Monday, November 28, 2011

Sambal Ikan Bilis 參巴江魚仔 Dried Anchovies In A Spicy Sauce - "Malaysian Monday 62"

What are the must have side dishes when serving nasi lemak? For me the most basic serving of nasi lemak should be served with all the following condiments or toppings; a good sambal, cucumber slices, egg (hard boiled or fried), fried peanuts and fried anchovies (crispy or in a sambal)

In our household, we are divided into 2 fractions when it comes to how the dried anchovies should be prepared. Some like the crispy anchovies serve alongside the sambal and the rest prefer the anchovies to be mixed into the spicy sambal. What is your preference?

I decided to make a small batch of this delicious side dish when my craving for nasi lemak was becoming too painful to bear. 

P.S a more detailed post on our recent nasi lemak meal will be posted in the coming days.

makes 2 cups
you'll need;
1 cup of dried anchovies, rinsed and drained very well
oil for frying
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup of sambal tumis
3 tbs of sugar
4 tbs of tamatind concentrate
1/4 cup of coconut milk

Rinse the dried anchovies to remove the excess salt, drain well and set aside. Slice onion into 3 mm thick slices.

Fill a frying pan with 1 cm of cooking oil and when the oil is hot enough, fry anchovies until golden and crispy, remove and drain well.

Saute onion with about 2 tbs of cooking oil until soften.

Add sambal tumis to the pan and continue to cook for 2 minutes on medium heat before adding sugar, tamarind concentrate and coconut milk. Mix well and cook for a further minute.

Turn off the heat and when the sauce has cooled down, return the fried anchovies to the pan and mix well.

Serve the spicy anchovies as part of a nasi lemak meal. 

My friend Sharon from Test With Skewer is hosting the November event. Please send all your entries to To find out more about the event and how to enter, please click HERE


  1. And now I've got a hankering for nasi lemak! That looks delicious.

  2. laparnya bila nampak nasi lemak Tummy ni..dah lama tak makan nasi lemak..berbulan bulan lamanya

  3. Oh so sedap! I like the crispy ikan bilis on the side and even though I love sambal Ikan bilis, I actually prefer sambal udang or sambal sotong.

  4. To tell the the truth I like mine with sambal ikan bilis with extra crispy ones on the side :) Time for nasi lemak I reckon.

  5. Very nice indeed! I can't stop looking at the last photo, may I have a serving please!

  6. I am craving for nasi lemak after seeing your post. I prefer sambal rather than crispy anchovies :)

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