Stir-fried dried anchovies and peanuts

Myeolchi-ttangkong-bokkeum 멸치땅콩볶음

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.

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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!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tiny dried anchovies (2 ounces: 60 grams)
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts (or walnuts, sliced almonds, or any of your favorite nuts), optional
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon brown (or white) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice syrup, optional
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

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Directions

  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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149 Comments:

  1. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13 & has 79 comments

    Maangchi ssi,

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

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

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

  3. 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 11,620 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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 11,620 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!”

  6. 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 !

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,620 comments

      yeah it contains lots of calcium so it’s one of the most popular side dishes that Korean mom makes for their children’s lunch box. I hope Nick likes it.

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

    완전 짱이예요!

  8. 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 11,620 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

        Maangchi,

        Thank you for responses.

        I will be looking forward to your recipe for jangahjji!

        Tim

      • sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 195 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.

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,620 comments

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

  10. 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

    http://foodeterian.blogspot.com/2011/04/fishy-snack-stirfried-dried-anchovy.html

    Thanks.

  11. 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?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,620 comments

      I don’t know the answer because I never keep my myeolchi bokkeum more than 2 weeks in the fridge.

    • Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13 & has 79 comments

      My myeolchi bokkeum would never last more than 10 days. Maybe less if my son found it in the fridge.

      I think you can keep it up to a month. I had some left over that got push to the back of the fridge and my son found it a month later and finished it off and not get sick.

  12. 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.
    Michelle

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,620 comments

      Hi Michelle,
      Use mild version myulchi bokkeum recipe: Skip hot pepper paste and add walnuts after step 1.
      Step 1: Stir 1 cup of small dried anchovy in a heated pan for 1 minute.
      Step 2: Add 1 tbs olive oil and stir it for another minute.

  13. linhly660 joined 11/10 & has 1 comment

    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 :)

  14. bpbqueen joined 11/10 & has 1 comment

    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.

  15. 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!

    ~Will

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,620 comments

      Will, sorry about the late reply.
      Yes, you can use hot pepper flakes. If you use them, mix with just a little bit of soy sauce until it looks like hot pepper paste.

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