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Yes, Korean fish cakes are very healthy. It mainly consists of fish. Fish is good for your health, as it contains vitamins D and B12 and omega-3 fatty acids that can protect against cancer.

In Korea, fish cakes are extremely popular. You can find them at every street food corner or grocery store. Most of them have been frozen and are reheated in a frying pan or directly deep-fried.

They can be eaten as snacks, side dishes, or served with other dishes such as tteokbokki for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If you want to read more about Korean fishcakes, please keep reading.

How Often Should You Eat Korean Fish Cakes?

Korean fish cakes should be eaten 2 to 3 times a week at max. It is very rich in sodium, and we do not recommend eating them every day. If you have too much, your health will suffer from it because of the high amount of sodium.

In many countries, fish cakes also contain gluten, so it is better to avoid it if you are allergic or sensitive to gluten.

If you want to buy Korean fishcakes, it is better to buy fresh ones because they are healthier than frozen ones.

Make sure to drink lots of water if you’re going to eat a lot of fish cakes. It helps to digest the food.

Can You Eat Korean Fish Cakes Every Day?

Yes, Korean fish cakes can be eaten every day, but it’s not recommended because of the high amount of sodium and calories.

Glutamate is known to stimulate appetite, so be careful if you are planning on eating a lot of Korean fish cakes.

Generally speaking, people don’t eat fish cakes every day, but if you do, try to eat it 3 times a week at max. Eating too many fish cakes can be very bad for the stomach.

Korean Fish Cakes Served Hot or Cold?

Korean fish cakes can be served hot and cold, depending on your personal preference. The majority of people eat their fish cakes hot. It is popular to eat them with tteokbokki or soup from kimchi jjigae.

Tteokbokki, which literally translates into rice cake, is a Korean street food dish made of chewy rice cakes in a red and spicy chili sauce. It’s a very popular dish in Korea, and you can find it nearly anywhere.

Kimchi jjigae is a spicy stew made with kimchi, pork, fish cakes, tofu, and vegetables cooked in a broth. If you’re planning to cook it yourself, make sure to add green onions, fish paste, and whitefish to make it taste even better.

You can also steam the fish cakes and eat them with rice, but it doesn’t taste as good.

Instant Korean Fish Cakes vs. Homemade Fish Cakes

You can make instant Korean fish cakes at home with a few ingredients. If you want to buy them, it’s better to make them yourself and eat healthier ones without MSG.

If you’re going to make it at home, the best way is to cook it with tteokbokki. Make sure to add a little spice!

You can add other ingredients to fish cakes to make them taste better. Some people like to add onions or cilantro on top or sometimes even ketchup! Spicy things always improve the taste of food.

Here below, I’ve made a comparison of instant and homemade fish cakes.


The taste between homemade and instant is very different, but homemade tastes much better. With your own made fish cakes, and you know what goes into it. Instant fishcakes have MSG in them, so I would prefer homemade over instant fish cakes any day.

Homemade takes more time, but it’s healthier, and I would say it tastes better too. If you haven’t made any Korean fish cakes before, make sure to do so, it’s a fun experience.


Instant Korean fish cakes are already pre-flavored, which is why they taste different. Homemade Korean fishcakes can be flavored with scallions, garlic powder, and salt at your own preference.

There are many instant fish cake flavors that you can buy. My favorite one is hot pepper fish cakes, but you also have mild, sweet, and spicy ones.


Homemade Korean fish cakes have a really nice texture to them. They don’t look like they were made in a factory because they’re not perfectly shaped. You can also make the texture of the fish cake smoother by adding more starch.

Instant fish cakes have a very smooth and soft texture to them. They’re designed for mass production, so they look much nicer than homemade ones do.

Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of homemade fish cakes is much better than the instant kind because it has less sodium and more protein. You can also make it to your personal preference of flavor by adding your own ingredients.

Instant fish cakes in the picture below have a lot of sodium and sugar, which are unhealthy for you as well as MSG which is what I don’t like about them.


Instant fish cakes are way cheaper than homemade ones. If you have a craving for fish cakes but don’t want to spend too much money on them, go with the instant kind.

You can find Korean fishcakes in any Asian supermarket, but if you’re planning to make them yourself, it will cost more and also take more time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here below are frequently asked questions about Korean fish cakes.

Is Korean Fish Cake Actually Fish?

Yes, Korean fish cakes are made from tiny fish fillets mixed with onion, scallions, and eggs. People also add different kinds of seasoning and eventually deep fry it into square or round shapes.

What Are Korean Fish Cakes Made Of?

Korean fish cake is made of corvina or cuttlefish mixed with vegetables and starch, sometimes also fish paste, depending on the vendor. Most of the vendors add their homemade spice to give it a unique taste.

How Many Calories Is Korean Fish Cake?

On average, one pack of Korean fish cake contains about 100 calories. However, sometimes it can be more calories if you’re buying instant fish cakes from a street food vendor. It all depends on the recipe they use for their fish cakes, but most of the time, it’s about 100 calories per serving.


All in all, Korean fish cakes are inexpensive, delicious, and healthy for you. There are a lot of different ways to cook them so you don’t get bored with the taste. They’re also always cooked fresh in front of your eyes when you buy them from street vendors.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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