In this easy side dish of stir-fried fish cakes and vegetables, fish cake sheets (odeng or eomuk) are cut into rectangular strips and sauteed with sliced vegetables, soy sauce and Korean cooking syrup, balancing the salty with an edge of sweetness. The simple set of ingredients (including the frozen fish cakes that thaw in under a minute) make it easy to throw together without advance preparation, which means the comfort of Korean banchan is always within arm’s reach. Odeng bokkeum is delicious eaten with rice, farro or whatever grain you’ve cooked for the week.
Prepare the vegetables: Thinly slice the onion and set aside in a bowl. Slice the carrot in half lengthwise, then thinly slice each half on the diagonal. Add the carrot pieces to the bowl of sliced onions. Cut the scallions into 1 1/2-inch pieces and set aside in a separate bowl.
Prepare the fish cakes: Run the fish cake sheets under warm running water just until they’re pliable, 10 to 20 seconds. Stack the sheets on top of each other and cut them down the middle lengthwise. Stack the two halves on top of each other and cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté the vegetables until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the fish cakes to the pan and sauté until softened slightly and warmed through, 5 more minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, then add the soy sauce and scallions. Sauté the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, to allow the fish cakes to absorb some of the soy sauce. Add the cooking syrup to the pan and saute the mixture, stirring, until evenly coated, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.
Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the sesame seeds until evenly distributed. Let the odeng bokkeum come to room temperature before serving. Stored in an airtight container, the dish will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.