Sambal ikan bilis

A quick recap for new followers. Sambal = paste. Ikan bilis = dried anchovies. It is common in Malaysian cuisine and the most important ingredient of nasi lemak, the most famous Malaysian dish. Of all wonderful and special Asian countries I have visited, Malaysia is the only one I could think as a new home country. Guess what? It is also in my opinion the best place in the world where to eat. Do you see a connection? ;P


The last time I had the privilege to visit it was last December. I bought with me some jungle chilies back to Europe, that I dried and planted. They have grown and now have given me some wonderful new chilies. What´s the best way to use them then that with a sambal ikan bilis?


I have just finished mixing all ingredients and the final result is sooo good. I am really looking forward to my first home cooked nasi lemak after the Malaysian vacation.

Until then here the recipe I have used for the sambal. In comparison with the true Malaysian one mine is “fishier” and less sweet but hope you will enjoy it anyway!



Sambal Ikan Bilis (Dried anchovies sambal)


Ingredients for 6 portions of 45g sauce


1/2 red onion

1 cup ikan bilis (you can use sardine paste and/or any dried fish as substitute)

1 clove garlic

4 shallots

10 dried chillies

1 tablespoon of belacan (prawn paste)

1 tablespoon of molasses

2 tablespoons of tamarind sauce

salt to taste

a little of water


You just mix everything in the food processor until smooth. You can pack the paste in portions and refrigerate it, so that you have it ready to eat when you cook Malaysian food.



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