Korean Pan-fried Fish (saeng sun jun / 생선전) #SundaySupper

#SundaySupper is a group of bloggers who are on a mission to bring back sunday supper around the family table in every home. This special Back to School #SundaySupper will focus on fast weeknight meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

Days are long and frenetic with work, school, and extracurricular activities. My kids are still in preschool and I’m bracing myself for even crazier schedules within the next few years. Regardless, 4 o’clock seems to be the critical hour. It’s a race to cook and get something on the table before the kids hit their tired/hungry wall because once they hit that wall, there is no turning back. It’s meltdown city and…the kids are not having fun either. My priority has been to give the kids something home cooked and healthy on the table even if it zaps my last joule of energy. Admittedly, some days are more difficult than others.

Here are a few tips I’ve picked up in the last couple of years. Please share any meal time tips that have proved invaluable to you.

1 – Plan your meals for the week.

I thought there was a science to planning meals, but lo and behold there is no formula or equation. You just sit your arse down with your preferred writing medium and figure out what you’re going to make for the week! Select your recipes, make your shopping list and just do it. Believe me, the weeks that I do it (hey, I’m only human), it makes life so much easier.

2 – Reserve a couple of Sundays a month to just cook your brains out.

Plan for it and commit. Cook like the apocalypse is coming down upon you. What do you cook? Your favorite soups, sauces, meatballs, dumplings, etc. Whatever dishes that you can make ahead of time that freeze well or dishes that you will have later in the week.

3 – Don’t experiment during the week.

If you have at least one child who is not the adventurous type, you need to have a few good dishes in your arsenal to ensure happy times at the dinner table.

During the week is not the time to go crazy and experiment. Believe me, I have done it a couple of times and have sorely regretted it. The weekends are the best time for me to try a new recipe, sit back and see how the kids like it. I have about 7 or so dishes that I fall back on, and if I can make them ahead of time, then all the better.

4 – Yummy, Yucky, or Kinda Yummy, Kinda Yucky.

Oh wait, your kid(s) sees a new dish that doesn’t look remotely like buttered penne? I love this game that Sustainable Dad came up with to get his kids to try new foods, AND it amazingly works with my kids!

5 – Did you have an especially rough day?

Go ahead, have a glass of vino.

Here’s a recipe that I fall back on when I need something in less than 30 minutes. It looks like it would take forever, but it’s pretty fast and easy. I pick up some fresh cod on the way home and I’m good to go since the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples. This dish also freezes well so you can make a batch and freeze some for later. Just make sure the pieces are cooled before you seal it in a freezer-friendly bag.

Pan-fried fish or saeng sun jun

Serves 2 hungry toddlers and 2 adults.

1 pound cod (hake is a good substitute)
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
cooking oil

1 – Slice the cod, across the grain, in 1/4-inch slices.

2 – Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

3 – Prepare a shallow bowl or pie tin of flour. Prepare a separate bowl for the eggs.

4 – Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil.

5 – Dredge each slice of cod with flour. Then coat with the egg mixture and place into the skillet. Repeat until the skillet is full but not crowded. Cook until golden brown.

6 – Flip each piece and cook until browned.

7 – Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 until all the fish is cooked.

8 – Set aside on a platter. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. We like just plain ketchup or a soy sauce/vinegar sauce which is made up of equal parts soy sauce and white vinegar.

I usually accompany this dish with steamed brown or white rice and a side of roasted broccoli or oi muchin (seasoned cucumber) as shown in the first photo.


You are not going to believe the quick and easy Back to School Meals that the #SundaySupper team has put together for you this week. Just look at what they have made!

Can you believe that line up of recipes? What a fabulous list of meals we have and like I said, I can meal plan for weeks!

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day today. We’ll also be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST tonight for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk more in depth about Back to School Meals and ways to make meal time easier with tips & tricks to help you out! If you’re a busy parent, you don’t want to miss this!

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat! We’ll be sharing great recipes and tips all afternoon, and we’ll be talking all things Back to School Meals during our live chat!

We’d also love to feature your Back to School Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!


  • http://twitter.com/reneedobbs Renee Dobbs

    This is a perfect dish to make for my husband. He prefers fried fish but I do not care to make it deep fried like he usually wants. Your pan-fry is just the right thing. Thanks!

    • kimchi_mom

      And less of a clean up than deep frying! I hope you give this recipe a try!

  • http://twitter.com/MrsMeltaway Pam

    This looks delicious! My son LOVES fish and rice, he would be all over this for dinner!

    • kimchi_mom

      Yes, this fish and rice is a pretty good combo. I hope you give it a try this school year!

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  • diabeticFoodie

    So simple and sounds delicious! We cooked fresh tuna for our young nephews once and my husband came up with a great game to get them to try it. We prepared a bunch of different sauces and they had to pick which sauce they liked best with the tuna. So, they had to eat as many bites as there were sauces.

    • kimchi_mom

      That is genius! I love that idea. I’m going to try that next time with some veggies. Thanks for the tip!

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  • http://twitter.com/JuanitasCocina Juanita’s Cocina

    Love that pic of the hand coming across and grabbing that fish! That’s what I’d be doing!

    • kimchi_mom

      Yes, my daughter is an aspiring hand model! 😉

      And utensils are definitely optional with this dish. Thanks for stopping by Jen!

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  • Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife

    yum! that looks so good! and I love the tray!!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Angie! My son prefers his food compartmentalized. :-)

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  • http://twitter.com/supperforasteal Lane R

    Mmm love fried fish. Perfect!

  • http://twitter.com/HomeCookMemory Brandie

    I just love how simple this is, but I know my kids would love it (well, all but one, who doesn’t eat fish). And your tips are great…the 1st one is the most important one I think: meal planning. I know if I plan our meals, things always go much more smoothly.

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks for stopping by Brandie. Simple is always good in our household especially during the week. One of my goals this year is to discipline myself to sit down EVERY weekend to plan out my meals. I get motivated in spurts, but I’m going to try to be more consistent!

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  • Sarah

    Thanks for all the great tips Amy. What a healthy dinner and it’s kind of like fish sticks! Is that japgokbap?

    • kimchi_mom

      Hi Sarah! Nope, it’s just plain short grain brown rice from the bulk food section at Whole Foods! Is japgokbap the Korean “multi-grain” rice?

  • http://www.webicurean.com/ Webicurean

    Not only does dinner look good, you’ve got a lot of great life tips there too!

    • kimchi_mom

      Life tips? Wow, thanks! :-)

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes

    Wonderful, simple meal!

  • http://profiles.google.com/lizzy.do Lizzy Do

    YUM! Your cod looks so crispy and delicious!!! I’d love this for dinner and am glad to know it’s so speedy to prepare :)

    • kimchi_mom

      Give it a try. So glad that there are enough recipes this #sundaysupper to try each week this school year! Thanks for stopping by!

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  • http://MrsMamaHen.com/ Conni

    Yum!!!!! Looks wonderful and crispy :) Live the pic of the little hand reaching for the fish :)

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Conni! My kdis are used to “modeling” for my food shots. :-) They love it!

  • http://twitter.com/familyspice Laura | Family Spice

    Oh, I experiment during the week and yes it’s added stress! But my kids are getting used to my experimenting!

    • kimchi_mom

      That’s awesome…whatever works for you! I can’t handle the added stress! :-)

  • http://www.girlichef.com Heather @girlichef.com

    LOL, such fun tips! And that fish looks wonderful – it would be a real pleaser, especially to my boys who love white fish of any sort :)

    • kimchi_mom

      My favorite is tip #5! :-) I hope you give the recipe a try!

      • http://www.girlichef.com Heather @girlichef.com

        Yes, that is probably my favorite, as well 😉

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  • bj

    hey kimchi mom – liked this article a lot – I have to admit that I love planning our meals week by week. It really does work ! and thanks for the list of back to school meals…I think this will be really useful this year.

    • kimchi_mom

      HI BJ! I hope I can become more consistent with my planning. What are some of your go-to meals?

  • http://twitter.com/gottagetbaked Nancy

    Amy, this is a gorgeous dish! That fish is pan-fried to perfection – I love that golden, crispy crust. Honestly, I don’t know how you mums do it all – I can barely keep it together just to feed me ‘n the Husband, much less keeping the apartment clean in the meantime and getting enough sleep and making time for exercise…whew! The tips you posted are invaluable. And thank you so much for the lovely words you left on my post. I’m so glad we’ve found each other through our Sunday Supper group!

  • Debra Ann Elliott

    Thanks so much for stopping by…looks yummy.

  • Family Foodie

    Amy, Love your tips and love that fish! I am a big fish lover and am looking forward to trying this delicious recipe! Thank you for sharing during #SundaySupper

  • Tara

    That looks so good, I love, love, love Korean food!!

  • http://twitter.com/wallet_appetite Laura Hunter

    This would defenitly go down well in my house. Thanks for sharing it. And I love the tips you gave for meal planning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.kerschner Cindy Kerschner

    Great ideas Amy!

  • Erin Sellin

    Fish is one of my families favorite, I will have to try this recipe soon!

  • Alaiyo Kiasi

    I really like your post, especially the comment about cooking “like the apocalypse is upon you.” Cooking in large quantities for later is something that I keep planning to try, and I know it’s a good idea. I’m plan to try the fish recipe. I think my family would love it!

    • kimchi_mom

      perhaps a slight exaggeration, but some Sundays I am cooking like crazy which, ironically, are my most relaxing days!

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  • Laura Campbell

    This sounds wonderful Amy. We have a Korean restaurant in Perth city that I love going to but I’ve never attempted to make any Korean dishes at home. I think I should venture out and try this though, it looks incredible! I love all of the tips that you’ve added to this post about planning dinners. I definitely think that it’s a great idea, to ensure that budget, time and nutrition are optimised! Thanks so much