Korean Style Lake Smelt
This Korean style lake smelt is made in the fashion of myeolchi bokkeum, the delicious Korean ban chan dish of dried anchovies in a spicy sauce. It is quite a pungent and powerful dish, so you only need a little bit, and it’s best served as a snack, a side, in a banchan (Korean side dish) spread, or with lots of white rice.
- Prep Time10 min
- Cook Time5 min
- Total Time15 min
- Yield4 servings as part of a ban chan spread or appetizer
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2 lb (225g) lake smelt, gutted, heads on or off
- 1 tablespoon (8g) gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) water
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon (8ml) gochujang (Korean fermented pepper paste)
- 1 tablespoon (12g) white sugar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed into a paste
- 1/2 cup (70g) white flour
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon (8g) sesame seeds
- Cilantro to garnish
Add at least 1 inch (2cm) of oil to a skillet or wok.
Slowly heat it up to 350°F (175°C).
Rinse off lake smelt.
Prepare sauce by adding the gochugaru, water, soy, fish sauce, gochujang, sugar, and garlic into a bowl and mixing well.
Pour the flour onto a plate or into a plastic bag and add the salt and pepper to season it.
Toss the smelt in the flour, so that every one is coated in it.
Working in 2 batches, fry the smelt in the hot oil for 3 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Remove from the oil and let drain on a paper towel.
Add the fried smelt to a wok or frying pan over medium high heat.
Add the sauce and toss the smelt in it so everything is coated. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and sticky.
Add in the sesame seeds, then transfer to a plate or bowl.
Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!