Dried anchovies are an important dish in Korean cuisine, used mostly to make stocks for soups and stews. However, dried anchovies also makes a great side dish as well. We call it "myulchi bokkeumm (멸치볶음)"

There are two kinds of myulchi bokkeum. One with simple soy sauce, and the other with spicy sauce. I like my mulch bokkeum to be slightly spicy. This side dish is one of the most popular side dishes that you can see on the meal table if you visit any Korean household. It  also used to be #1 dish to pack for school lunch as I was growing up in Korea. Yes, we carried a rice lunch box. What else? haha~!

It is very simple to make and delicious and healthy. Dried anchovies are loaded with calcium and minerals, perfect for young children. Of course your young ones have to love the dried anchovies. They are not as bad or gross as you think. They taste good, not so fishy since they are in dried form.

You can use any size but the smaller, the better. Although I am using medium size of dried anchovies, since that is only kind I can get here, I recommend you use very tiny dried anchovies if possible. 

Also make sure you devein the anchovies. Or you can purchase dried anchovies that are already deveined and cleant.

Tip: If you buy a bulk of dried anchovies, store them in the freezer for longer storage.

First, toast dried anchovies in a bare skillet over med-low heat for 1-2 minutes. This will get rid of any fishy residue of dried anchovies that are stored in the freezer for some time.  Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine Korean chili paste, Korean chili flakes, soy sauce, garlic, water, rice wine, and honey.

Pour in a hot skillet and let it bubble for a few seconds.

Return the anchovies and toss them well to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds at last. If you like more nutty flavor, drizzle a little bit of sesame oil as you wish. 

Now you've got a national side dish of republic of Korea!

Serve with rice and other dishes if you like. I like to eat with roasted seaweed. One of my favorite combination!

I know anchovies are not for everyone. But dried anchovies are not as fishy as you would think. If you have never enjoyed anchovies, give yourself a shot at least 2-3 times. You will eventually acquire the flavor of it. 

If you happened to love the anchovies, what are you waiting for? Try soon!

~ Holly

Korean Dried Anchovies Side Dish

serves 4-8 as a side dish


  • 200g dried anchovies, smaller in size
  • 2 tablespoons Korean chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1-2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1-2 drops sesame oil, optional


  1. Toast the dried anchovies in a hot skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove the anchovies from a skillet and set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, combine Korean chili paste, Korean chili flakes, soy sauce, water, rice wine, and honey; mix well. Pour the sauce over a hot skillet and let it bubble for a few seconds. Return the anchovies to a skillet and toss well to coat with the sauce.
  3. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle sesame oil if you wish. Serve at room temperature. Keep the leftover in a fridge. They can last up to 3 weeks.

For more delicious Korean dishes, click the image below to get the recipes.

Easy Braised Tofu  Korean Jelly Salad  Korean Bachelor Kimchi


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