Welcome to The London Foodie

Reviews of London's Restaurants, Supper Clubs and Hotels, Wine Tastings, Travel Writing, and Home to the Japanese and French Supper Clubs in Islington

For the latest food events, restaurant openings, product launches and other food and drink related news, visit the sister site The London Foodie News

Tuesday 22 March 2011

London Cooking Club - Malaysian by May and a Recipe for Ikan Bilis

Last Saturday, on the 19th March 2011, food blogger extraordinaire May of Slow Food Kitchen co-hosted the "Malaysian by May" London Cooking Club event at my home in Islington.

Twelve diners and readers of this blog got together to cook a Malaysian meal under May's watchful eyes and assistance. All the recipes were May's and she kindly devised the menu for the event. As usual, we had a fantastic group of people, a mix of new and regular faces, and we had a great time cooking, drinking and talking.

To read more about this event, visit the Lex Eat! blog for her candid review here.

One of the dishes Dr G and I prepared was the IKAN BILIS - deep fried tiny anchovies and peanuts with caramelised onion and chilli powder. I really enjoyed cooking this, and the flavours were so unusual but in my opinion very delicious. It can be served as a snack or as a side dish. I think this would work very nicely on top of a bowl of steamed Jasmine rice!

Deep Fried Anchovies, Peanuts with Caramelised Onion and Chilli Powder

  • 300gr dried tiny anchovies (ikan bilis)
  • 2 onions
  • 180ml oil
  • 150g of raw peanuts (skin on)
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 4-6 tbsp palm sugar

 - Quickly rinse then shake the dried anchovies dry. Do not soak. Dry in the sun (!) or oven-dry for about 20 or 30 mins. Drying the anchovies will ensure that the fish will be crisp when fried. Peel the onions then finely blend them in a food processor.

 - Heat a wok over a high flame until it smokes. Add the oil. Reduce to a medium flame, then add the peanuts. Stir-fry until light golden brown. BE CAREFUL, as the peanuts will burn within seconds, so keep your eyes peeled! Remove and drain well.

 - Reheat the oil over a high flame, then add the dried anchovies. Stir fry until light golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain.

 - Discard the used oil then wipe the wok clean. Add some new oil. Stir fry the onions for a few minutes. Add the chilli powder and sugar. Stir fry for a few more minutes.

 - Lower to a medium high flame then add the peanuts and anchovies. Mix all ingredients well together in the wok, then remove from the heat.

 - Allow to cool before serving or storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!

London Cooking Club
19th March 2011
Malaysian by May
With May Chong


Ikan Bilis and Hacang
Chicken and Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce
Cucur Udang (Prawn Fritters)


Sup Kambing - Spicy Lamb or Mutton Soup

Main Courses

 Mum's Turmeric Prawn Curry
Ikan Bakar (Barbecue Spicy Fish)
Beef Rendang
Kapitan Nyonya Chicken Curry


Sambal Terung - Aubergine Sambal
Stir FriedGreen Beans in Belacan
Malaysian Vegetable Curry
Coconut Rice with Pandan Leaf


Sago Gula Melaka


  1. Thanks for hosting, that ikan bilis was delicious!

  2. Oo the smell of all those dishes must have been heavenly. Love this ikan bilis dish. What a great event. Off to read Lex's review now : )

  3. Wow sounds very adventurous and interesting Luiz - go May!

  4. Sounds like a fantastic evening, I have met May twice and she's such a sweetie.

  5. Ikan Bilis & Kacang (which means nuts), not hacang - no such word in Malay. Ikan is fish. The dish is of Malaysian Malay origin. Thought you'd like to know.

  6. wish I've heard of this earlier. I would love to have taken part, many of these are dishes I grew up with (:


Related Posts with Thumbnails