The Best Recipe for Korean Anchovies (Myulchi Bokum)

Fried Anchovies
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  • Total: 13 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings as a side dish
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
45 Calories
3g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings as a side dish
Amount per serving
Calories 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 263mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 13mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Side dishes play an important role in Korean cuisine, and this recipe for Korean anchovies is no exception. As with other Korean sides, you can serve this dish as an appetizer, a side dish or as part of a main dish. In Korean, this anchovy dish is known as myulchi bokum, or alternatively myeolchi bokkeum. This meal is easy, satisfying and nutritious.

Anchovies have a lot of health benefits. Specifically, they have Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium and many other nutrients. Anchovies are said to help boost one's heart health and bone health. So, when you eat anchovies, with this dish or on another, know that you're not only eating something delicious but food with potential healing properties.

That being said, anchovies aren't everyone's cup of tea, especially in the United States. While some ethnic groups in America have a particular fondness for the food, anchovies aren't universally loved in the States. Since they are not a "mainstream" food, some people have a genuine distaste for anchovies, so if you're planning to serve the dish to dinner guests, you might want to ask them about their like or dislike of anchovies.

And you might want to assure your guests that this dish, full of crunch and calcium, tastes a lot better than it looks.


  • 2 cups of dried small anchovies
  • 1 tbsp. of cooking oil
  • 1 green chili pepper, sliced into rounds or strips (optional)
  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of  honey
  • 1 tsp. of toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. of mirin (cooking rice wine)
  • 1 tsp. of sesame oil

Steps to Make It

  1. To begin making the dish, saute the anchovies and peppers (if using) in a lightly oiled pan for a few minutes and then turn off the heat. You can use cooking spray to coat the pan or even butter.

  2. After that, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a sauce pot and bring the contents to a low boil. If you have trouble finding any of the ingredients, such as mirin or sesame oil, you may need to visit a specialty grocery store. It can be a Korean or Asian grocer or an upscale supermarket such as Whole Foods with a wide variety of different products, including "ethnic" foods. If there's no such grocery store in your community, you can search for those items online and order them from a specialty retailer on the Internet.

  3. When you've combined all of the ingredients, immediately pour the sauce over the anchovies and saute for an additional few minutes. You'll know the dish is finished when the sauce is well distributed.You'll probably want to let the dish cool for a few minutes before serving. You can test taste the sauce to make sure it's not so hot that it will burn the roofs of your dinner guests' mouths or their tongues.


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