myulchi bokkeum – korean stir-fried anchovies

My friend 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.

NOTE: There is no need to wash the anchovies. The hot oil will kill off any bacteria. If you wish to wash the anchovies, please make sure you dry them thoroughly (until completely dry) before using.

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?

NOTE: These anchovies will not be crispy. If you want them to be crispy. cook them for a longer period of time before adding them to the sauce.


Myulchi Bokkeum | Korean Stir-fried Anchovies)
Yields 2
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  1. 1 cup (about 55g) dried anchovies
  2. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  3. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  5. 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  6. 1/2 tablespoon honey or corn syrup
  7. 4 teaspoon water
  8. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  9. 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.
  1. Can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 14 days.
Adapted from Maangchi
Adapted from Maangchi
The Domestic Goddess Wannabe