All cultures rely on stock to make their soups and stews delicious. Today I’m going to show you how to make a savory Korean stock that you can use as a base in many Korean dishes. It’s a typical Korean base for soups and stews like sundubu-jjigae (spicy soft tofu stew), and noodle soup (guksu) as well as any broth that needs a tasty boost, like tteokbokki (spicy rice cake). Of course Korean cuisine also uses beef and chicken stocks too, depending on the dish, but anchovy kelp stock is the most common and the one I like the best.

If you’ve watched my videos or read my recipes you’ve seen me make a quick version of this stock for many dishes. I sometimes skip some steps or even some ingredients, but the version I’m showing you today is the best, most flavorful version of this stock that I have developed. It’s different from the recipe in my first cookbook. This one is less fishy and more nutty.

Use right away or freeze for up to 3 months. If you’re a vegetarian, you can use my vegetable stock as a substitute.


Makes about 10 cups stock

  • 8 large dried anchovies (2½ inch long), guts and heads removed
  • ½ ounce dried kelp (about 15 grams)
  • 8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, cut into very thin pieces
  • 2 green onions including the roots, cut into 3 to 4 times
  • 3 ounces onion (about ½ cup), sliced thinly
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) water


  1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add the anchovies. Periodically stir with a wooden spoon and cook the anchovies for about 3 to 4 minutes until they smell a little nutty.
  2. Remove from the heat. Add the radish, green onion, onion, dried kelp, and water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.anchovy kelp stock
  3. Open and stir it a few times, then close. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 30 minutes until the radish and onion turn translucent. If the radish is still not translucent after 30 minutes, add more water and cook a little longer.anchovy stock
  4. Remove from the heat. Strain the stock over a large bowl. Discard the cooked ingredients except for the kelp. You will get about 9 to 10 cups stock, which you can use right away or freeze for up to 3 months.anchovy stock
  5. You can make a good side dish with the cooked kelp (see the recipe below).

Stir-fried kelp side dish made from the cooked kelp

  1. Cut the kelp into thin strips.
  2. Heat up a small pan with a few drops of cooking oil.
  3. Add the kelp and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir in about 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon rice syrup for about 1 minute, until the kelp turns shiny a little bit withered. Remove from the heat and stir in some toasted sesame oil.
  5. Transfer to a small plate and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with rice.stir-fried kelp

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  1. Takanola New Orleans joined 8/23 & has 1 comment

    Thanks for the recipe! It came out very tasty. Anything we can make with the leftover anchovies?

  2. fedorz Portland, OR joined 12/22 & has 1 comment


    Thank you so much for everything you do! Changed my life :)

    My question is: In different recipes that use anchovy stock I see you use different anchovy to water ratios. For example, this recipe calls for 8 anchovies for 12 cups of water, and your kimchi-jjigae recipe (mmmm, delicious!) calls for 7 anchovies for 4 cups.

    Can you please tell us how you decide when to use more or less anchovies to make stock and whether other ratios should change, too, like the amount of daikon?

    Thank you so much!


  3. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 308 comments

    Kalguksu next? Yeah! One of our favorites!

    Regarding the side dish: Adding some hot peppers or gochugaru really improves it even more.

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