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Ikan Bilis Powder

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).

Ikan Bilis Powder Recipe

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; the ikan bilis powder needs to be quite salty to work its magic as a seasoning condiment.

Serves: 150 grams (per tray)

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins


  • 150 grams ikan bilis/anchovies/江鱼仔 (any amount, as long as it can fit one layer on a baking tray; about 200 grams per tray)
  • water

You also need:

  • 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


  1. Rinse the ikan bilis in two changes of water to reduce the excess saltiness (if the type you bought is very salty, you may need to rinse a few more times).
  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 before baking in the oven.
  3. Bake the ikan bilis in a preheated oven of 180°C (356°F) or 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 (392°F) for another 10 minutes, or until they turn a shade of golden brown. At this point, they should be crispy and makes a great snack too.
  5. Add the baked ikan bilis in an electric blender and blend for about 30 seconds, or until they become powder form. Store in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.

Noob Cook Tip:
Since you are "eating" the ikan bilis, buy the cleaner varieties (preferably the ones which have been degutted; head & tail removed).

Leave a Comment

84 Responses to “Ikan Bilis Powder”

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  1. hemjoo — January 17, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    My mother-in-law taught me to bake/toast ikan bilis (no washing) in oven before keeping them in the freezer. This will make sure it’s very dry and remove its rather fishy smell too. When making stock, i’d rinse and put the ikan bilis into a pot, sprinkle shallot oil on it and heat it up to get a v fragrant smell before adding the water to boil. The stock is tasty. I remove the ikan bilis before adding other ingredients to make a soup or use it to cook porridge.
    BUT i will definitely want to give this a try! Thanks.


  2. Min {Honest Vanilla} — February 24, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    Hi Wiffy, I love the retro looking sauce dish, green outlines with yellow enamel. May I know where to buy it? :) I have matching plate but no sauce dish!


    • wiffy replied: — February 24th, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

      Hi Min, I got it when my family, eons ago, redeemed the cutlery set from the petrol kiosk. I wish I have a spare one to give to you :(


  3. Linda — July 2, 2011 @ 5:54 pm


    Just a question, after you wash the ikan bilis, how do you dry the ikan bilis before you put in the oven?

    I also like the blender, very convenient.



  4. Spicemaine — September 22, 2011 @ 3:22 pm


    If i want to use make soup, can use the Ikan Bilis Power also? The duration will it be the same as using Ikan Bilis itself? Or the time will be shorter?



  5. Corinne — April 18, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    How much ikan bilis powder do you use for eg 500ml of stock? I guess it will not be necessary to boil powder plus powder for 10 mins as per your ikan bilis stock recipe?


    • wiffy replied: — April 18th, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

      Hi Corrine, sorry I’m not sure what you mean. For ikan bilis stock, I use this recipe


      • Corinne replied: — April 19th, 2012 @ 2:57 am

        Do you use this powder to make stock instead of the whole ikan bilis as written in your ikan bilis stock recipe?

        • wiffy replied: — April 19th, 2012 @ 9:21 am

          For soup stock, I use the ikan bills; but if I just want to season the soup for that extra special flavor, I use the powder.

  6. Kathy — November 17, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    I don’t think domoic acid can be rinsed off. It is a pretty serious toxin if present. See


  7. Rose — March 4, 2013 @ 4:45 pm


    Do I need to wait for the ikan bilis to be completely dry before putting them in the oven?



    • wiffy replied: — March 5th, 2013 @ 11:24 am

      Hi Rose, no I didn’t. Just semi-dry will do.


      • Rose replied: — March 7th, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

        Thanks Wiffy, will give it a try soon.

      • Janet replied: — January 8th, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

        Actually u can get the ready made in bottle from Pearl Island Seafood Sdn Bhd. We were recommended by fried and we call the shop in Penang at 0125413088 and they will send straight to our house. One bottle is just RM8(not including the mail order fee). We order 4-5 bottle one time. It is so convinient, no need to wash, dry, bake, blend and etc… why not you give it a try!

  8. Cindy — June 29, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    Hi Wiffy, the ikan bilis powder can keep in the fridge for how long?

    Thank u.


    • wiffy replied: — June 30th, 2014 @ 10:48 am

      Keep the powder dry (no water), cover with lid and keep in fridge for at least 2 weeks (and possibly longer).


  9. Amy — July 31, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    Hi Wiffy,

    Tks for sharing ur recipe. Can I know where do you buy the not so salty w/o head n entail ikan billis from?

    The temperature to set and symbol (top / bottom , cross, light bulb, two dots on top or four dots on top) to use when baking in oven?

    First time mum of 6 months old bb girl n novice cook

    Thanks in advance for your assistance!


    • wiffy replied: — July 31st, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

      You can buy the “Pangkok” variety from Fu Hua medical halls. My mum bought ikan bilis for me from Perak.

      I’m sorry, I don’t understand your second question about the oven. The full recipe on page two indicates the oven temperature.


      • Amy replied: — August 7th, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

        Hihi, I just went fu hua but their pangkok venison comes with head and tails. Any other place to get? Less salty and with head and entail removed?

        Second question: As in turn oven knob to which cooking mode?

        Tks a lot!

        • wiffy replied: — August 8th, 2014 @ 3:51 pm

          Maybe that particular Fu Hua runs out as they usually carry two types of ikan bilis. Anyway, you can buy them at any shop selling Chinese dried goods (at the wet market, or Chinatown, Rochor area). Every oven comes with different setting. Just turn it to the correct temperature as stated on the full printable recipe on page two.

  10. sherilyn — October 1, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

    Hi Wiffy..
    may i know what temp should i set the oven for baking the ikan bilis? And also do i need to preheat the oven before baking them?


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