Dried Anchovies are a much loved South East Asian ingredient. Known as Ikan Bilis in Malay, they are pungent, smell of the sea and packed with umami notes and flavour.
How to use dried anchovies?
In many, many endless ways! One of my favourite methods of livening up an Asian meal is to serve it with some fried anchovies. All you do is fry a handful or two in half a cup of hot oil for about a minute until they turn a mid brown colour. They add a deep, salty flavour and a fantastic crunch to any meal. If you happen to have peanuts lying about, fry those up too and be amazed at the affinity between these 2 very humble ingredients.
While dried anchovies are quite commonly used as a garnish or as a side, they can also be cooked more elaborately. Sambal Ikan Bilis is a spicy side dish made with chillies that is a regular accompaniment to many meals and a staple chilli paste or condiment to Nasi Lemak, a coconut rice dish traditionally eaten at breakfast