Myulchi bokkeum (pan-fried anchovies) is crunchy salty but sweet staple Korean side dish for homes and restaurants. Make this one in just three minutes, maybe five!
What is myulchi bokkeum?
Myulchi bokkeum is a very standard Korean mit banchan (basic side dish). These side dishes are made to last and be enjoyed for a long time and so many home cooks make a large batch to eat for weeks. It can be enjoyed as a usual side dish with a warm bowl of rice for a meal, added into gimbap as an ingredient, or often even added into lunchboxes for school.
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!!!)
For this recipe!
Another one grandma actress Kim Soo-Mi’s creation on her soo-mi’s side dishes TV show. She just throws in the small anchovies onto a frypan, sautes it, throws in the sauces and calls it a day. Some recipes call for sauteing the anchovies, placing it aside; then reducing the sauce into a syrup and adding the anchovies back into the pan. This is simplified for Soo-Mi’s recipe and I don’t feel like anything is missing or lacking.
This myulchi bokkeum is also not as sweet as the other recipes I’ve tried. DrJuh actually really liked it the way it is. But if you like the salty but sweeter version, add about ½ tsp or 1 tsp more honey or rice syrup after you turn off the heat. Recipe below will note the optional step! Enjoy this quick and easy mitbanchan for weeks!
Myulchi Bokkeum (Korean Stir-fried Anchovies) - Soo-mi's Side Dishes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup (55 g) dried small myulchi jiri anchovy 지리멸치
- ¼ cup roasted pecans
- ½ large jalapeno sliced thinly
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 ½ tsp honey
- ¾ tsp sesame oil
- Prep the sauce. Add the soy sauce, honey and sesame oil into a small bowl and mix well.
- Heat a medium fry pan with about 1 Tbsp oil and lightly saute the garlic until golden. Toss in the dried anchovies and lightly saute for about 2 minutes. Add in the roasted pecans and toss evenly.
- Make room in the middle of the pan and pour the sauce into the middle. Then toss and mix over medium-low heat for about 1 minute. Add in the peppers and again, toss and mix for 1 more minute. It’s done!
- *optional step: If you enjoy your myuchi bokkeum on the slightly sweeter side, turn off the heat and add ½ - 1 tsp more of honey or rice syrup! Mix well.