FRIED DRIED ANCHOVIES
Serve as an accompaniment to Nyonya Coconut Rice or as a delicious nibble with drinks.
Oil for deep-frying
1 ½ cups (375 g) small raw peanuts (skin on preferably)
1 ½ cups (375 g) dried anchovies (ikan bilis)
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup (65 ml) tamarind water, or to taste
3 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic
5 dried chilies, or more to taste, soaked in warm water and squeezed dry
Grind the Spice Paste ingredients to a rough paste. Heat sufficient oil for deep-frying in a wok until hot. Add the peanuts, reduce the heat and deep-fry until they start to brown. Lift out and drain on paper towel, setting them aside to cool.
Remove the heats from the dried anchovies and dust them of debris. Wash them quickly, drain and dry well. Put them into the hot oil and fry until brown and crisp. Lift out and drain.
Drain the wok of all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir-fry the Spice Paste until it is light brown and fragrant. Add the sugar, anchovies and peanuts and stir-fry, adding a dash of tamarind water to taste.
Store in a sealed container with a tight lid and salt just before using. If you want very crisp anchovies fry them a second time after draining and cooling. Drain and cool again and mix as above.