Friday, October 26, 2012

Roasted Dried Achovies Powder 江鱼仔粉末

*updated with pictorial guide*
I made these anchovies powder for baby C's porridge few weeks ago, been too busy lately that I have no time to write about it. Besides, I would like to find out more about the benefits of anchovies before sharing it with others.

Anchovies are commonly known as ikan bilis to the locals, dried anchovies with head and tail attached are commonly available in most hypermarkets or wet markets, and come in different grades depending on the size and types of fish used.

Some of the known benefits of anchovies:

  • Despite its tiny size, anchovies is packed with nutrients: iron, calcium (as it can be consumed with edible bones), protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Due to the small size which translate to relatively shorter life cycle , it’s possibly less prone to heavy metal contamination in the ocean unlike other bigger fish.
  • However, due to the high sodium content, I soak and wash the anchovies to wash away some of the salt content before cooking them. This also removes any potential dust or dirt residues on the anchovies. Besides, most articles I read encourage removing the head and entrails which have higher content of cholesterol.

Apart from the benefits listed the above, other reasons why I choose to make anchovies powder for my baby:
  • It's convenient, especially on days where I am out of the house with baby the whole day. Once blended, the anchovies powder can be stored in air tight container for a month or more.
  • It adds taste and nutrient into the porridge. When going out with baby C, I usually put 1/4 tea spoon of powder into a container and add them into the porridge right before serving. The porridge smells and tastes so nice that even I like them :)

So, what do I used the anchovies powder for?
I usually add about 1/4 tea spoon of the anchovies powder into a small rice bowl of porridge for taste. You may also use the powder on fried rice, sushi, sandwiches or even soup for a richer aroma. I prefer using this homemade flavoring than those commercially packed chicken stock which I am sure is full of preservative and MSG. No food is better than homecook food. :)

Preparation Time: 5min
Cooking Time: 10-15min
Recommended age: 8 months onwards

500gm of Dried anchovies just like in picture below, about 5 palms full (enough for a month's usage).

Step-by-Step Guides:

1. Preheat oven to 120c/140c (gas/fan).

2. Wash the anchovies, remove the heads and tails (I bought those that had the heads and tails removed, save a lot of time). Dab the fish using a kitchen towel to remove as much access water as possible and spread them out evenly onto a baking tray

3. Roast the anchovies in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You can open the oven to check the fish, once it's golden crisp you may remove them from the oven. Let it cool before blending them.

I got 2 full jars of these crunchy anchovies.

4. In a food processor / blender, blend the roasted anchovies into powdery form.

The anchovies powder can be stored in air-tight container for up to a month or more. Keep it in a cool and dry place for longer shelve life. I placed mine in a clear glass container and stored in the fridge to ensure freshness.

Reference Links:
These are some of the websites I referred to, for your reference only.

Until the next post, happy feeding! :)