Spicy Anchovies, Peanuts, and Tempeh

Aah…for the simple pleasures in life! There are some dishes that seem so homespun and yet when you encounter them in a buffet spread, everyone makes a bee-line for it. This Malay condiment is often found at “rice stalls” during lunch time. It goes very well with rice and curry but is also very good when taken on its own.

The main ingredients are crispy ikan bilis or anchovies and roasted peanuts mixed in a sweet spicy coating. This is relatively dry dish, almost like spiced nuts as the coating is thick and sticky. Sometimes fried cubed potatoes or tempeh is added to bulk it up.

Tempeh is made from slightly cooked and fermented soy beans which are formed into cakes. Sometimes grains like barley and wild rice are added to it. Unlike tofu, tempeh has a firm texture and a nutty flavor. It is flavorful on its own and can be simply pan fried and eaten. High in proteins, tempeh makes a wonderful substitute for meat. It can be found in the refrigerated section of most health food stores.

I do enjoy tempeh and buy it every now and then. Here are the other recipes using tempeh. Please click on the picture to get to the recipe.

The anchovies, peanuts, and tempeh are all cooked separately. The sauce is then prepared and all cooked ingredients are mixed and coated with the sauce. In Malaysia, most people will either grind their own chili paste or use Chili Boh. Over here, a good substitute is the Korean chili paste, gochujang.

Spicy Anchovies, Peanuts, and Tempeh
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup (50g) dried ikan bilis (anchovies)
  • ½ cup (80g) raw shelled peanuts
  • 8 oz (225g) tempeh cut into 1½”x1”x¼” pieces
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (chili paste)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt
  1. Rinse and drain ikan bilis. Use paper towels to pat dry.
  2. Roast peanuts in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Place tempeh in a single layer and fry each side for about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add another tablespoon of canola oil. Fry ikan bilis for about 5 to 6 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil. Cook gochujang for about a minute. Stir in sugar, vinegar, water, and salt. Add ikan bilis, peanuts, and tempeh. Stir to get everything well mixed.
  5. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature.

This condiment is usually served at room temperature and is delicious paired with sayur lodeh or Labu Lodeh.

There is still time to enter the My Memories Suite v3 Giveaway. This giveaway is open to all my readers worldwide until 9:00pm Central time Wednesday, February 8th, 2012. Do check it out.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)

Subscribe for email updates!



    • Biren says

      These anchovies are a little different from the ones we find here. These can be fried till crispy and they are very tasty.

    • Biren says

      Yes, the tempeh here is pretty good. There are several brands and all are organic. They also comes in different flavors. I buy it often as I do like tempeh.

  1. says

    This sounds so interesting. There are so many dishes that I would like to try from stalls in it’s originating country so I will know what they are supposed to taste like…or better yet maybe I’ll pop on up to your place :)

  2. says

    It will surely be a red hot February… Spicy dishes to break the ice. I find this post very appropriate. Will really try this. Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    Sounds amazingly flavourful – just the kind of thing I’d love with a bowlful of steamed rice. Back in the days when I could have a bowlful of steamed rice. Sigh. Maybe as a treat… I like your share bar on the left there. My previous social media plugin had one but it wouldn’t display properly. I probably had another plugin that was interfering. Anyway, looks great!

    • Biren says

      This is just as wonderful as a snack. In fact, I snacked on about half of it.

      So glad to hear you like the share bar. I did do some modifications to it. Love that it floats and does not move up with the page.

    • Biren says

      Yes, anchovies are full of protein and iodine. These are dried and so they have a long shelf life. I keep them in the fridge.

  4. Haruna says

    I like your new side bar icons and also the fantastic pull down menu. So professional! Did you get someone to do it for you?

    • Biren says

      Thank you! No, I did it myself. My current theme does not support WordPress menus and so I had to do some coding to make it work. Coding gives better performance as it eliminates the need to use plugins. Glad I did as it is so much easier for the user to find “older” recipes on the blog. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: