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Fish was omnipresent on Hektor Maille's journey through Korea, not just in the harbour of Mokpo, where he had to wait to take the boat to Hongdo.

Myulchi Bokkeum

Dried Anchovies in Spicy Sauce

Myulchi Bokkeum (멸치볶음) is a classic snack (Banchan) in the Korean kitchen, which is best-prepared with dried anchovies (Myulchi, roughly 5 cm in length). In Europe, dried fish can mostly be bought deep-frozen – not only for reasons of hygiene but also olfactory. According to this recipe, the fish takes on a lovely golden colour and salty-spicy aroma on preparation and is best served with white rice.

Hektor Maille came across this little-fish dish on the tables of restaurant «Hangari» in Gwangju, during his search for the missing daughter of the kidnapped Professor Koslow.

Ingredients (for 2 or 4 persons)

1 small handful dried anchovies of about 5 cm

1 tablespoons rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon red pepper paste (if available Corean Gochujang)

1 tablespoon sugar

3 pods garlic, pressed

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Some drops sesame oil


  1. Roast anchovies in a non-stick pan over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes. They will get more crispy and slightly brownish.
  2. Add oil and fry for one more minute, remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to minimum. Add pepper paste, water, sugar and garlic and mix well. If the sauce seems too thick, add some more water. When the ingredients have compound in a shiny sauce, add anchovies and stir well.
  4. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over it and add some drops of sesame oil. Mix again and serve lukewarm or cold. In the fridge Myulchi Bokkeum can be kept for several days.

If you like it more salty you may use soy sauce instead of water.

Myulchi Bokkeum has a beautiful reddish-gold hue and a wonderful crispy bite.

More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:

While Hektor Maille sat absorbed in the spicy aromas of these culinary preparations, he pondered the meaning of the Solomon's Seal that had appeared before him all of a sudden:

First Publication: 1-12-2009

Modifications: 25-1-2011, 18-6-2011, 14-11-2011, 13-12-2011