Sambal Ikan Bilis Buns (Spicy Paste Anchovies Buns) - Old Dough Method

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 - Old Dough Method

Yields:  10 Buns



100 g dried anchovies, washed and drained
2 medium 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) -
80g (8) shallots, peeled
2 cloves garlic
1 lemongrass
1” fresh ginger
3 red chillies
1 tbsp of chilli boh (dried chilli paste)


Old Dough:
125g bread flour
½ tsp instant yeast
½ tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
80g water

Main Dough: 
300g bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp (30g) brown sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
40g whisked egg (from 1 large egg & balance for egg wash)
30g butter or coconut oil
135g fresh milk

Egg wash:  balance of whisked egg (10g) + 1 tsp water

Utensil:   2 baking trays


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.
For the Old Dough:
  1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Then mix in bread flour and knead with your hand for few minutes until smooth.  Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it prove for 1 hour in a warm and dark place. 
  2. After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator and use the next day at least after 8 hours or up to 16 hours. 30 minutes before using, take out the sponge dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature.
For the main dough:
  1. Line the baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Put all ingredients (start with salt, flour, yeast, sugar, butter, egg, fresh milk, and sponge dough) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead until the dough comes together, become elastic and tacky but not sticky. Tacky dough behaves sort of like a Post-it note, sticking to a surface but peeling off easily. It takes around 12 - 15 minutes at medium speed.  If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. 
  3. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air.  Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 10 equal portions. Shape each dough into a ball. Flatten the dough and roll into a flat circle. Spoon in 1 tablespoon of sambal ikan bilis in the centre, wrap and seal. Shape the bun into an oval shape. Place the buns onto the prepared baking pan, about 2 inch apart.  Let it rise for another 50 minutes or until double in size.
  5. 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180C - 190C.
  6. Brush with egg wash and top with some ikan bilis.  Bake at preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove bun from oven and let them cool on rack.

  1. For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.
  2. The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently.
  3. Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how your dough rises.
  4. Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

You May Also Like