Korean Cooking: Dried Anchovy Side Dish (멸치볶음)

Dried anchovies have not always been one of my favorite side dishes, but they have become a staple of my mother-in-law’s side dish shipments and have inched up the likability scale for me.

I can’t ever remember my mother cooking with anchovies, so the first time I saw them on the table I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about them.

Slowly but surely though, this side dish has become one that I look forward to seeing on the table, so I decided to try and make them myself.


This weekend while at the market, I stopped my husband in front of the dried fish stall and asked him which fish are used to make the side dish. He knew which ones they were, but wasn’t quite sure how you actually go about making the side dish. One of my favorite things about the local farmers market, is that all of the stalls are owned and operated by old women who definitely know how to cook their goods. I nudged him and said let’s ask her what she’d do with them. Sure enough, she was happy to explain exactly how to cook up her anchovies to make a delicious side dish.


2 cups Dried Anchovies

Canola Oil

1 Tbs Brown Rice Syrup

2 Tbs Sugar

4 Cloves of Garlic

2 Spicy Green Peppers


1. In a small bowl mix the sugar, garlic and 2 Tbs of water. Put to the side.

2. Put the oil in a frying pan and let it heat up. Place the anchovies in the pan and let cook for one minute.

3. Add the mixture on the side along with the syrup to the frying pan and mix well. Let it fry for about 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and enjoy.

I should say that this batch doesn’t taste exactly like my mother-in-law’s, but as my husband says, side dishes are different depending on what region of the country you’re in. As my mother-in-law is from Busan, most of her side dishes tend to be saltier than their northern counterparts. That doesn’t mean that this is any less delicious, but I will plan on asking her for her recipe when I visit her next. Until then, this will suit just fine on our table.


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