Crispy Baked Ikan Bilis
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 I always 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 (I recommend two changes of water; 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.