Homemade Anchovy Powder Recipe – 멸치가루 (Myulchi Garu)

Ground anchovy powder is a pantry staple in my home that I use frequently for easy comforting Korean meals. This powder is ideal for soups and stews that call for anchovy broth and it comes in quite handy for days when I want to whip up something quick!

All I need to do is add a spoonful of this anchovy powder and the broth is basically ready! It shaves off about 20 minutes of cooking time but still provides the delicious umami flavors that you’d find in an anchovy broth. Since this anchovy powder has a very long shelf life when stored in the fridge, I usually like to make a big batch which typically lasts me over 6 months!

These anchovies also make a tasty snack or ‘anju‘ for drinking! The term ‘anju‘ is Korean for food or snacks that you enjoy drinks with. Whether you’re drinking or not, these make a great snack so feel free to save a handful before grinding them into a powder!

Why you’ll love this recipe

I must admit – making a dish from scratch will always taste superior compared to taking a shortcut. But on days when you’re in a rush or just want to make something with little to no effort, having anchovy powder can be a real lifesaver! Since anchovy broth is commonly used for most of my Korean-inspired recipes, I no longer have to repeatedly make anchovy broth from scratch thanks to the anchovy powder. This process also allows you to use the whole anchovy instead of discarding them after making the stock which reduces waste and maximizes the anchovy.

To make meal prepping easier, you can also make a big batch of anchovy broth with this powder and store it in the fridge or freezer until you need to use it. Trust me, doing this can save you a lot of time and trouble on days when you’re too tired or busy to cook!

Preparation Tips for Homemade Anchovy Powder

Making anchovy powder is as straightforward as it gets, but here are a couple of tips to keep in mind to make the process easier:

  • If you’re up for it, don’t discard the anchovy heads! They’re very flavorful and also minimize waste. Just make sure to remove the innards, which are usually black and found in the body of the anchovy.
  • If you like, you can also set aside a few portions of the toasted anchovies as a snack! Just store them in an airtight bag or container so they can maintain their crispness. Enjoy them as is or dip them in gochujang for a tasty snack. 
  • If you don’t have a blender, you can use a food processor to powder the dried anchovies. You can also use a mortar and pestle but prepare to use a lot of elbow grease to pulverize the dried anchovies!

How to pick the best dried anchovies for this recipe

The best anchovy powder starts by using high-quality dried anchovies, and the best way to determine that is to taste them. This will allow you to gauge whether their saltiness is suitable for your taste since different brands can have different formulas. 

However, sampling anchovies from different brands may be a bit impractical so the next best thing to look out for is their size. Dried anchovies that are around 2 inches long should be suitable for making stock, while smaller anchovies are usually ideal for sauteing. Dried anchovies with silvery blue colors are ideal because it’s a good sign that they’re fresh. However, ones with a dull yellow hue may be older stocks, so definitely keep an eye on the coloring of the anchovies. 

How do you remove dried anchovy guts?

Removing the innards from the dried anchovies at first can be perplexing because of their size and texture. But if I were you, I wouldn’t skip this step because leaving the innards will make the powder taste bitter. Plus, you don’t want to be eating poop and guts!

To remove the innards, open the belly of the dried anchovy from the underside. Split it in half and you should see a black chunk that’s connected to the head. That’s the stomach of the anchovy, and you should get rid of every bit of it. If you’re having trouble opening the dried anchovy, you could also break off its head and it should be easier to open in half. Repeat until you’re done removing all of the innards of the anchovies.

How to Prepare Homemade Anchovy Powder

Homemade anchovy powder doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to make, but I promise you’ll get a ton of uses from it! Get your dried anchovies ready and follow these easy simple steps below:

Step 1: Prepare the dried anchovies

To prepare the dried anchovies, remove their innards to prevent your dishes from having a bitter taste. 

Once you’re done removing the anchovy innards, you can either remove the head or leave them on. I prefer to keep the heads because they add a ton of flavor to the powder.

Step 2: Toast the anchovies

In a pan, add the anchovies and set the heat to low. Let the anchovies toast until they turn brown on both sides and are fragrant. You’ll know it’s ready when there’s a nutty roasted aroma coming from the anchovies. 

Step 3: Pulverize!

Remove the toasted anchovies from the heat and transfer them to a blender. Then, blend until they turn into a fine powder. Make sure to store the powder in an airtight container in the fridge to preserve its flavors!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store anchovy powder?

The great thing about this anchovy powder is its long shelf life. It can stay fresh for months as long as you keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Since it’s in powder form, you’ll need to make sure it stays dry, or else it will turn clumpy. If you notice any off-smell, discolor, or mold growth, that’s a sign that the powder has spoiled and it should be tossed immediately. 

Where can I buy dried anchovies?

Since dried anchovies are one of the most essential ingredients for a Korean household, you can find them in any Asian or Korean market. But if that’s not accessible to you, you can also look for reputable sellers online. Just make sure to check their reviews so you can see whether the dried anchovies you’re getting are good quality. Once you have your dried anchovies, make sure to keep them in an airtight container in the freezer to keep them fresh for longer. 

Do you need to clean dried anchovies?

Some people prefer to wash the dried anchovies a few times before cooking to reduce their salty taste. I don’t recommend washing them for this recipe since you’re they’ll be used to season soups, stews, and other dishes. The only cleaning you’ll need to do is remove the innards and they are ready to be used!

Why do you need to toast the dried anchovies?

Although dried anchovies are already cooked, toasting them before turning them into a powder will enhance their flavor and aroma. It will also be easier to pulverize them into a fine texture since they will be crisp after toasting. Just be careful not to burn them when toasting since this will give your anchovy powder a bitter taste. If you see the pan start to smoke before they’re done, immediately turn down the heat until the anchovies are ready. I also recommend occasionally stirring them to make sure both sides are evenly toasted.

What dishes can I use anchovy powder in?

If you’re looking for easy recipe ideas and ways to use this homemade anchovy powder, here are a few soup and stew recipes that I think you might enjoy!

1. Sujebi Noodlesa warm bowl of hand-torn sujebi noodles is a comforting presence on any cold or rainy day!

2. Korean Mussel Soup whether you’re a fan of mussels or just looking for a light soup to sip on, this recipe will get the job done.

3. Baechu Doenjang Guk (Cabbage Soybean Paste Soup) – for a heartwarming soup that reminds you of the taste of home, you can try making this recipe with anchovy powder to save time.

4. Rabokkithis dish is the perfect combination of ramen and tteokbokki for an easy and delicious meal at home!

5. Maeun Tang (Korean Spicy Fish Stew) – if you have some fish heads and bones at home, there’s no need to throw them out since you can turn them into a tasty stew!

6. Seafood Soondubu (Seafood Soft Tofu Stew) – for a medley of your favorite seafood and silken tofu, you have to try this recipe!

7. Soybean Paste Stew this is another one of my favorite Korean comfort foods. It’s a classic stew enjoyed by many!

Homemade Anchovy Powder Recipe – 멸치가루 (Myulchi Garu)

Ground anchovy powder is ideal for any soups or stews that call for anchovy broth and it comes in quite handy for days when I want to whip up something quick!
Servings 100
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1/2 lb dried anchovies innards removed


  • Prepare the dried anchovies by removing the innards. The heads add a ton of flavor so I like to keep them.
  • In a pan, add the anchovies and set the heat to low.
  • Toast until the anchovies until browned on both sides.
  • Transfer to a blender and blend into a fine powder.
  • Store in a tight lid container in the fridge.



  1. After toasting the anchovies, they can be eaten whole as a snack!
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Japanese, Korean

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