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Tumis Bawang Merah: Sauteed Shallots and Chillies with Chinese Silver Fish

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Fish & Seafood
  • Method: Stir-frying
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Tumis bawang merah is an addictive dish that’s currently trending on social media, consisting of sauteed shallots with chillies and Chinese silver fish, or whitebait.


  • 200 gr shallots, peeled, thickly sliced
  • 100 gr bird’s eye chillies, remove the stem, slice diagonally
  • 0.5 tsp roasted shrimp paste
  • 50 gr salted dried Chinese silver fish (whitebait)
  • Cooking oil for deep frying and sauteing



  1. Wash, pat dry and deep fry the dried salted fish over medium heat until golden (around 4 minutes). Set aside.
  2. Remove some of the oil from the wok, leaving around 2 tbsp oil.
  3. Over medium heat, fry the roasted shrimp paste for a few seconds, then add the sliced shallots. Fry for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced chillies, and continue frying for another 3 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, add the fried salted fish and mix thoroughly.
  6. Transfer the dish onto a serving plate.


For this recipe, the shallots can be either thickly sliced or left whole. If left whole, the shallots will be juicier and slightly sweet.

Keywords: whitebait, fried shallots