Sambal Ikan Bilis / Anchovies

September 16, 2010

Living in Australia has helped me experiment on lots of food, particularly Malaysian. There was an occasion when I brought my nasi lemak with curry chicken, sambal ikan bilis, hard boiled eggs and cucumber to work. It was yummy (I noticed my colleagues salivating). Felt bad for the Aussies, as I stinked the office when I microwaved my lunch. Huuuaaaah. Here’s my Sambal Ikan Bilis Recipe.


  • 1 cup of dried Ikan Bilis
  • 1 large brown onion (sliced into rings)
  • 8 shallots
  • 2 garlic
  • 16 dried chillies (soaked until rehydrated)
  • a small piece belacan/shrimp paste (toasted)
  • tamarind juice
  • Salt and sugar to taste


  1. Wash ikan bilis, drain and dap with absorbent paper (kitchen towel) until dry. Lightly fry ikan bilis in oil until golden brown and crisp. Set aside.
  2. Blend dried chillies, garlic, shallots and belacan to a paste. If it’s too thick, add some tamarind juice.
  3. Add some oil into a wok, and lightly stir fry chilli paste until fragrant.
  4. Add tamarind juice but do not add till it’s watery. Stir in ikan bilis and onion rings.
  5. Season with salt and sugar to taste. You may not want to add salt depending on preference because the belacan and ikan bilis are already salty.
  6. If the sambal is too thick, add more tamarind juice. Remove from heat when the onion is limp.
Sambal Ikan Bilis

Sambal Ikan Bilis

Yee Ling


Pickled Ambarella (Kedondong)

September 16, 2010

My house is surrounded by just a small plot of land and the only fruit tree we have that’s fruiting is the ambarella plant. Ambarella’s normally quite sour if eaten raw but it has this fragrant taste that I just love. I also love pickled fruits especially mangoes…yum. So here’s how I picked the ambarella fruit. I do not have the right proportion, as most of the time I just add ingredients by estimate.


  • Ambarella fruit (approximately 50)
  • Salt
  • Sugar


  1. Peel the ambarella fruit.
  2. Coat the ambarella with salt in a large bowl/basin. Let it sit in the fridge for about 4-5 hours. Drain the salt water.
  3. Mix approximately 2-3 handfuls of sugar evenly with the ambarella. Keep in fridge.
  4. The pickled ambarella should be ready in about 2-3 days. Stir the fruit once a day so it will coat with the sugar syrup.


No water or vinegar is required, as the sugar will turn into liquid.

Pickled Ambarella

Pickled Ambarella

Yee Ling

Vegetarian Fried Beehoon (Spicy and Non-Spicy Version)

July 1, 2010

As I have mentioned before, apart from fried rice, fried beehoon is also one of my favourite one person dish. When I was doing some marketing at Tekka Market that day, I saw some really nice Tau Kua (Fried Tofu) and also Kai Lan. So I thought I will make fried beehoon with those two things. But since the Kai Lan came in such a huge bunch and I also bought 2 Tau Kua, I thought of making 2 different types of fried beehoon. Enjoy!

Normal Fried Beehoon


1. Beehoon. I use the beehoon that a friend gave to me from Taiwan. Its called Shin Tzu Beehoon. It comes in the size like a maggi mee block. So if you are using other beehoon you can just use a handful of beehoon. Soak it in water.
2. 3 shallots sliced thinly.
3. Kai Lan. 2 big branches. Sliced into 1 inch portions.
4. Tau Kua. 1 piece. Cut into 1 inch portions.


1. 3 tablespoons soya sauce
2. 1 teaspoon sugar
(You can add oyster sauce if it is not a vegetarian version).


1. Heat some oil in the wok. When the oil is really hot, drop the tau kua in and fry till golden brown. You may want to use the kitchen towel to dry the tau kua first since water and oil don’t exactly mix.
2. Take the tau kua out and put it on a piece of kitchen paper so that the oil will be absorbed.
3. With the remaining oil, put in the shallots. Fry till slightly brown.
4. Add in the stems of the kai lan, so that it will cook first. After frying for about 1 minute, add in the tau kua and the kai lan.
5. Mix the seasonings with about 6 tablespoons of water. Then pour into the wok.
6. Let the water dry up and until you can see that the beehoon is really dry. Some beehoon maybe a but harder so you may need more water. Do not worry if you have put too much water, because you can always let it dry up.
7. Time to serve!

Spicy Fried Beehoon (Or Mee Siam)

For this version, the seasoning is slightly different. Instead of the soya sauce, pound the following ingredients and add it in instead of the shallots in the previous recipe.

To be pounded:

1. 2 red chillies, deseeded.
2. 4 shallots.
3. 2 garlic.
4. a pinch of salt.

After pounding, incorporate the soy bean (or taucu) so that it still appears as a whole instead of being crushed. You can always add more of these as you fry if you prefer a more salty beehoon.