Who wouldn’t like something sweet, crunchy, & nutty?! Today’s recipe, myeolchi-ttangkong-bokkeum is exactly that: stir-fried dried anchovies and peanuts. It tastes like a sweet, salty, crunchy snack.

This is one of the most common and popular side dishes for Korean lunch boxes (dosirak), and almost every family has its own recipe for it. Sometimes chopped green chili peppers are added, to make it spicy or Korean gochujang (hot pepper paste) is added. If you want to add hot pepper paste, just add 1 tablespoon hot pepper paste to the seasoning sauce.

This version includes peanuts because I found out the crunchy and nutty peanuts are something special. You have a peanut allergy? Then you can leave them out or replace them with your other favorite nuts such as sliced almonds, walnuts, and/or pecans. If you skip the peanuts, the dish name will change to myeolchi-bokkeum because ttangkong (peanuts in Korean) is removed. : )

In the old days, myeolchi-bokkeum tended to be saltier because we added more soy sauce or hot pepper paste, but I use less salt for this version. It still tastes a little salty because the dried anchovies by themselves are a little salty.

This is a kind of mitbanchan, or preserved side dish, that you can keep in the fridge for up to one month. Like I do in the video, you can make it ahead of time and then take it out and combine it with different side dishes and rice to quickly make a well-balanced, delicious meal. You can serve it as a side dish with rice and also it will be a good side dish for beer!



  1. Put the dried anchovies in a colander. Shake and toss them so that the smallest bits and broken pieces fall through.
  2. Combine the soy sauce. water, sugar, and rice syrup in a small bowl. Mix well.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add vegetable oil. Add the garlic and stir with a wooden spoon for 10 seconds.
  4. Add the anchovies and peanuts. Turn the heat down to medium and stir for a few minutes, until the peanuts and anchovies turn light brown and crunchy. 
  5. Push the anchovies and peanuts to the edge of the skillet. Remove from the heat and add the seasoning mixture to the cleared out-spot. The skillet will still be plenty hot enough, so gently stir the seasoning with a wooden spoon until is starts bubbling.Myeolchibokkeum (Stir-fried anchovies and peanuts: 멸치볶음)
  6. Mix the seasonings with the anchovies and peanuts until they are well coated.
  7. Stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds.Myeolchibokkeum (Stir-fried anchovies and peanuts: 멸치볶음)
  8. Serve right away with rice, or let it cool down and transfer the anchovies to an airtight container. You can keep them in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.Myeolchibokkeum (Stir-fried anchovies and peanuts: 멸치볶음)Myeolchibokkeum (Stir-fried anchovies and peanuts: 멸치볶음)

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  1. MrsHmmz United Kingdom joined 10/11 & has 3 comments

    For some reason mine turned out quite chewy! The only thing I changed was that I used maple syrup instead of corn syrup (which isn’t widely available here in the UK) so perhaps using a different syrup affected how they turned out? Or maybe I didn’t fry them for long enough or at the right temperature, who knows?!

    They still taste good, they’re just not quite the crunchy snack I was looking forward to!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 564 comments

      I don’t think the issue lies with the maple syrup you used. To achieve the crispy texture you desire with the anchovies, I would suggest frying them for a longer time over medium heat, being careful not to burn them. Happy cooking!

      • MrsHmmz United Kingdom joined 10/11 & has 3 comments

        You’re right – before I saw your reply I decided to try to “dry them out” a bit by cooking over a very low heat for about 5 mins, then I left them in the pan as it cooled for about 20 mins, and they were much crunchier after that! So I probably did just need to cook them longer. I was worried about overcooking after reading some other comments but I think I may have been too cautious.

        I will definitely be making them again, but will cook them a little longer next time!

  2. kmscottsdale Scottsdale, AZ joined 11/18 & has 1 comment

    I bought small anchovy but not the really small ones. Do I have to worry about the intestine removal in the smaller sized anchovy? Should I remove the heads or is it fine to leave them on?

  3. Robert Rise USA joined 11/18 & has 1 comment

    Incredible recipe!
    Can not wait to try it!

  4. CathAsh Madrid, Spain joined 10/18 & has 2 comments

    I made Myeolchi-ttangkong-bokkeum: 멸치땅콩볶음 Maangchi ‘s recipe.
    I need to confess I had not great expectations with this dish.
    In Spain is strange to mix salty fish & sweet at the same time…
    But when I tasted it… OMG…. This dish is AWESOME!
    Thank you Maangchi ♥♥♥

    See full size image

  5. Ermin Fei Indonesia joined 2/15 & has 32 comments

    Hi Maangchi ssi.. I just made this anchovy side dish today.. They are delicious.. I mixed small and medium anchovies, used brown sugar and gochugaru instead of gochujang, and added peanuts to add some crunch.. Yummy Yummy Bong Bong.. I am going to send some to my husband’s Korean friends.. together with the spicy dried squid side dish from your recipe as well.. Thank you for teaching us easy authentic Korean food ^o^

    See full size image

  6. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16 & has 40 comments

    Maangchi – I love love love this…. I used brown sugar instead of white sugar and I made the spicy version. For those having a problem with the anchovies sticking together, I guarantee you it is because they are cooking the sauce too long and causing the sugar to crystalize like candy. I found it needed a little more water too. And I added chopped green onion. This is the first time i’ve eaten anchovies like this and I can tell you I’m going to be hooked! It will NOT last 2 weeks in my fridge. Thank you dahling :)

  7. Nisha Sri Lanka joined 8/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    I’m a lady engineer from Sri Lanka..
    I love you cooking style Maangchi… Wanna watch at least once a day, otherwise i feel bored… will try and let you know how they taste soon.. (after my sis’s exams are over, I will start cooking your dishes)
    Bless you…

  8. Gertrude Montreal joined 9/14 & has 4 comments

    Something to do with my anchovies!!! Oh my this is good! I made the spicy version, kind of. I didn’t have the paste so I mixed some red chilli pepper and flour in there, and I used maple syrup instead of corn syrup. It didn’t make it into my refrigerator! :-P

    Thank you, Maangchi!

  9. phxyogi Phoenix, AZ joined 12/14 & has 1 comment

    Wow, Maangchi! Great recipe. I have to say, the quality of the Gochujang matters. I used one brand the first time I made this, and it was very grainy flavored, and I switched brands and much different, much more tasty! Wonderful recipes!

  10. Henri Bristol joined 9/14 & has 1 comment

    Thank you so much for this great recipe. I’m so lucky to have found you here. I used tiny dried shrimps and they taste even better because it’s less chewy and much cheaper too. The only bad thing about it is that I finish them even faster…..Thank you Manngchi!

  11. Could you help me ! I finished this small fish, however the fish stick together ?
    Can’t separate !
    how should I do ?
    Thanks !

  12. ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13 & has 75 comments


    All I can say about 멸치볶음 is that it is super easy and quick to make, mouthwateringly delicious and very addictive! I don’t know how it could last 2 weeks in my refrigerator because it is sooooo good!


  13. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13 & has 82 comments

    Maangchi ssi,

    Do you recommend using gaeri or jiri for this recipe? I usually use jiri. What’s gaeri for?

  14. Shanneene Australia joined 5/12 & has 8 comments

    I made this tonight, and it turned out really delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  15. acapella Canada joined 8/12 & has 2 comments

    Is it still the same with large anchovies? like can i use large anchovies too?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Good question! If you want to use large anchovies to make myeolchibokkeum, you will need to remove the bones from each anchovy. Split it lengthwise by pressing with your fingers and then take out the bone. Good luck!

  16. cameron87 Ottawa joined 10/09 & has 9 comments

    The anchovies that I have are between the size of the big ones and medium ones. Would they be too big for this recipe? If so, are there any other uses for the big/medium-big anchovies besides making stock or soup?
    I won’t lie… I’m a little scared of the anchovies- this is my first time using them and they sense my fear… they keep looking at me! lol.

  17. ImConfused Songtan, Korea joined 4/10 & has 1 comment

    Just tried this recipe (not spicy) because the book recipe that I had never turned out right and took too much time. I used the Twist peppers (gwari Kochu supposed to not be hot but really not as hot) in addition. Great recipe. I hope my wife likes it. No problem if she doesn’t. I loved it. Got from another cookbook to cut slits into the peppers and add some soy sauce and heat up in the fry pan for about 5 minutes. Thanks for sharing your cooking techniques with everyone.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      “No problem if she doesn’t. I loved it” : ) Give it to her 1 tiny anchovy first and let her taste it. If she says, “not bad!” and then encourage her to eat more.. lol “ow ow my baby loves anchovies!”

  18. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    Maangchi !! This has become my favourite side dish .. in fact i can eat it as a main dish with just warm white rice !! The only bad thing is , i can’t stop eating it . Super easy , and i figure this should be healthy , right ? LOL :D Thanks for some yummy recipe !

  19. lgm80 gyoung gi do anyang joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    완전 짱이예요!

  20. AZ_ABC Chandler, Arizona joined 6/11 & has 5 comments

    Good evening Maangchi,

    When I was in high school, I became good friends with a Korean boy who’s mother was from Pusan. She use to make three side dishes that I cannot find in our local Korean Restaurants (I’m in Arizona) nor Asian grocery stores.

    1. Jalapeño or Serrano Chili’s with anchovies. She made two varieties of this dish.
    A. One had soy sauce
    B. The other had like either GoChuChung or GoChu Pepper Flakes that was pasty.

    2. The other Jalapeño or Serrano Chili side dish had a red hot sauce that was pumped into the chilis.

    These three dishes were served cold out of the refrigerator.

    Would you be so kind to post or email me your recipes for these dishes?

    Thank you.

    Tim (AZ_ABC)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      My answers:
      1.Add green chili peppers to this recipe. : Sautee green chili peppers with a few drops of oil for about 2-3 minutes and then add dried anchovies. The rest of the recipe is the same.
      2. It’s gochu jangahjji (pickled and seasoned green chili peppers): my favorite! : )
      The recipe will be posted someday on my website.

      • AZ_ABC Chandler, Arizona joined 6/11 & has 5 comments


        Thank you for responses.

        I will be looking forward to your recipe for jangahjji!


      • sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 308 comments

        Hi Maangchi,

        We love myeolchi-bokkeum!

        Here’s another request for a recipe for gochu jangaji!
        I’ve got shishito peppers (for your kkwarigochujjim) and put-gochu – I suppose the latter are right for jangachi?

        Btw: I don’t use olive-oil for Korean dishes; here, the easy-to-get-one is not neutral. Neutral oils in Germany are e. g. cheap sunflower-seed-oil and oil made from oilseed rape.
        When it comes to non-neutral, I use Korean sesame-seed-oil as seasoning! Love it! :-D

        Ciao, Sanne.

  21. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    It looks very tasty! Spicy and non spicy crunchy dried anchovies! yum!

  22. foodeterian UB, Mongolia joined 3/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    Thank you very much for sharing such delicious recipe.

    I prepared this recipe according to your instruction and result you can see here



  23. shygongurl Hannahle888@gmail.com joined 3/11 & has 3 comments

    Hello Maangchi,

    Can I the anchovies lasts more than 2 weeks when I put in the fridge? Because my friend made the same thing as yours, but she can keep it up to more than 2 weeks. I am wondering is that possible to do so?

  24. madkisso joined 12/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maanghi,
    I love myulchi and am so happy you have put this recipe up; now I can finally make it!

    Quick question. I have eaten a different variation, one that is really sweet and made with walnuts (no red pepper). I was wondering if you had the recipe for that one, too? Thanks.

  25. I l♥ved this recipe. I’ve made this for my family and they loved it too. I was wondering what kind of brand do you use for the soy sauce used in all of the recipes. It doesn’t need to be expensive, as long as it tastes good. Thank you Maangchi :)

  26. Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for this recipe forever. I must eat a billion of these little critters when we go out for Korean BBQ. Now I can make these at home to enjoy on my rice.

  27. Epicurean Adventure Minneapolis, MN joined 8/10 & has 30 comments

    Hi Maangchi.
    I have a question about the Spicy anchovy side dish:
    If I don’t have gochujang in the house, is it possible just to use hot pepper flakes instead? If it’s okay to use them, how much should I use?

    I want to try using this in my lunch boxes for school. :)

    Thanks so much for the recipe!


  28. Hello Maangchi,

    Can I check if the anchovy needs to be wash and drain prior to stirfry? The anchovy is not clean to be cooked immedidately. Or should I get only from Korean supermarket? Thank you..

  29. mskmouse Singapore joined 8/10 & has 1 comment

    My first attempt in making a Korean side dish. :) Turned out really well and best of all, it was easy to make! My hubby is polishing off the bowl of anchovies (or ikan bilis in Singapore)even as I am typing this comment. haha…

    Thanks Maangchi! I love your recipes. :)

  30. msv1976 NYC joined 8/10 & has 1 comment


    Just made this tonight and it was awesome. I guess I will have to make bigger batches as I almost ate the whole thing. Thank you for demonstrating this. My friend’s mother used to make this when I was little and I have never been able to figure out how to do it until now.

  31. miley joined 8/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi I was wondering if I can replace corn syrup with honey syrup?

  32. Jean Philippines joined 6/10 & has 3 comments

    Hello Maangchi, i tried the spicy anchovy side and its so delicious. my husband likes it very much..thank you,thank you so very much..take care and God bless you.:)

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