Sambal Ikan Bilis Buns (Spicy Paste Anchovies Buns)

by - July 20, 2017

Using the same method as my Curry Potato Buns shared recently, I substituted the filling with Sambal. It is a delicious alternative to a curry potato bun.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Sambal Ikan Bilis Buns Recipe 

Yields:  18 Buns


Sambal Ikan Bilis:

150 g dried anchovies, washed and drained
2 large onion, cut half and sliced thinly
1 tsp of lime juice
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Cooking oil (enough to fry the paste ingredients)

Paste Ingredients (to be finely ground) -
130g (12) shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic
2 lemongrass
1 ½ ” fresh ginger
5 red chillies
1 tbsp of chilli boh (dried chilli paste)


540g bread flour
1 ½ tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp milk powder
30g brown Sugar
1 ½ tsp Salt
20g butter
20g corn oil or olive oil
220g water
100g fresh milk  (If you do not have fresh milk, you can use total 320g of water)

Egg wash – mixture of 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water.


Sambal Ikan Bilis:

1.  Coated Ikan Bilis with very little oil and fry with Air Fryer until crispy and golden brown (160C for 10 to 15 mins). Set aside.

2.  Heat cooking oil in a wok, add paste ingredients and chilli boh. Stir fry till fragrant.

3.  Add sliced onions and some water, cook until soft.

4.  Add in fried Ikan Bilis, then add in lime juice,  some water and add salt and sugar to taste.

5.  Simmer in low heat and cook until liquid is reduced. Add more water if too dry.  Anyway, we do not want too much liquid as it will be hard to wrap.

6.  Remove from wok and keep aside.


1.  Add all ingredients into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead until the dough comes together and achieve window pane stage (when stretch the dough you should be able to see thin membrane). It takes around 10 to 15 minutes. If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Some bread flour absorbs more water.

2.  Then let the dough complete the first round of proofing in a warm place, about 60 minutes until double in size.

3.  Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 16 equal portions (about 60g each).  Knead into ball shapes.

4.  Roll out each small dough ball with a rolling pin and flatten into a disc. Place about 1 tablespoon of Sambal Ikan Bilis filling in the middle. Enclose and knead into an oval shape with the seal facing down. Repeat this step of rolling and wrapping fillings with the rest of your dough.

5.  Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper (2 inches apart from each bun).  Leave for the 2nd round of proofing, about 30 to 45 minutes, until double in size.
15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven at 180C.

6.  Brush the buns with egg wash.  Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until brown. 

7.  Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

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