Korean anchovy broth (myeolchiguksu) is what ‘Dashi’ is to Japanese cuisine and forms the basis of many Korean sauces and soups. You can find it paired in all manner of seafood, meat and vegetable dishes. Traditionally, the broth is made from nothing more than dried anchovies, though it’s becoming increasingly more common to add kombu (kelp) to enhance its umami taste.
An umami-rich bundt cake
When conceiving of this savory bundt cake recipe, an ingredients search for anchovy broth in the Foodpairing® Tool revealed a surprising number of bread matches. In this recipe, our bundt cake gets infused with umami-rich Korean anchovy broth and is then topped with seaweed and seasonal vegetables.
Anchovies – Asparagus – Fava Beans – Seaweed
Our search also revealed that asparagus and fava beans pair well with anchovies, sharing cheesy, buttery aromatic notes with the dried fish. As you can see in the diagram below, fava beans provide separate aroma links to wakame (seaweed) and the anchovies. We also choose soy sauce, another umami-packed seasoning agent, to highlight the caramellic, maple syrup-like flavors of the anchovies.
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Wakame and Hijiki (seaweed)
Rather than adding kombu to the anchovy broth, I chose to garnish our savory bundt cake with the more delicate Japanese wakame and hijiki seaweeds to enhance the umami taste of our dish, and because they pair well with the asparagus and fava beans. I then marinated the hijiki in a typical Japanese seasoning mixture of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and mirin (sweet rice wine) to intensify its flavor.
Savory Anchovy Broth-infused bundt cake
Korean Anchovy Broth
When preparing Korean anchovy broth, it’s essential that you first remove the innards to prevent your broth from turning bitter. Simmering it uncovered allows for the ‘fishy aroma” to evaporate, resulting in a clean flavored broth.
- 10–12 dried anchovies
- 1.3 L water
Using the tip of a sharp knife, make a slit along the belly of each dried anchovy and carefully scrape out its dried innards. Then, transfer the dried anchovies to a medium-sized pot. Fill the pot with 1.3 liters of water and allow the anchovies to rehydrate and infuse for 20 minutes before turning on the heat to simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
Optional: If you prefer a more flavorful, umami-rich stock, you can add a piece of dried kombu, 2 to 3 garlic cloves and half an onion.
Japanese Hijiki (seaweed)
- 5 g dried hijiki
- 50 g soy sauce
- 50 g Japanese mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 35 g Japanese rice wine vinegar
Presoak the dried hijiki in a bowl of cold water for about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, mirin and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Add the rehydrated hijiki, making sure it is fully covered by the marinade. Soak for at least 30 minutes (or longer, if you prefer a stronger flavor) to allow the flavors to infuse. Drain and set aside.
Savory bundt cake
- 180 g whole eggs
- 60 g egg yolk
- 150 g sugar
- 120 g flour
- 20 g corn starch
- 6 g salt
- 5.5 g dried yeast powder
- 2 pinches of soy lecithin
- a few drops of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 175ºC/347ºF. Grease the insides of bundt cake molds.
Mix the eggs together with the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, mix and then pass through a sieve. Pour the strained mixture into a siphon bottle. Charge the siphon bottle with 2 capsules of gas and 1 capsule of soda.
Next, pipe the dough into the greased bundt cake molds. Transfer to the oven and bake at 175ºC/347ºF for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it turns golden. (For best results, place a cup of water in an oven-safe dish in the oven to retain moisture.) Then, remove the bundt cakes from the oven and allow to cool. Carefully remove the cakes from the mold and transfer each to a separate shallow bowl.
- asparagus tips, lightly sautéed
- fava beans, lightly sautéed
- spring onions, lightly pan-roasted
- 5 g Japanese wakame, rehydrated
- Japanese hijiki, seasoned (recipe above)
Rehydrate the wakame in a bowl of cold water. Drain well and set aside.
Reheat the Korean Anchovy Broth and gently ladle some over the bundt cake until the liquid appears to have been absorbed by the cake.
To serve, top the bundt cake with the cooked asparagus and fava beans. Garnish with a stalk of the roasted green onions slivers of the Japanese wakame and hijiki.