The mention of Sambal Ikan Bilis and somehow, I can just smell and taste it! And, if I close my eyes, it just becomes more vivid!
This is my first go at making sambal ikan bilis and I had to keep tasting whilst cooking to fine tune it particularly when adding the sugar. The sugar helps to subdue the saltiness and balances the overall taste. Bear in mind the belacan (shrimp paste) has a very salty foundation so don’t be too overzealous with the belacan – this is from experience!
In this dish, I chose to use limes and not tamarind to give the overall dish a less watery and runny effect so that I could eat it with bread too. Yup! I do love sambal ikan bilis buns sold at the local bakeries.
Verdict : My cream coloured chopping board has turned yellow from the fresh turmeric!! But it was worth it. Really worth it.
1 rice bowl Fried Ikan Bilis (fried anchovies)
10 pcs Red Chilies, discard seeds and centre stem
10 pcs Bird’s Eye Chilies
1 pcs Serai
2 cloves Garlic, peeled
3 pcs Shallots, peeled
1 inch Ginger
1 inch Turmeric
1 tbsp Belacan (shrimp paste), roasted
2 pcs Lime
1. Set aside Roast Belacan till powdery and fragrant. Set aside.
2. Grind Chilies, Serai, Garlic, Shallots, Ginger and Turmeric.
3. Heat wok. Once hot, add oil. Once hot, add the ground ingredients.
4. Fry till fragrant. Add Belacan and mix well.
5. Add Lime juice. Then add Sugar to taste. Stir and remove from fire.
6. Leave to cool.
7. Then mix in the fried Ikan Bilis. Serve.