>Ikan Bilis Sambal and Salmon with Tofu

>I owe this dinner to mom! We were chatting and she told me she cooked ikan bilis sambal and my mouth started salivating. I have not eaten this dish for yonks! But I also realised that I haven’t seen ikan bilis anywhere here so I decided that we should shop at Lulu’s and lo and behold, there it is, fresh as a flower. Not sure if it was cheap but we got a small pack for about AED8. It was AED50/kg which is possibly super expensive for ikan bilis.

But anyway, it was ikan bilis sambal night last night, I fried up half a pack in rice bran oil, with some peanuts for flavour ‘hokkien’ style. It came up lovely and golden. I added in 2tsp white sugar, just like the ikan bilis peanut dish you have with rice porridge. I fried it out under low heat and the ventilator turned on so the apartment didn’t stink of fish. These little numbers have a very strong aroma to them. Then took them out to keep the crunchiness. Oh by the way, ikan bilis is Dried Anchovies.

I cut up about 5 medium sized onions, I love my onions, and 1 clove of garlic in the same pan as the fried anchovies. I cooked the garlic and onions till limp and golden brown, then added in dollops of tomato sauce, kimballs and lingham chilli sauce and prawn sambal sauce. I stirred it all together, make sure all the onions are coated in the beautiful red sauce. Add more hot sauce to taste or dilute with water. I then added in the fried anchovies and tossed lightly but making sure it’s all coated.

I fried up some papadoms, which I accidentally found, forgotten that we bought it last week and thought it would accompany the sambal perfectly! And sure thing, it did. The papadoms were so fresh and crunchy, it was lovely! Think these were made with gram flour (lentil/chickpea flour) which is considered healthier compared to white flour. I’ll bake them next time around, to see how they turn out, baking is always better than frying anyway.

And voila, a beautiful friendship, tasty too if I might say so myself. Crunchy, salty, sweet and spicy all in one. What a confusion to the tastebuds but at the same time a beautiful taste to a salivating mouth.On the side, I steamed the last of our 3-point-something kgs of Norwegian Salmon that we bought ages ago with tofu, bringing everything together nicely. The steamed salmon and tofu didn’t take the strong taste of the ikan bilis sambal away but rather accompanied it nicely. Aah, just lovely, we still have some left over, although not much, but being our first experience, I have to say, we will definitely be eating this again sometime in the future. My husband surely enjoyed it, as did I!