This dish combines three of Indonesia’s great loves: sambal, peanuts, and the pungent but addictive salted fish.
Salted fish, which is fish that’s cured with dry salt or brine and dried under the sun, is one of Indonesia’s staple foods. This method preserves the fish for months on end, even without refrigeration, and provides a cheap, easy and tasty source of protein.
Salted fish comes in many varieties, and the Chinese silver fish (teri in Indonesian) is one of them. These little fish are tiny – much smaller than anchovies – and are often sold in supermarkets in the ‘Dried Goods’ section, along with anchovies and dried shrimp.
As its name suggests, salted Chinese silverfish is salty. Before using, rinse with cold water to remove some of the salt content, then pat it dry to remove the moisture. You won’t have to add any salt to the dish – the silverfish should be salty enough.
Like all salted fish dishes, this dish will release a very strong, pungent aroma when fried. Indonesians love it, but it might take getting used to if you didn’t grow up with it. Also make sure you have kind, understanding neighbours because chances are, they’ll notice.
This dish should be eaten with plenty of steamed rice. I personally have a weakness for a good meal of balado teri kacang and white rice; once I start eating it, I can’t stop!Print
An easy, tasty meal of dried fish fried with chilli paste and peanuts. Ideal when fresh fish isn’t available or if you want a quick source of protein. Super addictive if, like us, you’re a fan of Chinese silver fish.
- 150 gr salted dried Chinese silver fish (whitebait).
- 100 gr toasted peanuts.
- 5 shallots, thinly sliced.
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped.
- 5 big red chillies
- 5 bird’s eye chillies (optional)
- 5 tbs vegetable oil
- Deep fry the Chinese silver fish until golden. Set aside.
- Using a food processor or blender, blend the red chillies, bird’s eye chillies and garlic into coarse paste. Set aside.
- Using a food processor or blender, blend the tomatoes. Set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok and fry the sliced shallots until almost golden, around 4 minutes.
- Add the coarse chilli paste from Step (2). Fry for about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste from Step (3). Mix all the spices thoroughly.
- Cook until the liquid evaporates, leaving a nice oily sauce.
- Turn off the heat and then add the fried silver fish and roasted peanuts. Mix all the ingredients and then transfer it to a serving plate.
- For larger types of salted fish, soak the fish in salt water or warm water for 10-15 minutes.
Keywords: Balado, Spicy, Silver Fish, Sambal