Myulchi Bokkeum (Stir-fried Anchovies)

These stir-fried anchovies are a popular side dish in Korea. If you remember from my Anchovy Stock for Korean Cooking post, dried anchovies (myulchi/myeolchi) are a staple in Korean kitchens. Medium to large anchovies are primarily used to make stock, and smaller ones are used to make a variety of side dishes. Because they are an excellent source of calcium, Korean moms encourage their kids to eat more anchovies. My kids didn’t favor them when they were little, but they both eventually acquired the taste. Now, these stir-fried anchovies are among the regular side dishes I prepare to bring with me when I visit them. The dried anchovies are first stir fried in a little bit of oil, and then mixed into a thickened sweet and savory sauce. Often, a small amount of gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)is added for a spicy kick, which I am showing here as well. Dried anchovies are naturally salty, so don’t over season them. These anchovies are sweet, savory, sticky and crunchy! What is there not to like?

1 cup small size mulchi (dried anchovies)
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
2 – 3 green chili peppers, cut into small pieces (optional)

Sweet and Savory:
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons corn syrup or honey
2 – 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Sweet and Spicy:
2 teaspoons gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons corn syrup or honey
2 – 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Heat a pan with the oil over medium heat. Add the anchovies and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Transfer to a plate.



Add the next 6 sauce ingredients (7 for the spicy one) to the pan. For the spicy version, stir the sauce well to dissolve the gochujang. Turn the heat back on. Boil the sauce over medium heat until it bubbles and slightly thickens, about 2 – 3 minutes.


Add the anchovies and the optional chili peppers to the pan. Stir well until the anchovies are coated well with the sauce. Stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds at the end.

Leave a Comment



  1. I like the spicy version. It looks very tasty! We have something similar but with added peanuts.
  2. Hi Hyosun,

    I've been a reader of your blog for a few weeks now and it is my new favorite. I am Canadian, and my husband is Korean/Canadian. I love to try out your recipes on him. So far, they are all easy and delicious. My 18 month old son especially loves the braised chicken. I have some dried anchovies in my pantry, can you tell me how long they last? I received them from my Korean mother in law for making doenjang jigae last summer.
    Also, I have my own recipe blog I would like to share some of my favorite recipes of yours on my site, will you be ok with this?.
    Once again, thank you for the delicious Korean recipes!!

    Tammy Park
  3. Biren - It is really delicious! I enjoy these little anchovies a lot. Sometimes, we add peanuts or walnuts too. Thanks for stopping by.

    Tammy - I am thrilled to hear you are trying out my recipes and your family enjoys them. How nice for your mother-in-law to send you dried anchovies! Dried anchovies in a package should last for a few months. But keep them in a freezer. They will last much longer. Also, you can share my recipes on your blog with a credit or a link provided. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving me the nice comments. You made my day!
  4. You make everything sound so good! Keep 'em coming!
  5. Thanks, Amy!
  6. This looks so tasty! I've never tried this dish before
  7. Looks great! This is one of my favourite banchan :D
  8. Stephanie - Try it. You will like it. Thanks.

    Jen - Thank you!
  9. ohhh....this is my all time your perfect version..
    first time here...awesome space you have..
    very interesting presentation with gorgeous cliks..
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite
  10. Hi Hyosun! I think I told you before that my mom goes to Korea a lot and she loves Korean food. She was here past July and she made this!!! I wasn't paying too much attention when she was cooking but looks pretty similar. It's delicious. We also have the same saying moms telling kids to eat "niboshi (dried anchovies)" because it has lots of calcium. Neighboring countries have same thoughts and teaching to the kids. :-) Japanese have similar dish, but it's not spicy at all. It's mainly soy sauce and sugar taste -typical Japanese ingredients with soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, sesame seeds, etc. It was nice to see this recipe on your blog. Sending this recipe to my mom. =)
  11. Thank you, Nami! It's always fun to learn new things and/or similar things about each other, isn't it?
  12. Came back to say that I have some awards waiting for you on my blog. Do check it out. Have a lovely weekend!
  13. Thank you, Biren. I will be over soon.
  14. I have had a bag of dried anchovies in my fridge forever and at the time I bought them I thought I knew what I was going to do with them, thanks for giving me an actual recipe. Can't wait to actually try this.
  15. Koosh - Thanks for stoppy by! Hope you get to make and enjoy it soon.
  16. Anonymous says:
    I too had a large quantity of teeny tiny "dried anchovy" sitting in freezer forever from when a Korean friend was promoting them to me as a snack. Tried feeding them to dog who ate around them. So felt guilty for splurging on useless anchovies which were taking up valuable freezer real estate space.

    But seeing your recipes today and some comments on a gourmet type cooking site gave me courage to fry them in butter until crisp and golden, add sesame seeds, and a bit of xylitol as sweetener. Pretty good.
    Next time I'll try garlic and study out hot sauce offerings.

    Thanks for your nice blog!
  17. Anonymous says:
    I made this for a family gathering recently as part of the kids menu and everyone just ate it all up.
    I have used other recipes but this was absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing. I am going to slowly try all your recipes.
  18. Jennifer says:
    My family went to visit my in-laws in Maryland and when we left, I received a pressure rice cooker for my birthday, tomatoes and chile peppers from their garden and a bag of anchovies! I had to try your recipe and it was perfection!! Thanks you for sharing!! I was wondering if you would have a Nabak kimchi recipe? The one with radish, napa cabbage and carrots in water. Thanks again!
  19. Anonymous says:
    우리 엄마가 만드시는 멸치볶음 이랑 많이 비슷해서 행복하네요! 너무 먹고싶네요 :) 감사합니다!
  20. Hi, Mrs. Hyosun. I just found your website this morning and I can get enough scouring to the recipes. I first looked at the Mak Kimchi recipe and got so impressed with your patience answering visitors' questions. In fact, those questions help me understand the steps also the alternative of your recipe. You are so cool. I live in Indonesia and in our country we have an almost similar dish to this recipe. We use grounded fresh chilies instead of chili flakes, so it is more spicy. For me this is interesting that Indonesia and Korea have almost the same dish. Great website. Great host. Thanks.
  21. 이상해 or Ron says:
    노효선, I lived in Korea for 6 years (80s - 90s) and this was my favorite side dish. I could eat this, gim 김 and rice for dinner every night! I have a Korean lady that lives close and will occasionally make this for me but now that I have your recipe, I will be making my own :) I have a few questions. After cooking this, does in need to be refrigerated? How long will it stay good if I leave in out and how long if refrigerated? Thanks for the recipe and thanks in advance for any answers to the questions :)
    • So sorry for the late reply. Somehow I missed this in the midst of many other comments. It should be fine for 2 weeks in the fridge. It should be fine for a few days at room temperature but I'd recommend you keep it refrigerated.
  22. Hi Hyosun, thank you for this lovely recipe. I love Korean side dishes.
  23. Thanks for the recipes! I'd been buying this prepared at H Mart for years and wondered if I could make it myself. So easy, and so much better than the store-bought version. I added a few chopped nuts to mine, too, like some of the other commenters - throw them in with the anchovies in the first step so that they dry fry/toast with the fish.
  24. Thanks for the recipe! I tried the sweet and savory and it was perfect for my pregnancy craving!
  25. Raymond caron says:
    I want to thank you for all the work you have put into this site. I was married to a Pusan woman for 37 years. She passed away three years ago. You are helping me to again enjoy my favorite Korean food. I spent almost 25 years living in Korea and love the food. Thank you.
    • Hi Raymond! I'm so sorry to hear you lost your wife three years ago. Wow 25 years is a long time. You must really miss the food. It's great you're making your favorite food. Thanks for using my recipes!
  26. Cynthia Kazadi says:
    I lived in South Korea for one and for that time I traveled all over even Jeju islan. I tried cooking many dishes and love the anchovies. I tried your recipe thank you. My son and my grandchildren we even eat them over our salads.