Myu Reu Chi: Anchovies, anyone?

I'll bet you didn't know that more anchovies are consumed in Korea than in any other country. Probably far more than in Italy. Their abundance in markets in Korea in up to four sizes in dried form; and in salted as well as an extract versions. Fresh anchovies are only eaten as they are caught on the boats or as they are landed, as they go 'off' very quickly.

Large dried anchovy (over 77 mm) are used to make soup stock, and is often preferred to beef stock in many recipes. Medium size( 46mm to 76mm) and small size(31mm to 45mm) are braised; and extra small size ( less than 16mm), fried.

Anchovies are usually salted in early summer, and are ready to eat by early autumn. When they are completely matured, it is boiled and filtered to make an extract, and used as a flavouring in making certain kinds of kimchee, or as a substiture for soy sauce; giving whatever the dish an extra 'depth'. Recently commercially bottled anchovy extracts have made this a much wider used flavouring than it used to enjoy, mostly in southern regions. Prime quality salted anchovies are much sought after, and these are usually eaten shredded and mixed with spicy seasonings.

Anchovies are nutrionally superior source of protein and calcium, and as many side dish and soup recipes call for anchovies they are likely to be found in almost all Korean kitchens.