Crispy Anchovies with Tempe / Ikan Bilis -Tempe Masak Kicap

September 21, 2016

Crispy Anchovies with Tempe

Now... this Crispy Anchovies with Tempe / Ikan Bilis -Tempe Masak Kicap, is really not a posh food at all :P

Why I say that?

Big restaurants with few stars in its hat will not have this on its menu. Perhaps... its too easy, too simple for simple people with simple taste buds.
But you may be able to sample some Crispy Anchovies with Tempe / Ikan Bilis -Tempe Masak Kicap in a roadside warong (eateries).

Crispy Anchovies with fermented soybeans

I love this kind of simple food... I could eat them everyday, with cut up bird's eye chillies, squeeze a little bit of lime, spoon the dish onto hot steaming rice.
Spoonful of food heaven in my mouth :D every time...

I used to buy dried anchovies from Asian grocer (fridge section), but not anymore. I find the packets of dried anchovies they sell are bigger, thicker and harder once fried!!! I had hard time chewing the next day. If I am not mistaken...they may be from Vietnam.

Malaysian dried anchovies are thinner and crisp to perfection when deep fried. It made an excellent condiment to coconut rice / nasi lemak or anchovies floss/ serunding ikan bilis to go with glutinous rice/ lemang.

There are many variants to this dish, sometimes I add french fries or sliced, deep fried potatoes... this time... its tempe. 
Love the crunch, sweet, sour and salty ...

Caution: you would want to fry your anchovies in a well ventilated place like alfresco... let the wind blow the 'fishy'-ness away, otherwise you whole house (at least kitchen and dining area...) will have that fishy smell for at least a week :)... No amount of glen 20 will do your kitchen any good!!!

Crispy Anchovies with tempe

yield: 4print recipe

Crispy Anchovies with Tempe / Ikan bilis-Tempe Masak Kicap

Deep fried anchovies, cooked with fermented soybeans


  • 1 cup dried anchovies -washed and drained
  • 1 brown onion - sliced
  • 2 packets of store-bought tempe -thinly sliced
  • sliced fresh chillies
  • 1/4 cup kicap manis
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup of oil for deep frying plus 3 tablespoon


  1. Heat up oil in wok (you can either deep fry tempe first (or brush with oil and bake in oven... ).
  2. Add dried anchovies and deep fry till brown and crispy (indication to have that perfect crispiness is when the oil : less splatter, less bubbles)
  3. Scoop anchovies into a strainer. Let it sits to cool down as well as to drain as much oil as possible)
  4. Wipe clean wok.
  5. Add 2 tablespoon canola oil
  6. Saute onion
  7. Add kicap manis. Leave it to cool.
  8. Mix all ingredients
  9. Add salt if required.
  10. Squeeze some lime
  11. Garnish with cut up chillies
  12. Serve with steaming hot jasmine rice.
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