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.
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!
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
Put the dried anchovies in a colander. Shake and toss them so that the smallest bits and broken pieces fall through.
Combine the soy sauce. water, sugar, and rice syrup in a small bowl. Mix well.
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add vegetable oil. Add the garlic and stir with a wooden spoon for 10 seconds.
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.
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.
Mix the seasonings with the anchovies and peanuts until they are well coated.
Stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds.
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.