Exploring the flavours of Korea one bite at a time! This dish is a delightful fusion of crispiness and umami-rich goodness. #KoreanCuisineLove 🇰🇷🍽️ Myeolchi Bokkeum: A savory Korean stir-fry featuring crispy anchovies, known for their umami goodness. Discover the flavours of Korea in every bite!
When we talk about Korean cuisine, the first dishes that often come to mind are classics like kimchi, bulgogi, or bibimbap. However, the rich and diverse world of Korean food goes far beyond these well-known favourites. One such hidden gem is “Myeolchi Bokkeum,” a delightful dish that deserves a place of honour on your dining table.
Myeolchi Bokkeum is rooted in the deep history of Korean cuisine. Anchovies, the star of this dish, have been a staple in Korean cooking for centuries. The practice of fermenting and salting fish dates back to ancient Korea, making seafood an integral part of the Korean diet.
Myeolchi Bokkeum showcases the art of turning simple ingredients into a mouthwatering masterpiece. These tiny fish are sautéed to perfection, becoming crispy and irresistibly flavourful. The dish’s savory, slightly sweet, and umami-rich sauce highlights the complexity of Korean culinary traditions. Myeolchi Bokkeum, while often served as a side dish or banchan, plays a significant role in the Korean dining experience. It provides a delightful contrast to other bold and spicy dishes, offering balance and harmony on the palate.
As Korean cuisine gains international recognition, Myeolchi Bokkeum is making its mark outside Korea too. While this dish remains a beloved part of traditional Korean feasts, it has also found its way into contemporary fusion cuisine. Chefs worldwide are putting their spin on this classic, incorporating it into various culinary creations. Whether served alongside a bowl of hot rice or as a crispy topping for a fresh salad, Myeolchi Bokkeum is a versatile, beloved dish in Korea and beyond.
Myeolchi Bokkeum holds a special place in our hearts, particularly for my daughter. It’s one of her favourite banchan, and she’s quite particular about how it’s prepared. She fondly recalls tasting a remarkably delicious version made by her primary school classmate’s Korean mom. The flavours and textures of that memorable dish left an indelible mark. Every visit to their home after school was a culinary adventure, as the mom would serve her unforgettable Myeolchi Bokkeum. Even today, when we dine at Korean restaurants, my daughter still seeks that unique flavour and texture that her classmate’s mom used to create. It’s a standard that’s hard to match, and it never fails to disappoint her.
To recreate the magic of that Korean mom’s recipe, we decided to make Myeolchi Bokkeum at home. While our version may not reach the same heights as that unforgettable dish, my daughter proudly declares it a close second. The joy of cooking it together and reminiscing about those cherished school days is a priceless experience.
Myeolchi Bokkeum boasts a harmonious blend of flavours and textures. The anchovies, when stir-fried to perfection, become irresistibly crispy and flavourful. The savory, slightly sweet, and umami-rich sauce envelops each tiny fish, creating a delightful contrast. It’s a dish that tantalizes the taste buds, offering a balance of crunchiness and succulence that’s nothing short of spectacular.
Rinse the dried anchovies thoroughly under cold running water to remove any impurities. Drain well and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the cleaned and dried anchovies to the pan and stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes until they become crispy and turn a light golden brown. (Be careful not to overcook as they can quickly burn).
In a small bowl, mix together minced garlic, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), and black pepper. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Reduce the heat to low and push the anchovies to one side of the pan. Pour the prepared seasoning over the anchovies. Gently stir and toss everything together to evenly coat the anchovies with the sauce. Continue to stir-fry for an additional 1-2 minutes, allowing the sauce to caramelize and coat the anchovies.
Remove the pan from heat.
Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the Myeolchi Bokkeum and toss to combine.
Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil for extra flavour.