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Ikan Bilis Stock

Ikan Bilis Stock (Anchovies Stock)

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Making ikan bilis (anchovies) stock is fast and easy. Unlike making chicken or vegetable stock, you just have to simmer it for about 10-15 minutes; prolonged simmering is unnecessary and may result in a bitter taste.

See Also: Ikan Bilis Powder Recipe

A container of ikan bilis stock is handy to keep in the fridge for making porridge, as soup bases for dishes (such as spinach in superior stock) or noodles soup (such as mee suah soup and fish ball noodle soup).

Ikan Bilis (Anchovies)

Ikan Bilis (Anchovies)

The choice of ikan bilis is important. If you go to an Asian dried foods stall, you can ask the assistant which variety is the most ideal for stock making. I personally used the “Pangkor” variety which is good for soups. Wheras I use degutted ikan bilis for making ikan bilis powder, I use whole ikan bilis (head and tail in tact) for extra flavour in the soup stock.

Ikan Bilis Stock (Step-by-Step Photos)
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Rinsing Ikan Bilis (Anchovies)
Rinse the ikan bilis (anchovies) in a few changes of water. This will reduce the excess saltiness. 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; 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 the stock will taste bland.

Making anchovies (ikan bilis) stock
2. In a pot, bring water to boil. Add washed ikan bilis, red dates and ginger to the pot. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Do not simmer for too long or the broth may become bitter.

Making anchovies stock
3. Using a slotted ladle, remove ikan bilis, red dates and ginger. Strain the broth through a sieve. When the broth has cooled, transfer to a storing container.

86 comments on “Ikan Bilis Stock”

  1. its my first time to see this…. very interesting!

  2. Excellent! I used it to make a quick soup base too.

  3. It would be wonderful if I could use these anchovies stock to make some congee!

  4. Oooh! Sounds interesting–although I haven’t really used anything like it as an ingredient. Thanks for sharing!

    • yes this may be more familiar to those into Asian cooking. You can usually find the anchovies at an Asian grocery store instead of the usual supermarket.

  5. Mmmm, all the wonderful things you could make with this stock! Looks great!

  6. Add red dates is a good idea. I would have stayed with ikan bilis + soy beans to make such stock. I don’t usually do this stock though.

  7. I usually cook anchovies with soy beans. Adding red dates sounds great!

    To avoid bitterness, I use degutted and deboned anchovies.

    • Do you know where to buy the “degutted and deboned anchovies”? I am really quite noob here lol. Thanks in advance :)

  8. I like quick soup, handy to use and versatile for cooking. This is good stuff!

  9. What a wonderful idea. I normally use fish sauce but making this anchovies stock is fresher and no preservative. Thanks for the tips.

  10. I have never used ikan bilis stock as a base for soups – only used chicken stock – but I’ve heard it’s super tasty. Very educational post!

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