Myeolchi Bokkeum (멸치 볶음) – Pan-Fried Anchovies

Pan-Fried Anchovies - Myeolchi Bokkeum
Jump to Recipe for Myeolchi Bokkeum (멸치 볶음) - Pan-Fried Anchovies

We *love* anchovies! There! I said it! I don’t care what most people say about those tiny fish. They’re delicious. We like them in our salads (Caesar!), our kimchi (Fish sauce, anyone?), and occasionally on our pizzas (Mmm, umami…). I also use dried anchovies to make a flavorful broth. At the Korean grocery store, I buy the dried ones in two sizes: the larger fish for soup, and the smaller fish for dishes like this recipe.

My mom used to make pan-fried (볶음 – bokkeum) anchovies (멸치 – myeolchi) for me at least twice a month. It was always one of our dinner-table staples. It’s a quick weeknight dinner banchan (반찬 – side dish) that doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. It does very well on its own, paired with just rice and some kimchi on those lazy nights you don’t really feel like cooking a lot of side dishes.

Recipe for Myeolchi Bokkeum (멸치 볶음) - Pan-Fried Anchovies

  • About 150-175g (about 1 cup in volume) Cooked Anchovies
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:


  • 60g (1 cup, about 2-3oz) small dried Anchovies
  • 22g (1T) Maltose
  • 10g (2t) Water
  • 5 small Shishito Peppers, or ½ Jalapeño
  • 14g (1T) Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • 3g (1t) minced Garlic
  • 1 small Scallion, finely chopped
  • 5g (1t) Sesame Oil
  • 3g (½T) Whole Roasted Sesame Seeds


  • Put your anchovies into a bowl and give them a wash. Drain really well and place into a fry pan. Set aside.
  • Heat up the maltose and water together, until it is easier to work with, about 15-20 seconds in the microwave. While those are heating, cut the shishito or jalapeño into thin slices.
  • Place the pan over low flame, and dry pan-fry the anchovies to evaporate some of the water, about 1-2 minutes. Add your oil and stir-fry on a medium-low flame for 2 minutes. Add the peppers and continue to stir for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Adjust your flame to low, add the garlic, scallion, and sesame oil, and stir for another minute. Add the maltose and water. Let the mixture sit for 15 seconds and then thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Continue stirring for 30 seconds more.
  • Turn off the flame, throw the sesame seeds in, give everything a good toss, and pour into a serving bowl. Enjoy with a steaming bowl of rice and kimchi!

*Bunny Wisdom*

  • Oftentimes, your dried anchovies come in a box or pouch and you'll find some sediment or *fish dust*. You will want to wash away those impurities. Some dried anchovies are also dry-cured in salt; the washing process will remove some of the excess salinity.
  • If you can't find the small anchovies [stir-fry size, called jiri myeolchi (지리멸치) or bokkeum myeolchi (볶음멸치)], you can buy the larger ones [often called dashi myeolchi (다시멸치)]; however, you will have to gut them/de-head/de-bone them. Split them in half to remove the guts and/or bone, remove the head, and then proceed the same way as you would with the smaller fish.
  • Maltose can be a bit thick. If you don't want to bother with the maltose, you can add light corn syrup sans water. Just add to the pan and immediately stir together.
  • I use a jalapeño for my bokkeum because my hubby and I like spicy foods. Shishito peppers are nice in that they aren't really spicy. It's completely up to you to decide which one works best.
  • If you find that your anchovies are lacking some salt, add 5-10g (1-2t) of soy sauce when you add your garlic, scallion, and sesame oil.
  • I use a low or medium-low flame to prevent burning of the ingredients. Higher temperatures are also not so good for this dish especially with the addition of maltose. Your little fish will turn a bit crunchy or crispy. If that's a texture that you want for your side dish, just keep frying your anchovies on low flame until they crisp up. It's easier to control when using lower heat.
  • I let the maltose and water sit in the pan for about 15 seconds to evaporate some of the water. If your pan is still coming down in temperature from the medium-low flame, and it's still a bit hot, just add your maltose-water and immediately stir the ingredients together. The water will evaporate and the mixture will coat the anchovies at the same time.

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