Sunday, September 12, 2010

Myulchi Bokkeum (Stirfried Anchovies)

Anyong Haseyo! Ok now, 'fess up ... how many Korean drama fans are in da house? ;) Well, I'm not one of you (yet) but my mom is. She can't stop talking about all her Korean drama serials and what good-lookers the Korean actors are, and how you say a particular word in Korean, and what's the latest fad in Korea, etc etc.

Lately, she even signed up for a once-a-week Korean language course, just so she can, um, watch her shows without referring to subtitles. I guess it was troublesome trying to gawk at the Korean hunks while having to read the subtitles, huh?

While I may not be a fanatic like my mom, I do enjoy good, homely Korean fare on my dining table. Like Myulchi Bokkeum, or Stirfried Anchovies. The sweet, spicy, sticky goodness coating the crispy anchovies reminds me very much the sweet, spicy, sticky tempeh I've made before. Seriously, anything Sweet. Spicy. Sticky is addictive. You have been warned!
* Readers unfamiliar with banchan can read more here.

Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) ... but I'm sure mom would say, not as hot as the Korean actors.

(largely adapted from Maangchi and seen at Evan's Kitchen Ramblings)

- 1 cup (about 55g) dried anchovies (ikan bilis)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 1/2 tbsp corn syrup or honey
- 4 tsp water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds (I upped to 1 tbsp cos I love it!)

1. Heat up pan and dry-fry sesame seeds briefly. As soon as they turn light brown, remove from pan and set aside.

2. Stir 1 cup of small dried anchovies in a heated pan for 1 minute.

3. Add 1 tbsp oil and stir it for another minute.

4. Push the cooked anchovies to the edge of the pan away from the heat.
Note: I removed the anchovies from the pan onto tempura paper at this point.

5. Make sauce by mixing 1 tbsp hot pepper paste, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 4 tsp water, 1/2 tbsp corn syrup (or honey) in a bowl, and then pour into pan.

6. Tip the pan so only the sauce is over the heat and simmer until the sauce looks shiny (and has thickened a little).
Note: If you removed the anchovies like I did, you don't have to tip the pan. Make sure the fire is not too big or else the sauce will burn.

7. Return anchovies back to the sauce and turn the heat off.

8. Add 1 tsp sesame oil and sesame seeds. Toss and mix everything well.

* You can keep it in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. When you eat it, put it at room temperature for a while before eating, so it can get soft. But seriously, is it even possible to have leftovers?!



  1. Hi Ju,
    Your mom sounds like a lot of fun. I can relate because I don't always confess, I am a die hard General Hospital fan and have been following it off and on since I was 17. That's wonderful she's taking language courses... whatever it takes right? She learning something new, way to go!

    Okay, anchovies are one of my favorite things in the world! I am going to try this soon, can hardly wait! Maybe I could even spread it on some crunchy french bread here? I've got a recipe for anchovy toast from my Vincent Price cookbook that is delicious... (just anchovies, garlic (tons of it), oil spread atop bread and broiled... supposed to top w/pats of butter but I usually skip that step (but it's so good!) I add bits of chile flakes too and it's good that way too.

    Thanks for the recipe, yay for anchovies and your mom's Korean dramas ;)

  2. ohhh u totally caught me by surprise, ju! i didn't expect you'll make this but its damn good right? and i think maangchi's recipes are all good. tried a couple so far :) i think your rendition looks better than mine, each anchovy is distinct and not stuck together. think i must be too generous with either the gochujang or the syrup hehe.

  3. me me love Korean drama :)))

    I haven't tried this, but I love onjinguh bokkeum. I'm sure everything with gochujang turns really yummy.

  4. I like the Korean style ikan bilis! Your pictures are getting better and better. Have a nice Sunday :)

  5. This is addictive stuff! I remember making it a couple of years ago, I should make it again...

  6. Ju, I am like you not a korean drama fan but I enjoy korean food a lot. This is the side dish I enjoy a lot in Korean restaurant, yummy!

  7. I am not a Korean drama fan but one time I was hooked watching one called Winter Sonata.... it wasn't fun cos I spent most of the time in front of the screen watching then crying!!
    Anyway, this stirfried anchovies looks really good!!

  8. I enjoy korean dramas and food but not fanatical about them unlike my daughter who is crazy about everything korean to the extent of speaking korean to me!
    The dish is indeed addictive! Whenever I make this, me and husband cannot stop munching!

  9. I am so so making this! I have all ingredients. YUMmMM!

  10. I don't fancy Korean dramas but I have to say your anchovies look marvelous! :)

  11. Haha your ma sounds like me, though I'm really not into Korean food, just the men. I had a Korean tenant once and the kitchen stank of garlic, they peel them by the gallon bags...

    And it's weird how their food often looks red or brown.

    But the actors, yummy.

  12. I eat Korean food fairly often but have not heard of this before. *gasp* Looks great though, will have to try this out sometime.

  13. They are one of J's faves too Ju..Your mom sounds like fun..
    I look at the women more isn't that funny?Especially at Award shows:)

  14. 맛있어요! 이 음식을 좋아요.

    : )

  15. Love Korean food. I always keeps a box of the hot pepper paste in the fridge, just in case the craving starts. Also, your tempeh recipe is now a regular item on our dinner table. Thanks for the great idea! The folks wouldn't want tempeh cooked any other way now :-)

  16. I thought these looked Korean hehe. Glad I didn't imagine it. All the little side dishes in Korean cuisine are awesome in my opinion. I could dine on those with rice alone. Mmmm.

  17. Oh I loved this, thanks for sharing the recipe, I am going to try it. :)

  18. I love anything with gochujang in it, and Poppa Trix is an anchovy fiend, so consider this on our menu! I have made that sticky spicy sweet tempeh of yours twice already and I LOVE it so ... enough said.

  19. First I need to know this name : Myulchi Bokkeum before I even search for a recipe like that :P

  20. Wow Ju this looks really interesting...
    I am trying to imagine the can make anything look absolutely delicious!

  21. Hello, Ju. I agree with your mom! Koreans are great looking people! (he, he, I am Korean!) Love your post and beautiful blog you have. Got linked to your blog through Foodgawker. Great to "meet" you!

  22. i'll always always finish this dish at a korean restaurant.
    or any anchovy/ikan bilis dish anywhere for that matter.
    just that i never bothered to cook it at home.
    hahaha. looks fantastic ju :)

  23. We just finished another batch of this :) Great pics!

  24. molto interessante questa ricetta. Buona settimana Daniela.

  25. Thanks for sharing!! I never ate this before,...Looks so lovely & grand pics too!

    Kisses from Brussels to you, dear Ju!

  26. I'm a K-drama addict! and huge K-food fan! I can't wait to try this! ahh...I miss my kitchen!

  27. oooh - this looks seriously good. The ingredients may be a struggle in the UK though.

    Your photos always make me feel hungry Ju :-)


  28. Hehe. I know what you mom went through lol. Not a huge fan of Kdrama, but they can be quite addictive.
    This is one of my fav Korean dishes. So addictive.

  29. *hands shot up*

    I used to dislike K-drama.. so soapy... but since Boys Over Flowers, i'm now a convert!

    U know the other day when Catherine and i had Korean food, the only side dish that got refilled was THIS! Lol!

    Yours look absolutely droolicious!

  30. I had those stirfried anchovies before but i would have never known how to call it. Myulchi Bokkeum.. i learned something new today! Absolutely delicious. I can't comment on Korean actors.. on Korean actresses maybe. :)

  31. Your mom sounds so adorable! My mother's a K-drama fan as well, and the living room's filled with cupboards of her box sets. In fact, the owner of the DVD shop near our place will call each time a new series comes in!

    I'm not too sure how she'd take to Korean dishes though, but I'll give this a go to find out :P

  32. Tracie: You are adorable! :)

    bossacafez: Thanks for the link to maangchi, Evan. It'll be one of my fave resources for Korean food from now on!

    Ellie: Thanks!

    Irene: I catch no ball, lah.

    Leemei: LOL! I know lah, that show was a tear-jerker. :O

    Trix, Experimental Cook: Good to hear you both like the tempeh!

    maameemoomoo: You and Catherine lah. Talk about Korean food in front of me. That's why I had to make my own since I couldn't join you. Boo hoo. BTW, Boys Over Flowers gonna be on OKTO. I will watch. :P

    Zen: LOL!!!

  33. chance upon ur site.. this blog is create for cooking!! thanks

    love this post. If only i know of this earlier! My Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) which I bought from Korea got wasted as it expired and I had no idea how to use it

  34. This looks easy to make. I will give it a try. You have interesting recipes on your blog.

  35. hI jU,

    Would know tat if use local ikan bilis before stir fry must wash or soak the ikan bilis frist? Thanks in advance~ ~

    Best Rgds