August 8, 2006

Making "Sambal Ikan Bilis"

Strictly speaking; sambal-ikan-bilis should only be eaten alongside Nasi Lemak which is coconut scented rice and other condiments such as roasted peanuts, cucumber slices and deep fried anchovies. In Malaysia, Nasi lemak is usually eaten during breakfast and is commonly wrapped in banana leaf and a sheet of newspaper on the outside. They resemble tiny pyramids with the "sambal-ikan-bilis" peeking out between the folded corners! Just for fun, here's a short clip on my dodgy Nasi-Lemak wrapping skills. And of banana leaf is almost impossible to find here in Sydney, and we'll just have to improvise.;)

Pinky(housemate and dear friend) has been showing a new found interest in cooking and has been helping around in the kitchen. It's great having some company and I love how things get done alot faster when I cook daily meals for everyone. My eager little apprentice chef made the sambal all by herself today as I snapped photographs and ordered guided her around the kitchen with a whip smile *grin* :P
Here's the recipe:
1 small bowl full ikan bilis (dried anchovies)
4 red chillies
2 inch cube fresh ginger diced
4-5 cloves garlic
3 tomatoes chopped roughly
2 large onions sliced into thin rings
1 tbsp Nonya sambal paste (available at asian supermarkets)
1 heaped tsp belacan(
click on link for details on what this is)
Blend ginger, garlic, chillies and 1/2 the tomatoes into a smooth paste. Shallow fry onions with a little oil in a deep wok until wilted and fragrant. Add in the blended mixture and the anchovies. Stir for 4-5 minutes until well coated and partially cooked. Scoop in the rest of the sauces and throw in the tomatoes. Stir vigorously to combine and cook under low heat for approximately 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water if necessary. (depending on how moist you want it).
Note: this recipe is not for the faint hearted. Non-spicy eaters will have to pass ;) haha.
Here are a couple of suggestions for those watching their weight and would like to stay clear of the "Nasi" ( which means rice in Malay);
on Slices of Cucumber
or wrapped in crisp lettuce.


Lex said...

Hey, I wanted to ask u... does ricotta cheese always smell like fresh yogurt? hmm or is it spoilt already?

Anonymous said...

Ohh!! I LOVE Ikan Bilis Sambal!! Your post reminds me of the Nasi Lemak parcels my gnadma would get me every morning for breakfast on our trips to Malaysia!! I wanna go there now!

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

lex: erm..not really, it has a slight smell, but it isn't as distinct as a yogurt's sour smell.
If you keep it in the refrigerator till the expiry date, you should be fine. I'm not too sure on yours though. But mine doesn't smell too much like yogurt :O

meena: hey meena! haha making the parcels for fun was a trip down memory lane for me as well. I loved how theyre stacked on tables at the mamak stalls early in the morning.

Unknown said...

Yummilicious!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, wer's the nasi lemak??

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

haha in our tummys :P

Lex said...

oh really.. ok.. then i'm safe :D btw, I used it.. it's alrite :D thanks!

Anonymous said...

ikan bilis
300gm ikan bilis
1 tbsp chilli powder
4 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp oil
Pound finely together
2 onions
1 tbsp chilli powder

TO COOK: Heat a frying pan until hot, add 6 tbsp oil and stir fry the ikan bilis over a low fire or roast in a low oven until crispy. Set aside the ikan bilis, discard the oil. Add 6 tbsp (new)oil, stir-fry the onion and chilli powder until fragrant.Add in the ikan bilis, and then the 4 tbsp sugar and chilli powder.

160gm peanuts maybe added. Stir-fry before frying the ikan bilis.

*when cleaning the ikan bilis rinse them quickly as soaking will soften them and will not be crispy

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

thanks mom for the fried ikan bilis recipe :)

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if you can get really good ikan billis here in the US? The ones here in Colorado are not from Malaysia and can be so tough,chewy or just awful. Nothing like the light crunchy Malaysian ikan billis I so dearly love.