zoomed sambal ikan teri

How to Make Sambal Ikan Teri (Dried Anchovies Sambal)

Welcome to another great sambal recipe! Sambal ikan teri, or dried anchovies sambal is a really nice fish sambal. I love anchovies in general and if you do as well, this sambal is for you!

To make sambal ikan teri, simply fry the dried anchovies, grind a spice paste and fry it before combining with the fried anchovies! Really simple and very delicious.

What is sambal ikan teri?

Sambal ikan teri is an Indonesian sambal (like always) and consists of dried anchovies, it directly translated to “fish anchovy sambal”, yet the anchovy used is in dried form. Ikan directly translated into “fish” and teri into “anchovy”.

sambal ikan teri

Very commonly used in various dishes to implement spiciness and a salty, umami flavor. I really like this sambal, definitely one of my favorites!

Let’s continue on how to make sambal ikan teri!

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Step 1: Collect the ingredients

zoomed sambal ikan teri

Sambal ikan teri

Anchovy sambal! Really nice to add a salty, umami rich and spicy flavor!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sambal
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 4
Calories 80 kcal


  • Food processor


  • 50 g dried anchovy (ikan teri)
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 9 red chili peppers
  • 5 bird's eye chillies


  • 2 tsp galangal
  • 1 lemon grass stalk
  • 2 salam leaves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tsp palm sugar


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Fry the dried anchovy
  • Grind the ingredients
  • Fry the sambal ikan teri
  • Serve and conserve sambal ikan teri
Keyword Sambal ikan teri

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

As always there’s not a lot of freedom to experiment when it comes to sambals. Add or remove chillies to adapt the spice level to your liking! Keep the seeds of the chillies to have an extra spice version. I recommend removing them if you’re making this the first time.

The used spices are very traditional for this sambal, of course you can play around with other authentic spices but be aware the sambal will deviate quite a lot! A lot of the flavors come from the spices so be careful.

sambal ikan teri ingredients

In general the sambal doesn’t need a lot of alterations as the anchovies are just so nice! If you are into salty fish definitely try this sambal out. Let’s continue with the next steps!

Step 2: Fry the dried anchovy

Set a frying pan on medium heat and add some (sunflower) oil. Once hot, add the anchovy and fry until crunchy (~5 min).

frying anchovy
fried anchovy

Set aside and leave the oil in the pan. Leave the ikan teri on some kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.

set aside fried anchovy

Step 3: Grind the ingredients

Take the chillies and roll them in between your fingers to break up the seeds inside. Chop off the stem and chop once or twice. Immediately throw them in a drainer when chopped and continue with all chillies. Once this is done, wash the chopped chillies with lots of water to wash away the seeds.

If successful, chop the shallots, onion and garlic roughly. Chop the lemon grass once or twice and remove the ends and outer leaves.

chopped ingredients

Add the shallots, onion, garlic and chillies to a food grinder. Leave the lemon grass intact.

If you don’t have a food processor, I highly recommend getting one if you plan on some serious cooking. I use it a lot and invested in a nice quality product. Get the one I use here.

grinding ingredients
ground ingredients

Grind finely and get ready to cook!

Step 4: Fry the sambal ikan teri

Reuse the frying pan from before and it’s oil remainder, set to medium heat and let it get hot. Once done, add the ground ingredients and spices, leave the anchovy for later.

frying ground ingredients and spices
fried ground ingredients and spices

Fry the substance for some 2 or 3 minutes and add some (50ml) water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes until the water has evaporated.

adding water to spice paste
fried spice paste

Once the water has evaporated, add the anchovy and let it fry for another minute and that’s it! Another easy to make and very tasty sambal.

fried sambal ikan teri

Step 5: Serve and conserve the sambal ikan teri

Serve the sambal hot or let it cool down in the pan before removing the fresh spices. Add to a sterilized (with boiling water) container and seal before refrigerating.

This sambal should stay conserved for a month or two, only extract what you need with a clean spoon and close the lid immediately after for the longest conservation.

I served the sambal ikan teri with nasi kandar, a great combination of fish and meats! Serve with any dishes you’d like, I can recommend the following:

Definitely check out my other sambals if you like this one!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this sambal recipe! Leave a rating if you’ve made it and let me know what you think!

served sambal ikan teri


What is the difference between ikan bilis and ikan teri?

Ikan bilis is the Malaysian word for the Indonesian ikan teri, they both refer to small, dried and salted anchovy.

How do you eat sambal ikan bilis?

Sambal ikan bilis is typically served as a condiment or side dish to complement main courses such as rice, noodles, or grilled meats. To eat it, simply scoop a small amount onto your plate and mix it with your food. Be warned, though – sambal ikan bilis can be quite spicy, so start with a small amount and adjust the heat level to your liking.

What kind of fish is an ikan bilis?

Ikan bilis is actually a type of anchovy that is commonly found in Southeast Asia. These small, silver-colored fish are usually dried or fermented before being used in cooking, and they are known for their strong, savory flavor. In sambals, ikan bilis is mixed with chili peppers, shallots, garlic, and other ingredients to create a rich and complex sauce.

Are anchovies safe to eat?

Yes, anchovies are safe to eat and are a common ingredient in many cuisines around the world. These small fish are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients, and they are often used to add flavor and depth to dishes like pizza, Caesar salad, and pasta.

What is anchovy made of?

Anchovy is made from small, saltwater fish that are typically harvested from the Mediterranean Sea. After being caught, the fish are cleaned, salted, and preserved in oil or vinegar. They are also used to make sauces like Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, and colatura di alici.

What is an ancho fish?

Ancho is actually a type of chili pepper that is commonly used in Mexican cooking. It is not a fish, but its name may cause confusion because it is often spelled similarly to “anchovy.” Ancho peppers are known for their mild, smoky flavor and are often used to make sauces, soups, and stews.

Ikan teri what is?

Ikan teri is another name for ikan bilis, which is a type of anchovy commonly used in Indonesian cuisine. These small fish are typically dried or fermented before being used in cooking, and they are known for their strong, savory flavor. Ikan teri is a common ingredient in dishes like sambal ikan teri, nasi goreng, and mie goreng.

What is ikan and what does it mean?

Ikan is a Malay and Indonesian word that simply means “fish.” In Indonesian cuisine, there are many different types of fish that are used in various dishes, each with its own unique flavor and texture.

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