Easy to whip up and super accommodating to whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, this Korean sausage stir fry, aka sausage yachae bokkeum, is always a family favorite as a quick and easy meal for any time of the day.
Growing up, Korean sausage stir fry, went by many names. Sausage yachae bokkeum, sausage vegetable stir fry, sausage bokkeum, etc. It's a dish kids look forward to because it's fun and tasty. It's a stir fry dish that parents, busy adults, and even college students look forward to preparing because it's so easy and quick to make and also super forgiving. Moms and grandmas, especially, love this stir fry because you can clean out the fridge making this stir fry. A very versatile dish.
Kyong recently introduced me to this Korean sausage bokkeum during our one month period of moving, furniture shopping, and just hectic schedule, and I wondered just where was I to have missed out on such a yummy and nostalgic stir fry dish. We hope this recipe is one you can add to your back pocket recipe collection and also one that you enjoy because it's so fun and tasty!
The right sausages to use for a Korean style sausage stir fry
The traditional sausages to use for this Korean style sausage stir fry are the Korean style mini Vienna sausages. However, unless you're able to shop at a large Asian supermarket like H-Mart, it'll be unlikely for you to find Korean Vienna sausages. BUT the good news is that you can use almost any sausages from those classic canned Vienna sausages to smoked mini cocktail sausages from your local grocery store.
We've practically tried all of the substitutions and have yet to find one we didn't like. Occasionally, we'll already have andouille sausage or regular hotdogs leftover from making Korean sausage breads, and they were great mini sausage substitutes. Just cut the sausages or hotdogs into ¼ to ½ inch diagonal slices for stir frying. For the mini sausages, give each one a couple of shallow, diagonal cuts to prevent them from bursting during cooking and also tp keep them pretty.
What does Korean style Vienna sausages taste like?
The main differences between mini cocktail sausages like Hillshire Farm and Korean style Vienna sausages is the flavor and texture. The first difference that comes to mind is definitely the different smokey flavor from both mini sausages. Our average mini cocktail sausages usually have a mild, slightly sweet smoke that reminds me of applewood or hickory. The Korean Vienna sausages have a more pungent, pronounced smokiness, along the lines of cedar or oak.
Texture is the next major difference between the two mini sausages. Our classic cocktail sausages have finer ground meat (usually beef), is juicy, and a thin sausage casing. The Korean Vienna sausages are usually a coarser grind (usually pork), a bit drier and have a little thicker sausage casing, probably due to a stronger or longer smoke.
The versatility of this sausage stir fry
To most kids growing up eating sausage bokkeum, it's the meal they look forward because it's super yummy. But to the parents who prepare this stir fry, it's probably their back pocket, always to the rescue recipe because it's so easy, quick, and flexible to make.
Rather than following the sausage stir fry recipe to the "t," feel free swap our the onions and bell pepper for whatever vegetables you have available in your fridge. Common and popular vegetables to use are: cabbage, broccoli, squash and zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, and even kale. Just make sure to cook the vegetables in order of hardiness.
If you can't get your hands on Korean mini sausages, use whatever you [cooked] sausages or hotdog you have. Popular choices are: canned Vienna sausage, hotdog, andouille, and cocktail sausage. For the mini sausages, you can just give each a couple of shallow, diagonal slits, and for whole hotdogs and sausages, cut them into ¼ to ½ inch slices.
Korean fried fish cake (sheets)
Korean fried fish cakes, the sheet style, is an optional but definitely an amazing add-on to this sausage bokkeum. They add seafood umami that to the stir fry that helps elevate the dish. If you are using fried fish cake sheets, we recommend cutting the sheets into 2 inch squares. This way the fish cakes will be more management to eat and cook. Also, do remember that this is totally optional and can be omitted.
Don't overcook the vegetables!
With how flexible and forgiving this Korean sausage stir fry is, there is one thing that is an absolute must - not overcooking the veggies. The charm of this stir fry is having crispy, refreshing vegetables alongside every bite of mini sausage and fish cake. Plus, it provides the dish with color and fresh appearance. So make sure to cook the onion and bell pepper just until they are no longer raw and crunchy.
If you are substituting other vegetables for the onion and bell pepper, make sure to add them in order of longest cook time. For example, broccoli florets and cabbage are hardy, so those can be added and sautéd for a minute before you add kale or green onion. Sometimes, you can even blanch/ par boil hardier vegetables or cut them into smaller pieces to decrease the cook time.
Storing and reheating the sausage stir fry
If you are a busy bee or mom with a packed schedule, here's great news for you! This Korean sausage stir fry is great made ahead of time and reheat the next day. We love packing this for a quick easy lunch or use the leftover the next morning for breakfast.
To store the stir fry, let it completely cool at room temperature, then refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 1 week. For reheating, you can either microwave the sausage stir fry until thoroughly hot. Or, you can heat it up on the stovetop in a sauté pan over medium to medium high heat with a small amount of oil.
When you prepare this sausage stir fry for the next day, I do recommend undercooking the vegetables a little to accommodate for the reheating the next day. Also, I highly recommend storing it in heatproof airtight containers, such as glass pyrex, so that you can reheat or reuse the dish. Yay for less dishes!
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Korean Sausage Stir fry (Sausage Yachae Bokkeum)
- 8 ounce Korean style Vienna sausage , or your preferred mini sausages (about 24 pieces) *refer to the post above for more detail*
- 3 sheet Korean fried fishcake , cut into 2 inch squares
- ½ large yellow onion , peeled and thinly sliced
- 1½ large bell pepper , medium diced (any color)
- 4 stalk green onion , cut into 1 inch pieces (use only the green parts)
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil , or any neutral flavor oil
- 3 Tablespoon soy sauce (or 15 mL)
- 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar , or honey
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper , or to taste
- Gochugaru , to taste (optional for some heat)
- Sesame seed (optional for garnish)
- Give each sausage two shallow, diagonal slits. Set aside.
- In a sauté pan over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the prepared Korean style Vienna sausages and stir fry for about 2 minutes or until the diagonal slits open up and the sausages start to brown lightly and pop gently. Add the fishcake squares and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the thinly sliced onions and diced bell peppers. Toss and sauté the vegetables for about 1 minute.
- Next, add the soy sauce, sugar, and cracked black pepper. Continue to sauté for about 1-2 minutes, until everything is evenly seasoned and the soy sauce is almost all absorbed.
- Finish by adding the green onions and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy with steamed rice!
- This is great for making ahead of time and to eat as leftovers. Simply let it completely cool at room temperature and store it in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- To reheat, either microwave until heated through or heat it on the stovetop, in a pan with a small amount of oil, over medium/ medium high heat.
- Feel free to switch out the onion, bell pepper, and even the mini sausages for what you have at home. This sausage stir fry is known for its versatility and is meant to be cooked up quickly for any meal of the day. *Refer to the post above for more details and tips!*