These crispy ikan bilis (anchovies) make a great snack on their own and can be used as a savoury topping for many Chinese dishes. If you can’t use them up, pulse them in an electric grinder to make ikan bilis powder which is a great seasoning powder and condiment. The typical way of making crispy ikan bilis is by deep-frying them in hot oil, but nowadays I avoided deep-frying unless there is absolutely no other way of substitution. The oven-baked version is oil-free and healthier, and I don’t have to worry about oil splatters as well. Bottle them in air-tight containers and store in a cool, dry place.
First, rinse the ikan bilis (anchovies) in a few changes of water depending on the saltiness of your ikan bilis (typically I recommend two changes of water; however, do not over-rinse or the ikan bilis may taste bland).
After rinsing the ikan bilis, pat dry on paper towels and arrange them one flat layer on a baking tray. For best results, allow to air dry first before baking in the oven.
Bake the ikan bilis in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes, until they have just turned a light brown shade (see above). Use a spatula to stir and spread them evenly.
Return to oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until the ikan bilis turn a shade of golden brown, as seen in the photo above.
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)
Rinse the ikan bilis (anchovies) in two changes of water (more if the type you bought is extra-salty).
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.
Bake the ikan bilis in a preheated oven of 180°C for about 10 - 15 minutes, until they just turned a lovely light brown.
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.