Sambal Ikan Bilis

by Lisa K. on Tue, February 20, 2018

Everyone should have a go to sambal ikan bills recipe. It is one of the essentials of being Malaysian. If you don’t have, here’s one of ours. To us, a good sambal is not too oily, savoury with a hint of sweetness. Mash it up with hot rice and a fried egg. Oh that just hits the spot! This is a simple sambal recipe with ikan bilis which you can master in no time.

Ngam with everything!

Serves 4 people

Adding sugar together with the chilli paste allows the chilli to mellow down and caramelize with the onions.

You can deep fry the anchovies before adding to the sambal for an extra crunch. No need to pre-soak it.

Foodster's Verdict

Sambal Ikan Bilis


  • Preparation
  • Total
    ½ cup oil
    ½ cup blended shallots (about 8 shallots)
    ½ cup chilli paste
    1 tbsp. sugar
    1 asam keping
    ½ tsp. salt
    Dried anchovies, soaked.

1. Heat oil in a wok and sauté blended shallots until it shrinks. By sauté I mean tumis sampai kecut.

2. Add in chilli paste, sugar and asam keping, continue sautéing slowly on medium low flames.

3. After 5 minutes, drain soaked anchovies and add it into the wok. Keep cooking until the paste becomes thick and the oil splits (pecah minyak).

4. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with Nasi Lemak or as a condiment. It goes with pretty much any Malay dish. Enjoy!

Not too oily and a good balance of sweet, savoury and spicy



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