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Crispy Baked Ikan Bilis


Use cleaner, higher grade ikan bilis (the ones I used had head and tail removed; and some people use de-gutted/de-boned ones).

Crispy Baked Ikan Bilis (Anchovies)

Ikan bilis come in vary degrees of saltiness depending on the type you buy and as a general guide, I recommend rinsing them in two changes of water before use; but if your ikan bilis is the extra-salty variety, you may need another 1-2 rinses. At the same time, do not over-rinse the ikan bilis or they will taste bland.

Serves: 200 grams (per oven tray)

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 30 mins


  • 200 grams ikan bilis/anchovies/江鱼仔 (roughly 200 grams per tray)


  1. Rinse the ikan bilis (anchovies) in two changes of water (more if the type you bought is extra-salty).
  2. Pat dry the ikan bilis on paper towels and arrange them one flat layer on a baking tray. For best results, allow to air dry for about an hour before baking.
  3. Bake the ikan bilis in a preheated oven of 180°C for about 10 - 15 minutes, until they just turned a lovely light brown.
  4. Use a spatula to stir and spread the ikan bilis evenly, then continue baking at 200°C for another 10 minutes, or until they turn a shade of golden brown. Store in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.

Leave a Comment

17 Responses to “Crispy Baked Ikan Bilis”

  1. kisetsu — September 9, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    Oh why din I thot of this! I kept frying the ikan bilis on the heated wok (without oil on non-stick pan), it does get crispy but the crispness won’t last long. Shall try your method. ;)


    • wiffy replied: — September 9th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

      bottle them to keep the crispiness. And should they lose their crisp, you can toast in the oven for a few minutes for them to crisp up again :)


  2. suanie — September 9, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    Do you think the same result can be achieved using the air fryer?


    • wiffy replied: — September 9th, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

      Yes, air fryer can (at a shorter time and temperature that is stated in the recipe). However, air fryer is much smaller as compared to oven (the ikan bilis need to be arranged a flat layer for best results); so unless you are baking in small quantities, oven will be more viable option.


  3. Eliza — September 9, 2013 @ 10:28 pm


    Can I use the micro oven?



    • wiffy replied: — September 19th, 2013 @ 11:29 am

      Don’t think microwave can crisp well, unless yours come with a baking feature.


  4. Little Corner of Mine — September 9, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

    Such a great idea! Since I want to cut down on microwave usage, oven is the best choice!


  5. tigerfish — September 10, 2013 @ 5:00 am

    good idea! so much easier to bake them! so trying this next time…


  6. The Sudden Cook — September 11, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

    If you’ve making ikan bilis sambal, can you make the sambal, crisp up the ikan bilis as per your recipe then add both together?


    • wiffy replied: — September 14th, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

      that’s what I will do, I think you can even throw in some peanuts to roast together with the ikan bilis :)


  7. Juliana — September 13, 2013 @ 3:32 am

    I like these little baked anchovies, as a matter of fact I buy them often, but never baked myself…I should try it since it is so simple.
    Thanks for the recipe Wiffy and hope you are having a great week :D


  8. Lily — September 13, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    I do this too, mostly to be blended into powder for anchovy stock to make sup. Bayam, bit of garlic, dash of fish sauce and light soy sauce makes the complete nutitious soup.


    • wiffy replied: — September 19th, 2013 @ 11:30 am

      love the homely soup base!


  9. Michelle — September 14, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

    Hi Wiffy,
    I also bake my ikan bilis and keep them bottled. Will add to noodles , congee or fried rice whenever we feel like having some. In fact, I added them to the stir fried cabbage+tanghoon I cooked for dinner tonight -what a crunch! Thanks for sharing our simple but yummy healthy tips!


    • wiffy replied: — September 19th, 2013 @ 11:26 am

      Thanks for your note. Another dish to add them to is Ban mian, I am craving for some now :)


  10. Carolyn Ong — August 23, 2014 @ 5:05 pm

    We should set the oven to what degree?