Malaysian Sambal Ikan Bilis Burger Recipe

'Burger Malaysia' is a popular miniature sized snack available in 'pasar malams' (night markets) in Malaysia.

The mini yeast buns are deep-fried and then filled with sambal ikan billis (dried anchovy sambal) and cucumber slices.

As much as I love these mini burgers, the deep-dried mini slider buns can get overly greasy and I have decided to make some with oven baked mini milk panini buns.

The sambal ikan billis can be made in advance and reheated or served at room temperature. They are perfect as finger / party food and ridiculously moreish.

'Burger Malaysia' Recipe
Makes 16


16 mini milk panini / slider buns (recipe follows)
Sambal ikan bilis (recipe follows)
cucumber slices


  1. Halve panini, top with a few slices of cucumbers.

2. Spread with sambal ikan bilis.

3. And sandwich together.

Mini Milk Panini / Slider Buns Recipe
(Adapted from Gourmet Traveller magazine May 2011 issue)
Makes 16


15 g dried yeast
625 g "00" flour
140 ml milk, plus extra for brushing
50 g caster sugar
125 g softened butter, coarsely chopped


  1. Stir yeast, 125 g flour and 150 ml water in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook to combine, cover and set aside until doubled in size (45 minutes - 1 hour). Add milk, sugar and remaining flour and mix on low speed until combined, then, while mixing, add butter a little at a time until incorporated. Cover and set aside until doubled in size (1 hour). Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knock back, then roll into 16 golf-ball-sized pieces and place on oven trays lined with baking paper (leaving 3cm between each), cover and set aside until doubled in size (1 hour).
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Brush top of panini with milk and bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until golden and cooked through (12-15 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Sambal Ikan Bilis (Dried Anchovy Sambal) Recipe


1/2 cup dried anchovies (ikan bilis), rinsed and dried with paper towel
4 fresh red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
8 (100 g) small Asian shallots
3 garlic
1/2 tbsp shrimp paste, toasted
2 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
4 tbsp oil
1 tbsp tamarind pulp + 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 small brown onion, thinly sliced


  1. Deep fry the ikan bilis in hot oil until golden brown and crisp.
  2. Mix the tamarind pulp with water. Squeeze out the tamarind juice from the pulp and discard the seeds. Strain through a fine sieve. Set aside until needed.
  3. Combine fresh red chilli, bird's eye chilli, shallots, garlic, shrimp paste and candlenuts together in a mortar and pestle or a food process and pound or whiz until it forms a fine paste.
  4. Heat oil in a wok, add the paste and fry under low heat until it's aromatic, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add the tamarind juice to the paste together with sugar and salt. Stir and mix well.
  6. Add brown onion and continue to stir fry until the onion has soften a little but still have slight texture, around 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the ikan bilis and give it a good stir. This sambal can be served hot or room temperature.

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