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I'm trying to make the broth part of Maanchi's tteokbokki recipe and it calls for dried anchovies. I'm on a bit of a time crunch so getting them online isn't the best and the closest Asian market is hours away. Could fresh Anchovies replace the dried ones?

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  • I don’t know how the anchovies are processed when they’re dried, so I can’t give any sort of definitive answer. There might be some fermentation going on, as there is in the Japanese katsuobishi (which will likely be even more difficult to find). If they’re just looking for the umami, kombu (dried seaweed) might work. I’ve also gotten dried shrimp at Latin grocery stores before. If available, I’d probably use shrimp paste before I used straight up canned or fresh sardines. Worst case scenario is to make something with what you have on hand, and save this recipe for another day
    – Joe
    Feb 8, 2023 at 15:53
  • And I just looked up the recipe ( maangchi.com/recipe/tteokbokki ) and it already calls for kombu… but you might be able to use fish sauce, I just don’t know the amount to use to replace a set amount of dried fish. But add the fish sauce towards the end of cooking the broth
    – Joe
    Feb 8, 2023 at 15:57
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    @BillyKerr anchovies are pretty commonly available fresh as well as salted. Neither is particularly similar to dried (unsalted) anchovies.
    – Sneftel
    Feb 8, 2023 at 22:16
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    This has kinda-sorta been answered already, here: cooking.stackexchange.com/q/56704/7180
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 8, 2023 at 23:37
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    @Sneftel - I have never seen fresh anchovies available for sale, not even at the fish mongers, but I suppose it depends where you come from. There aren't any anchovies in the North Sea. We have small fish such as sprats, but they're not quite the same. Another alternative might be fish sauce.
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 9, 2023 at 9:40

2 Answers 2

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Speaking as someone who has made this broth, it will not work. Fresh anchovies will add too much oil and will break up in the broth, making it cloudy and too fishy. You really want to look at other dried ingredients.

The answers to this question cover a fair range of what those dried ingredients could be.

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The purpose of broth in teokkbokki is generally just to give some depth to it, and is not vital to the flavor profile as some other recipes. (other strong flavors will cover most of it up anyway)

Dried anchovies or kombu is still the most orthodox option due to being considered to offer the most umami without influencing the flavor too much, but they can be somewhat replaced with other types of broth. Bone broth or beef stock also have their fans - although you will taste them much more than you would anchovy broth in the final product, which may be a plus if you like the meaty flavor.

Basically, most other standard broth or stock should work alright, and even just water works in a pinch - although as Maangchi says, it will be lacking a bit of oomph in that case.

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