The air fryer is really a friend. I use it on numerous occasions and it’s an extra good friend when I’m making nasi lemak. I not only air fry the peanuts but also the ikan bilis and trust me when I say it’s CRISPY!
There are some must-do’s if you want them crispy tho:
They must be dried well after rinsing.
They must NOT be overcrowded in the air fryer.
Coat them nicely in oil.
After rinsing, I usually spread them out in a tea towel, pat dry pat dry, pat dry and leave them to dry off for a while. I find using a tea towel more effective and absorbent than using kitchen paper towels.
I almost always preheat my Air Fryer for just about 5 mins just to get some heat in there once I pop in the ikan bilis.
After they’ve dried off, I put them in a bowl and add 1-2 tbsp oil and use my fingers to nicely coat each one. This will definitely help with the crispiness.
I then layer them and not overcrowd them on the tray. Otherwise the air circulating will not be able to ‘fry’ each one well. This is essential for the crispiness. I usually do two batches in my airfryer. (Mine is an old model of maybe 7 years!).
It’s important to store the ikan bilis well in an air tight container. Best enjoyed with a plate of nasi lemak!
Did you try this recipe?
Please do let me know if you've tried it, by leaving a comment or tagging me on IG @thesuddencook.
Crispy Air Fried Ikan Bilis
- Ikan bilis Rinsed and dried well (see notes)
- 1-2 tbsp oil Depending on how much ikan bilis you have
- Pre-heat Air Fryer at 180C for 5 mins.
- Rinse ikan bilis and dry well. Place in bowl and add oil. Use your fingers to coat the ikan bilis well in the oil.
- Air Fry ikan bilis in two batches so as to not overcrowd the tray/basket. Lay them in one layer. Set timer for 4-5 mins. Shake the basket in between.
- Remove and let to cool completely. It will continue to crisp up once cooling.
- Pre-heat the Air Fryer.
- You have to dry the ikan bilis well. Use a tea towel to pat dry after rinsing and leave them for a bit more to dry off after.
- Coat the ikan bilis well in oil.
- It's important to lay them in one layer so the air can circulate around and crisp them up. Don't pile the ikan bilis on top of each other in the tray/basket.
- Let them cool completely (they will continue to crisp up) and store in an air tight container.