If dried salted
whitebait (ikan bilis) is used, remove heads and backbones and wash in
cold water. Drain well and shake in a cloth to dry. Fresh whitebait should
be washed and dried, preferably in the sun, for about 1 hour.
chilies, sugar and peppercorns to a smooth paste. Set aside. Heat oil and
fry whitebait until very dry and crisp, then transfer to a rack or plate
covered with absorbent paper.
Pour off oil
and add chili paste to the pan. Fry on high heat until seasonings begin to
dry, then return whitebait to the pan and cook for a further 6 minutes,
stirring continually. Add salt if fresh fish is used.
under griller until crisp and golden brown. Rub off skins if preferred.
Add to the pan and stir on high heat for another minute. Mix with fried
whitebait. Spoon into small dishes and serve as crisp, tasty side dish
with meat or vegetable curries, or as a snack with drinks.
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