Saeng Sun Jun: Korean Pan-Fried Fish

Saeng Sun Jun: Korean Pan-Fried Fish

The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
275 Calories
14g Fat
5g Carbs
31g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 275
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 200mg 67%
Sodium 1108mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 652mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A pan-fried battered white fish is a universal dish, and this recipe from Korea is a simple and delicious rendition. Whitefish fillets are first coated in flour and then in beaten egg; the fish is fried in a bit of oil until lightly golden and crispy. The thin coating of egg and flour make it easy to prepare, and the small pieces of fish make it easy to eat.

This fish is wonderful with a basic or spicy dipping sauce, drizzled with a combination of rice vinegar and soy sauce, or you can eat the fish just on its own (even with a squeeze of lemon). Serve with steamed rice and a variety of banchan, Korean side dishes, such as spicy Korean coleslaw and Korean pickled cucumber.


  • 1 pound white fish fillets, rinsed and patted dry

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • Vegetable oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Saeng Sun Jun: Korean Pan-Fried Fish ingredients

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  2. Cut the fish diagonally with the grain so the pieces are about 1/2 inch thick. Salt and pepper the fish on all sides.

    cut the fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  3. Beat eggs with any remaining salt in a bowl.

    beat the eggs in the bowl

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  4. Put flour in a shallow bowl or dish next to the egg.

    egg mixture in a bowl, flour mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  5. Heat up a pan with a few teaspoons of oil over medium heat.

    oil in a pan

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  6. Dip each fish piece into flour to coat; then dip into egg mixture and place immediately in the frying pan.

    fish frying in a pan

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  7. Fry fish until the coating turns golden-yellow, 1 to 3 minutes on each side. (Try not to overcook, as the fish will become dry.) Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve hot.

    Saeng Sun Jun: Korean Pan-Fried Fish on a plate

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo


  • If you find the fish too salty, you can decrease the amount of salt in the recipe to 1 to 2 teaspoons.
  • Almost any white fish works well in this recipe. The best option is a fresh fish with delicate white flesh like flounder, cod, pollack, sea perch, halibut, orange roughy, and yellow croaker, but even frozen fish tastes good cooked this way.
  • When frying the fish, make sure not to crowd the pan; if there are too many pieces the temperature of the oil will drop and the fish won't crisp up properly.
  • Make sure to drain the fried fish on paper towel to absorb any excess oil; you don't want to serve greasy saeng sun jun.

Recipe Variations

  • The term saeng sun means "fish" and jun means "anything fried," so it is quite a generic recipe name for quite a simple dish. As with any basic recipe, there is always room for additional flavors and textures. A common ingredient you may find in saeng sun jun is scallion; the green onion is chopped and combined with the beaten egg and salt. It brings a bit of color to the finished dish and a nice added flavor. You can also include some minced garlic or spicy chile for added depth and heat.

Recipe Tags: