Tuesday, May 6, 2014

myulchi bokkeum - korean stir-fried anchovies

I have to say, this was all my friend, Sharron's, "fault".

She made these Korean anchovies, and posted a picture of it. I saw the picture, and I started salivating.

You see, I have a weakness for ikan bilis (anchovies) and chili. Previously, I bought ready-made myulchi bokkeum from a Korean specialty shop, but both my mother and I were disappointed because the anchovies were no longer fresh and they also were quite "fishy".

So, as you can see, when I realised I could actually make these at home, my heart sort of skipped a beat.

Not only can you make this popular Korean side dish at home, it is really easy to do so too!

I started by toasting sesame seeds in a dry pan. I added more sesame seeds because I like them a lot. Sesame seeds burn easily so keep them moving in the pan.

Once the seeds were slightly brown, I transferred them into a bowl.

In the same pan, I added the anchovies. I used a spatula to stir them around for a minute or so.

I added some canola oil and continued stirring the anchovies around for another minute. I then transferred the anchovies to another bowl.

In a small bowl, I added gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), sugar, minced garlic, honey (you can also use corn syrup) and water. Using a spoon, I mixed this.

This was placed into the pan. I cooked this on low heat until the sauce had thickened, about 2 minutes.

And returned the anchovies back to the pan. I turned off the heat and stirred to mix. I also added a little sesame oil.

Finally, I added the sesame seeds.

And stirred until everything was well-mixed.

There you have it. A yummy Korean side dish that you can eat with just some plain rice.

I made 8 portions of this in 2 days, both for myself and to give to my family and friends. Does this not tell you how yummy this is?

Myulchi Bokkeum (Korean Stir-fried Anchovies) (Makes about 2 cups)
Adapted from Maangchi

1 cup (about 55g) dried anchovies
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1/2 tablespoon honey or corn syrup
4 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds - I used 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. Pan-fry sesame seeds in a heated pan for about a minute, until they turned light brown. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl. 
2. Stir the dried anchovies in a the same pan for a minute.
3. Add the oil and stir for another minute. Transfer anchovies to a bowl.
4. Mix the gochujang, brown sugar, minced garlic, water, honey (or corn syrup) in a bowl and pour into the pan.
5. Simmer until the sauce has thickened a little and looks shiny.
6. Return anchovies back to the pan, turn the heat off. Mix.
7. Add sesame oil and sesame seeds. Toss and mix well.
Note: Can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 14 days. 


  1. Oh yum.. I love anchovies. Added to pinterest! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love anchovies too. Got to make this soon too. Thanks Diana.

  3. Looks so good! I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing!