Dried anchovies

Mareun-myeolchi 마른멸치

Dried anchovies are sold sorted by size, and come in a package, plastic bag, or box.

Smaller anchovies are usually served as a snack by toasting them with soy sauce, sugar, and hot pepper paste to make the side dish myeolchibokkeum. Larger myeolchi are used in the stock of many Korean dishes like sundubu-jjigae.

Store in a zipper-lock bag or airtight container in the freezer. Before using larger anchovies, remove the heads and guts (the black innards).

dried anchovies

Personally I like to eat the larger dried anchovies by themselves (after removing the heads and intestines, or course : )). I dip them in hot pepper paste and eat them with rice. Very delicious! The tiny bones of myeolchi contain a lot of calcium and are really good for you.


Medium dried anchovies on the top shelf, and large anchovies on the lower shelf

Tiny little anchovies
dried anchoviesmyulchi

Large dried anchovies


Recipes that use dried anchovies (mareun-myeolchi):



  1. DeeFresh21 Texas My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted March 10th, 2014 at 6:17 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi !

    My nearby asian market only carries anchovy stock powder (it also contains Bonito). Can this also be used successfully in the recipes you posted?

    I tried making a stock with the powder but was doubtful how much to use so it will equal the anchovies you use.

  2. GooNi43 Davao, Philippines My profile page joined 2/14
    Posted February 1st, 2014 at 1:59 am | # |

    hi maangchi!
    i want to ask.
    Once the anchovies are used, are you throwing it after?
    like when you make broth, what do you do after using it?

  3. KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa My profile page I'm a fan! joined 9/13
    Posted September 15th, 2013 at 5:08 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    I just bought a pack of medium dried anchovies and today while looking at it,the expiration date was 2012.09.09 I’m very disappointed! :(
    Do you think its still edible?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 15th, 2013 at 9:25 am | # |

      How frustrating!
      If they don’t have mold and don’t smell bad, you still can use them. Otherwise, throw them away. Keep them in the freezer.

    • KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa My profile page I'm a fan! joined 9/13
      Posted September 16th, 2013 at 8:07 am | # |

      Thanks Maangchi!

  4. FrodoBaggins Toronto My profile page joined 9/13
    Posted September 10th, 2013 at 1:54 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Just got back from a month on the Korean Peninsula and I must say Korean cuisine is now one of my favourites! I have a question about large myeolchi. Is it really necessary to remove bones, heads and guts when cooking it (ie. For sundubu jigae and myeolchi bokkeum)? I remember the heads were always present and there was a crunchy texture (which I thought were bones) when I had myeolchi bokkeum as a banchan.

    Thanks, and am looking forward to trying out tons of your recipes in the future!


  5. fitXmom Florida My profile page joined 5/12
    Posted June 1st, 2012 at 3:50 pm | # |

    I bought a bag of anchioves but it doesn’t say “dried”. Are they also okay for the broth for ddukbokki? They are not fresh either, they feel hard. I took a picture and I can post it. Where can I post the picture?

    • fitXmom Florida My profile page joined 5/12
      Posted June 1st, 2012 at 8:14 pm | # |

      Oh, I wanted to add that my anchovies look just like the ones in your pictures and are hard, not squishy. The bag just says anchovies though.

  6. seovero Hangzhou, China My profile page joined 6/11
    Posted August 27th, 2011 at 2:08 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi. I really appreciate all the recipes you show us and I’ve done somee of them! It was heaven ^_^. I wanted to ask about the anchovies, because back in my place, we rarely have korean groceries store, and it was far away. so I went to some market to find those anchovies. but they sell 2 kinds of dried anchovies, salty and unsalty. which one should I use?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 27th, 2011 at 2:11 pm | # |

      Unsalty is better because you can add salt anytime later. Large dried anchovies are good for stock.

  7. Foodnerd Burlington, VT My profile page joined 6/11
    Posted June 24th, 2011 at 6:50 pm | # |

    I love your website!. I accidentally bought the small anchovies instead of the big ones (I should have read this page before shopping!) Do you think I could still make stock with them if I used a large enough quantity?

  8. burger My profile page joined 4/11
    Posted April 27th, 2011 at 11:48 pm | # |

    How do you store the dried anchovies after you have opened the package? How about dried kelp and dried shitake mushrooms? I’m asking in reference to your soondubu video… ^^ Thank you!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted April 28th, 2011 at 5:30 pm | # |

      I Keep my dried anchovies in the freezer, but I keep dried kelp and dried shiitake mushrooms in the pantry.

  9. heykay15 Bodega Bay, CA My profile page joined 10/10
    Posted October 18th, 2010 at 1:38 am | # |

    are you able to substitute japanese “dashi” instead of using dried anchovies to make fish stock?

  10. munchkinxx My profile page joined 7/10
    Posted July 27th, 2010 at 1:26 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    How do you gut a dried anchovy? TIA!

  11. azie boo malaysia My profile page joined 3/10
    Posted March 9th, 2010 at 12:27 am | # |

    maangchi..i cant get kelp for soondubu..so what can i use to subsitute the kelp..i really want to make this soondubu!thanx you.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 9th, 2010 at 12:29 am | # |

      You still can make good stock with dried anchovies and dried shiitake mushrooms. skip the kelp if it’s not available.

  12. MGTOB Chicago My profile page joined 2/10
    Posted February 28th, 2010 at 1:59 am | # |

    New to the site, and first off thank you for all the inspiration :-) secondly, I was wondering what a good substitute for dried anchovies would be. I am allergic to fish :-( thanks so much!

  13. 크리스
    Posted January 9th, 2010 at 5:26 pm | # |

    When I was in Korea, we ate this for breakfast..So delicious!

  14. Anonymous
    Posted January 3rd, 2010 at 4:23 pm | # |

    I seem to have a problem making stock out of dried anchovies (I use exactly the same brand as on the bottom photo on this page). I have made stock out of these before and it always turned out great, really deep fishy taste, but today I tried to make stock but I tasted only water! I thought ‘hm perhaps I put too much water and too little anchovies’ so I gutted some more anchovies and put them in. But the stock only tasted slightly salty and a bit bitter, and not at all delicious as I remember it. Cooking it for a longer time didn’t help.

    Did I do something wrong, for example perhaps I accidently left a gut in on an achovy (but why would all the taste be ruined because of one gut…) Or are the anchovies spoiled or is it just me? I always try to remove head and guts and I always store anchovies in the freezer, but maybe I did not gut well enough… I’m really very concerned about this, so any help would be appreciated.

  15. Lora
    Posted December 27th, 2009 at 8:37 pm | # |

    Good day Maangchi!
    Thanks a lot for sharing these wonderful recipes! I love anchovies very much and in order to keep me updated, I read blogs about them and any ideas how to cook them – and good thing I found yours! Thanks!

  16. chicken salad
    Posted December 26th, 2009 at 7:35 am | # |

    Yes, I recall this treat – anchovies with tomato sauce is HEAVEN – a very rare flavor!

  17. Velia
    Posted October 18th, 2009 at 6:27 pm | # |

    Hello, I have a question.
    I couldn’t find whole dried anchovies, so I bought dried anchovies powder from the korean shop. It works very well for stocks, but I think I have problems with amounts.
    Let’s say: a tiny teaspoon of anchovies powder equals “?” whole dried (medium or large) anchovies? One? One and a half?
    Don’t want the exact correspondance, just an approximate one.
    Thank you!

  18. D
    Posted August 30th, 2009 at 1:33 pm | # |

    Maangchi: Can dried anchovies be substituted with dried sardines? I see a lot of dried sardines from tiny- to large-size sardines, sold in packages next to the anchovies. The Korean store that I go to does not sell packages of TINY dried anchovies – the tiny dried anchovies are only sold in the freezer section in boxes for $16.00. I want to make the stir-fried dried anchovies, but don’t want to buy such large quantity of anchovies making this for my first time. What do Koreans used the sardines for and which tastes better? Thanks for answering all my questions.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 30th, 2009 at 8:54 pm | # |

      I always stock 2 kinds of dried anchovies in the freezer: small and large. Small anchovies are used for myulchi bokkeum and large ones are used for stock.

      • D
        Posted August 30th, 2009 at 9:24 pm | # |

        But what about sardines? Can dried sardines be used in place of dried anchovies?

        • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
          Posted August 30th, 2009 at 9:28 pm | # |

          no, sardines are not used to make stock. I have never seen dried sardines at a Korean grocery store.

          • D
            Posted September 25th, 2009 at 11:14 pm | # |

            Maangchi: Two Korean markets I shop at have packages of both dried sardines and dried anchovies. I was confuse because you have already mention that Koreans do not use dried sardines in their cooking and only use dried anchovies.

            Well, today I ask the owner of one Korean market I shop at, how do Koreans used packages labeled “dried sardines.” The owner replied that both packages contains the same dried anchovies. The Japanese brand label their packages as “dried sardines” even though the packages contains dried anchovies. The Korean brand label their packages as “dried anchovies.” So I am no longer confuse.

    • Maria
      Posted December 21st, 2009 at 10:12 pm | # |

      I had this problem as well. I actually bought the same package of dried anchovies that Maangchi has pictured above that the two asian food stores I went to labeled as sardines. It was very strange. I asked the woman working in the store if they were the right item for making stock for Korean soups and she said they were. I don’t know why they label them as sardines! Must have been a mistake.

  19. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted July 20th, 2009 at 5:31 am | # |

    Check my kongnamulguk (soybean sprout soup)recipe where I’m showing how to clean dried anchovies’gut.

  20. CG
    Posted July 19th, 2009 at 5:56 pm | # |

    Same like “D”, I too don’t have the nerve to remove anchovy’s intestines. Where are their intestines anyway? Can I replace it with fish sauce instead? I want to make Dukbokki.

    • D
      Posted August 30th, 2009 at 1:39 pm | # |

      CG: It’s not so bad to remove the intestine afterall. If I can do it (which I didn’t want to at first), anyone can do it. Just pull the head off the anchovies and you will see a dried black glob closed to where the head was removed. It only takes seconds to do that. I was a bit squeemish at first, but I do it all the time now. It really does make a difference to used dried anchovies in the soup stock. It makes the soup stock taste authentically good. Just do it! I love Maangchi’s soybean sprout soup and I make it all the time. It’s so healthy and good.

  21. D
    Posted June 9th, 2009 at 9:04 am | # |

    I went to an Asian store this weekend and saw the dried anchovies, both large and small sizes. It was not very expensive and I wanted to purchase it for the soybean sprout soup. After looking at it, my nerve could not stand the thought of removing he head and intestines so I did not purchase the anchovies. was. How important is the anchovies in the soybean sprout soup? Will the soup taste fishy tasting (like bottled fish sauce)? Matter of fact, for the soybean soup, since my nerve cannot overcome the sight of the large anchovies, can I use canned chicken broth for the soup and add fish sauce?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 9th, 2009 at 9:37 am | # |

      haha,”my nerve can’t overcome the sight of the large anchovies” cute! I would like to clean them for you!

      Some people don’t use dried anchovies in soybean sprout soup because they are not accustomed to the flavor of dried anchovies. Just skip it then. For me, I always use dried anchovy in the soup.

  22. 니수
    Posted May 1st, 2009 at 12:47 am | # |

    where i live only smallest size of anchovy is available this time
    is it good for stock for example for 1 cup how much i have to use..?

  23. Rose
    Posted March 4th, 2009 at 7:21 pm | # |

    I was watching your video on making tofu stew and you were removing the heads and intestines of the anchovies. Could you tell me how to remove the intestines? Do I just take out the entire silver lining thing? You did too fast in the video that I couldn’t see probably.


  24. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted December 13th, 2008 at 7:58 pm | # |

    Was it too fishy? Then use fewer dried anchovies next time. Large dried anchovies are good for stock.

  25. Shelley
    Posted December 13th, 2008 at 4:50 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I tried making your soondubu jigae with small anchovies, but it ended up really fishy!! I was wondering if this was because I didn’t remove the head and intestines??


  26. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted November 30th, 2008 at 3:41 pm | # |

    I remove the heads and intestines of large dried anchovies before using them. (check out my tofu doenjang jjigae video)

    However, if you make only stock using dried anchovies, you can use heads, too.

  27. Katie
    Posted November 30th, 2008 at 3:13 pm | # |

    A Korean cook book I have says to get rid of dried anchovy heads and intestine. If I use large dried anchovies, do I get rid of heads and intestine or just intestine part?

  28. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 30th, 2008 at 10:59 pm | # |

    Large dried anchovies! That’s what you need. : ) I don’t know about price. Not expensive I guess.

  29. Susan
    Posted October 30th, 2008 at 6:25 pm | # |

    Hi, I was wondering when you make ddukbokki, is it best to use the small or large anchovies? And also how much does it usually cost? Thanks!

  30. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 15th, 2008 at 6:01 am | # |

    Yes, I’m sure it’s available in any Korean grocery store.

  31. Lisa
    Posted October 14th, 2008 at 11:49 pm | # |

    your recipes and videos are xcellent.

    Can I get the anchovies from any Korean store???

  32. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 2nd, 2008 at 7:08 am | # |

    You asked the question here.

  33. Portugalbear
    Posted October 2nd, 2008 at 2:14 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I asked this question before but i forgot where. hope you can answer it again. I can only find powdered anchovies. can i used still use this?

  34. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted September 20th, 2008 at 6:36 am | # |

    haha, no way! This recipe is for dried anchovies.

  35. mangichivi
    Posted September 20th, 2008 at 2:10 am | # |

    hey maangchi can i use fresh anchovies??

  36. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted May 26th, 2008 at 12:31 am | # |

    Hi, Anonymous,
    You have small size dried anchovies to make stock?
    I would use maybe 2 – 3 spoons.
    No need to get rid of intestine part. It’s impossible! lol

  37. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted May 26th, 2008 at 12:28 am | # |

    Yes, I always keep dried anchovies in the freezer. Thanks!

  38. Aditu
    Posted May 25th, 2008 at 4:53 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    Do I have to put the dried anchovies in the freezer? I bought them frozen at my korean supermarket (but that could be because, according to the food-law, you have to freeze almost any kind of fish here).

    And I also wanted to say that I absolutely love your videos and recipies! I even got my mom to like Korean food :-)

    Thanks a lot

  39. Anonymous
    Posted May 24th, 2008 at 7:47 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    If I use the small size dried anchovies for soon dubu soup, how many should I use?

    I don’t have the larger size anchovies, just small ones. And do I still need to clean them?


  40. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted March 23rd, 2008 at 4:58 pm | # |

    Thank you for leaving a comment under a right category. Your question may be someone else’ question, soo.

    Yes, it’s called Myul chi bokkeum.
    I will post the side dish video someday, but meanwhile make your “myulchi bokkeum” with this reicpe.

    small size dried anchovies, hot pepper paste, green chili pepper, garlic, vegetable oil, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds.

    1. Toast 3 cups of dried anchovies in a pan or wok for about 3-5 minutes under medium heat.
    2. Add some vegetable oil and 1 sliced green chili pepper and keep stirring for 1 minute.
    3. Add 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 or 2 TBS of hot pepper paste, 2 TBS sugar, 1 TBS corn syrup, keep stirring quickly.
    4. Turn the heat off and add 1/2 TBS of sesame oil and sprinkle 1/2 TBS sesame seeds.
    That’s all!

    If you like to use soy sauce instead of hot pepper paste, 1 TBS of soy sauce is enough.

    Good luck with your myul chi bokkeum!

    • badral
      Posted June 20th, 2009 at 12:49 am | # |

      hey maangchi,
      i m from mongolia. i really liked your recipes and videos. since a decade, lots of koreans started to live here in mongolia. they opened korean restaurants and i loved korean food, but it was absolutely mystery for me how it was made. after watching your videos i can make at home the dishes i loved. it s amazing. thanks a lot!
      by the way, my wife loves anchovies side dish and i m goin to try to make it with your recipe ;)
      thanks again

  41. Mista
    Posted March 22nd, 2008 at 1:21 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I went to a Korean restaurant a few days ago, and one of the “banchan” was the small dried anchovies in some kind of sauce. I read this statement from the anchovie post:

    “The small size dried anchovies are used for a side dish called “Myulchi bok keum”, toasted with soy sauce, sugar, and hot pepper paste.”

    It sounds very much like the one I had. Would it be too much to post a short instructional on how to make this? Thanks a lot!

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