Ikan Bilis Powder (江鱼仔粉)
One of most rewarding things I find from keeping a recipes blog is that I get to learn many neat tricks and tips from my readers, of which I am really grateful for. When I posted my recipe for ikan bilis (anchovies) stock a while back, a reader lynette shared this awesome idea:
” I hate the freezer space that the anchovies takes so I bake them and then use the blender to turn them into ikan bilis powder. It’s my secret ingredient to all my soups. A giant plastic bag turns into a handy small jar. We use the ikan bilis that has been cleaned (i.e. without the heads and entrails) as it has a lower cholesterol content but retains its calcium value.”
and then adding on to this comment, another reader jsager shared:
“With ikan bilis in powder form, there is no waste or boiled-out ikan bilis to throw away. More importantly, if the backbone has not been removed (as happens in some of the super clean ikan bilis you find in the stores nowadays), you will get a very healthy dose of good calcium, that most of us are short of.”
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I was totally sold. I embarked on making the ikan bilis powder and with the help of my oven and electric blender, I found the process really easy and effortless. This is a great condiment for porridge and also a secret ingredient for many dishes, particularly soup and stir fries. These ikan bilis has a naturally sweet and salty taste that complements many types of savoury dishes. At first, I wasn’t sure what temperature to bake the ikan bilis in, but luckily I found wokkingmum’s detailed and useful recipe which gives me a very clear guide to start with.
- ikan bilis (anchovies) 江鱼仔 (any amount, as long as it can fit one layer on a baking tray) I use those which are without head and tail. You can use any type of degutted and/or deboned anchovies.
- A flat baking tray
- An electric blender with straight blade (instead of crossed) which is good for pulverising dry ingredients to powder form
- If you don’t have a blender, you can also use a mortar and pestle to pound them into powder form
A note about the ikan bilis. Try to use cleaner types (as you can see from the photo, the ones I use had no head and tail) since you are consuming them (instead of just boiling them for stock).
Now, place the baked ikan bilis in an electric blender with straight blades (see next photo for an idea of what the blades look like) and blend for about 30 seconds, or until they become powder form. If you do not have an electric blender, you can see a mortar and pestle to pound them.
What you get is fine ikan bilis powder which is very versatile – you can use it as a condiment for plain porridge or as a secret seasoning ingredient in many types of dishes (such as soups and stir fries). Store in an air tight container in a cool and dry place (such as the fridge).
Experiment with different species and grade of ikan bilis to find the one that suit your taste buds. Different types have different degrees of saltiness.
Who’s also making it
- Wokking Mum
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