Korean spicy pan-fried anchovies is a slightly spicy, salty and sweet Korean side dish for homes. It’s very quick to make and a common staple in many Korean lunch boxes and dinner tables.
This is another one of grandma actress Kim Soo-Mi’s creations on her Soo-mi’s Side Dishes TV show. It’s very simple to make and will definitely not take more than 10 minutes start to finish. You just need lightly pan-fry (stir fry) the anchovies, mix in the sauce, and done! This is great as a side dish but also great to make rice balls or triangle rice balls (onigiri).
Korean Dried Anchovies
Dried anchovies come in several sizes. The very large ones often indicate that they are for soup base, “국물용”. You could gut take the heads off and gut them before using to have a meatier anchovy side dish but most often these are only used for making soup stock. The medium and small sizes are most commonly used for banchan and will note on the bag that they are for stir-fry “볶음용”.
For this recipe, I used the smallest, tiny anchovies that are called jiri myulchi. This is actually the only size I can personally enjoy. (The bigger ones scare me a bit when I make eye contact with them!!!)
How to make Triangle Rice Balls
2 triangle rice balls (1 serving)
- 1 cup cooked rice (200 g)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 Tbsp per rice call of spicy anchovy (Total of 2-4 Tbsp)
- 1 sheet of large gim (seaweed paper)
- Make the spicy anchovy side dish! (recipe below in recipe box)
- In a medium sized bowl, Mix in the sesame oil, rice vinegar and salt into the rice.
- Spoon a slightly larger portion of ¼ (60 g) of the rice onto the wrap. Spoon about 1-2 Tbsp of the anchovy side dish in to the middle part of the rice. Top with ¼ (40 g) of rice on top of the anchovy. Put the rice ball on to your palm and press the top part down. Shape the rice into a triangle.
- Optional: If you use saran wrap (sorry it’s plastic) to put the rice ball on – it will make shaping easier so that the rice doesn’t stick to your hands. Not great for the environment though.
Mae-un Myulchi Bokkeum (Korean Spicy Stir-fried Anchovies)
- 55 g dried small myulchi jiri anchovy 지리멸치 about 1 cup
- 1 green pepper chopped *Optional
- 1 Tbsp gochujang red pepper paste
- 1 tsp gochugaru red pepper flakes
- 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp maesil
- 1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp honey* *Depends on the preferred sweetness. I found 1 Tbsp good for us but often it is a bit sweeter at restaurants.
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Mix the sauce together. Set aside.
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat with 1 Tbsp oil and lightly saute the dried anchovies until fragrant and slightly crispy(a few minutes). This will help bring out the deep anchovy flavor and also get rid of any freezer flavors that might be present if the anchovies were stored in the freezer.
- Lower heat to medium-low heat and add the sauce into the frying pan. Mix well with the anchovy so there are no clumps of sauce. (*Add in the chopped peppers if using). Continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat off. Drizzle in the honey and mix well. Add in the same oil and mix well again. Top with sesame seeds.