Crispy Air-Fried Ikan Bilis (anchovies)

Do you own an air-fryer? If not, you should seriously consider getting one! There are many upsides to having an air-fryer in your kitchen, but my favourite is this: NO MORE SPLATTERING OIL EVERYWHERE!

That’s right! Whether you’re ‘frying’ fries, nuggets, fish, meat or whatever that you’d like to cook, you can say goodbye to two things:

1) Wastage of cooking oil. With the air-fryer, you only need minimal oil to lightly coat your ingredients.

One of the first things I tried with my Phillips AirFryer is frying ‘ikan bilis’ (anchovies). Those little delicious morsels that we add on to fried rice, nasi lemak, soup noodles… everything! Normally I hate to deep-fry anything, because see above (1) and (2).

Here’s how you can get crispy ikan bilis using the air fryer in less than 30 minutes!

Crispy Ikan Bilis - anchovies - method

1) Have anchovies. If you’re eating them and not making stock out of ’em, get the better grade, cleaned ones. Unless you have plenty of time to remove the head and insides of the fish.

2) Wash ikan bilis, twice. For the super kitchen noobs (like how I used to be), this means: in a bowl of water, put in the ikan bilis. Wash it around a bit. Pour out dirty water, refresh with new clean water. Wash the ikan bilis a second time.

3) Remove the ikan bilis, spread out on paper towels to dry. Either leave it there for it to dry naturally, or use more paper towels to hasten the drying process. Slightly damp is acceptable. But no dry, no crispy.

Crispy Ikan Bilis - anchovies - airfried

4) Use a wee bit of cooking oil, just enough to coat the ikan bilis on the surface.

5) Pre-heat the air-fryer for 3mins at 200ยฐC. Then dump the ikan bilis into the air-fryer net.

6) Cook for 10 minutes. Somewhere at the 7min mark, take out the net and give it a quick good stir, then put it back in to cook.

Crispy Ikan Bilis - anchovies

7) Congratulations, you now have crispy air-fried ikan bilis! Consume immediately nom nom nom nom nom nom… or store in an air-tight container for up to 2 months.

Actually I’m not VERY sure how long it keeps for; I kept mine for 3 months, then took it out and ate a few, still crispy and I’m still alive. So there.




  1. And now I know what to use my air fryer for

  2. I made Kale Chips with my sister in law’s air fryer the same way! Toss the leaves in one tbsp of vinegar and one tbsp of oil, then fry for 5 mins, salt it, and ready to eat!
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  3. Steve Puu says:

    The Airfryer idea is a fantastic machine for a quick, easy 2 person meal and plus cooking was much healthier. Thank you. Thank for sharing that Airfryer recipes
    Steve Puu recently posted..Air fryer vs Deep fryerMy Profile

  4. I was afraid roasting the ikan bilis or kale will suck the small pieces into the machine without the net to hold it down. After seeing u cooking without the net I will try it out soon.

  5. Oh wow now thats a great idea, I will try that! I got mine air fryer a few months ago! Love it ๐Ÿ™‚

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