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Ikan Bilis Powder

Ikan bilis powder

Get this recipe on the next page >>

One of most rewarding things about keeping a recipes blog is that I get to learn many neat tricks and tips from my readers. 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.”

You May Also Like: Ikan Bilis Stock Recipe

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.”

Grinder Blades

Grinder Blades

I was sold. I embarked on making the ikan bilis powder with the help of my oven and electric grinder, finding the process satisfying and effortlessly easy. This is a great condiment for porridge (baby food!) and also a secret ingredient for many Chinese dishes, particularly soup and stir fries. These ikan bilis have a naturally sweet and salty taste that complements many types of savoury dishes.

Printable Recipe >>

(with oven temperature, measurements and printable view)

 Step by Step Description
Rinsing Ikan Bilis (Anchovies) First, 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; the ikan bilis powder needs to be quite salty to work its magic as a seasoning condiment.
Baking Ikan Bilis After washing 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 before baking in the oven.
4982990168_011f96627c_o Bake the ikan bilis in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes (oven temperature are at the printable recipe on page two; link above), until the ikan bilis have just turned a light brown shade (see above). Use a spatula to stir and spread them evenly.
Baked Ikan Bilis Return to oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until the ikan bilis turn a shade of golden brown, as seen in the photo above. At this point, they are crispy and makes a great snack or a savoury topping for many Chinese dishes.
Grinder Pulse the baked ikan bilis in an electric grinder until they become powder. If you do not have an electric grinder, you can see a mortar and pestle to pound them.
Ikan Bilis Powder 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).

92 comments on “Ikan Bilis Powder”

  1. Wiffy, this is a really cool idea! I think that this must be quite similar with powdered dashi. I will keep this recipe in mind…!

  2. What a fantastic idea! I have to try this.

  3. This is great secret ingredient. Very convenient, gotta try if I come across some anchovies.

  4. This is definitely a great idea. Also, taking us through the process step by step is sheer genious. A must try and a great help for those anchovie lovers..like muy husband

  5. What is stir fries ? Pardon my ignorance… :P

  6. This is such a great idea! I love anchovies! They have such great flavor. To have it at your fingertips like this rocks!

  7. Thanks for this post. truly informative. I have been wanting to know how to bake ikan bilis since my mum in law baked them some time back and they were super crispy. I dislike frying them. Will try baking method. Thanks again!

  8. My sister in law gives this ikan bilis powder to my niece to go with her porridge or other foods. Such a great seasoning. I love it too! not only you get extra calcium, the reason why she gives it to her because it helps in children’s brain development as well. Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to make this too. Does it matter what size the ikan bilis is ?

  9. My Burmese friend just taught me how to make dried shrimp powder which she used for her sambal brinjal dish. She the shrimp powder instead of belacan which is healthier.
    She use good quality dried shrimps, wash and air dry it. Then blend it and put into a bottle.
    Maybe baking it may be more aromatic.

  10. Can we fry the ikan bilis instead of baking them? I do not have an oven!!

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