Back home in Malaysia we use a lot of ‘ikan bilis’, or dried anchovies, in our cooking. They are actually small fish which are dried in the sun and can be kept for a long time if they are very dry. They come in different sizes for different types of dish. It’s a must for ‘nasi lemak’, a very popular Malaysian meal in a dish. If you like a quick ‘nasi lemak’, please check it out at Easy Nasi Lemak Overseas - Malaysia’s Great Favourite. It’s actually not that difficult to cook at home. In fact, this dish that I’m going to share here can go very well with ‘nasi lemak’, too.
A lovely friend gave me some REALLY tiny ‘ikan bilis’ recently. My gosh….that’s just so precious because I can’t get it here in Aberdeen. Maybe it’s available in big cities like London. So if you ever want to cook this dish, remember to look out for it if it’s not available in your place and you are on holiday somewhere, especially in Asian countries. A slightly bigger ones would do too but preferably not too big.
I still have some Scotty Brand potatoes in my fridge. After cooking a delicious dish of duck with it, Baby Potatoes And Roast Duck Stir Fry, I thought the ‘ikan bilis’ and baby potatoes would most likely make a great dish too. I was right. It was really good with rice though a little too spicy. It’s sort of funny that you think it’s too spicy and yet you want to keep eating!
The recipe is rather simple. Here it is:
250g potatoes (already peeled)
20g dried ikan bilis
3pc garlic (peeled and chopped)
1T crushed dried chillies (use less if you don’t want it so spicy)
1T light soya sauce
3/4T sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
1T lemon juice
Cut the potatoes into thin strips. Heat up some oil in a frying pan, add the potatoes and pan fry until brown. Flip over and continue to fry until brown too. They may not brown evening but it’s ok. You can deep fry it if you like. That would just mean more cleaning and left over oil to handle. Dish up the potatoes when it’s done.
Heat up some oil again and add the chopped garlic and ‘ikan bilis’ and fry till golden. Use quite low fire as you don’t want the ‘ikan bilis’ to get burnt. Fry until the ‘ikan bilis’ turns crispy. Add the crushed chillies and stir through.
Add the fried potatoes and the seasoning in Ingredients B to the ‘ikan bilis’. Mix well.
Turn off the fire and dish up.
This dish would taste a lot more delicious if you add some ‘belachan’ (prawn paste) while frying the ‘ikan bilis’. Due to my surgery, I try to avoid all prawns as it’s known to slow down healing. Just too bad as prawns are one of my top favourite……*sigh*. You’ll probably see a lot of prawn dish when my leg recovers fully……*grin*
Are you up for spicy food? For your info, always have a glass of milk ready just in case it’s too hot for you. It works like magic! Sliced cucumber goes very well with this dish too.
Quote of the day……
“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.”
- Anthony Robbins