Japanese Anchovies, large and tiny, often dried or half-dried, are very popular ingredients for Japanese home cooking. It’s so hard to find in Melbourne where I live, but ‘Ikan Bilis’, or South East Asian dried anchovies, are available from most supermarkets. I cook ‘Ikan Bilis’ in Japanese way.


4 to 6 Servings


100g ‘Ikan Bilis’ (Dried Anchovy Fillets)
100g (about 1 cupful) Walnuts
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Sake (Rice wine)
1/2 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Seeds

  1. Wash ‘Ikan Bilis’ with cold water a couple of times and clean them. Remove unwanted pieces such as scales and heads. Drain well. *This process softens very dry ‘Ikan Bilis’ and also reduces the saltiness.
  2. In a small bowl, combine Sugar, Soy Sauce and Sake (Rice Wine).
  3. Heat Oil in a frying pan over low heat, cook ‘Ikan Bilis’ and Walnuts until golden and crunchy, but do not over cook.
  4. Add the sauce mixture, stir to combine, and remove from heat. Sprinkle Rice Vinegar over and stir. The sauce will thicken with the remaining heat. Sprinkle with Toasted Sesame Seeds.