Anchovies fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis) are a common tea-time snack that is quick and easy to make. This is a deep-fried fritter flavoured with anchovy; the exterior is fried to a crisp with a soft interior.

Add in other vegetables such as shredded cabbage, carrot, and chives as you like. Adding more veggies yields fritters that are softer in the centre.

Chinese Version: 炸江鱼仔酥饼

Anchovies fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

Deep-Fried Anchovies Fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis) Recipe

Yield: 25 pieces

Ingredients:

Ingredients for Chili Sauce:

  • 100ml water
  • 1½ tsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 20g sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp Tapioca starch + 1 Tbsp. water

Ingredients for Batter:

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp chicken stock powder
  • 50g dried anchovies
  • 50g onion
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 bulb scallion (spring onion)
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 150 ml of water
 

Instructions:

1 Chili Sauce: Mix 100ml water, 1½ tsp vinegar, ¼ tsp salt, 20g sugar, and 2 tsp chili powder, stir with a spatula until the mixture is well blended.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

2 Mix in 1 clove of pressed garlic.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

3 Bring the mixture to a boil in a saucepan, reduce to low heat and simmer for 1 and a half minutes, you need to keep stirring.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

4 Mix ½ teaspoon of tapioca starch with 1 tablespoon of water, add it to chili sauce and keep stirring until the sauce has thickened.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

4.1 Spicy dipping chili sauce

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)
 

5 Wash dried anchovies and drain well, coarsely chopped anchovies with an electric chopper or knife.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

6 Cut onions into strips, deseed and slice fresh red chili, and chop scallions.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

7 Mix together all dry ingredients for batter.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

8 Combine the dry ingredients with 2 tablespoons of oil and 150ml water, use a spatula to mix all ingredients into a sticky batter; the consistency of very wet dough.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

9 Set aside to rest the mixture for 15 minutes.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

10 Heat enough oil for deep frying to 140°C-150°C (about 280°F-300°F), scoop a dollop of batter, approximately 1-2 tablespoons of batter, and drop gently into the hot oil. Fry them until golden brown on both sides; shake off excess oil with a wire skimmer.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)

11 Serve warm with the homemade chilli sauce.

Anchovy fritters (Cucur Ikan Bilis)