Ikan Bilis Stock 江鱼仔上汤

Other than the usual chicken stock, vegetable stock or the ABC soup stock which I like to prepare, I guess this ikan bilis stock is nothing new to any Chinese Asian's household. Both my mom and my mother-in-law love to prepare this ikan bilis a.k.a anchovies stock when they need to cook that pot of mee hoon kueh, rice vermicelli soup or as the base soup for steam-boat. I mean, of course, the list goes on. I'm just quoting a few examples.

Many friends have enquired about the stock that I prepared when I cook that macaroni or mee hoon soup. Most of the time, when I prepare the ABC soup (a soup cooked using pork ribs, carrots, potatoes, corns, tomatoes, onions and the optional red dates and wolfberries) for dinner, I will prepare a huge pot so that I will have enough to set aside some soup to cook the one-pot meal for the children's lunch before they go off to school.

To be honest, cooking the pot of ABC soup takes up quite a lot of time. Not that it requires complicated methods or procedures to get it done but simply 2-3 hours of simmering using low heat, which is crucial and necessary, to help bring out the flavour is needed. Hence you really gotta be real patience. Nah..no patience? Real busy? Or just feel plain lazy? Fret not! Ikan bilis stock to the rescue! Just 25 minutes of your time and you will get this flavourful and healthy home-made broth filled with goodness. Hopefully I will be able to share with you 3 recipes using the ikan bilis stock soon. Meatball spinach with wolfberries soup (肉丸苋菜枸杞汤), healthy wheat vermicelli fried egg soup (健康麦面线汤)  and home-made mee hoon kueh (面粉粿)。Meanwhile, gotta learn how to prepare the broth first alright? Here's how:

This recipe yields roughly 700ml of stock

- 1 packet (100g) of splitted ikan bilis
- 1 litre water
- 3 cloves garlic

1) Place a big knife or chopper on the garlic and using the lower part of your palm, give the surface of the knife/chopper a strong blow to squash the garlic. With a pull or squeeze, the skin will come off easily.

2) In a bowl, rinse ikan bilis under running water until water runs clear. Drain and set aside for use later.

3) Pour water in a pot and bring it to boil. Add both ikan bilis and the garlic.

4) Boil for 10 minutes without covering the pot.

5) Ladle out ikan bilis and garlic and strain broth though a sieve and it's ready for use. For storing, let cool further before keeping it in the fridge. Use within a few days. If you gonna freeze it, use within 3 months.

**Note: If you happened to drop by the dried food groceries store, asked for the pangkor which is less salty and fishy. Otherwise, you can use any type easily available at any supermarkets. You may dilute the stock when using to suit your needs and taste.

Hope you find this useful :)


  1. your ancestor jepun kan song song. check you DNA bagiro, www.amazon.com is selling the DNA test kit, buy n confirm. then u can look at the mirror and laugh.

  2. Do you have recipe on your mee Hun kueh?