Spicy Dilis: a Filipino dried anchovies snack

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  January 8, 2022

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Spicy dilis is commonly sold in various stores across the Philippines. It’s packaged in small plastic packets stapled on thin cardboard and is considered a snack by many Filipino children.

However, if you don’t fancy eating this delicious treat (that’s admittedly kind of suspect because we’re not sure where it’s actually produced), then you can follow this spicy dilis recipe so you can curb your craving!

If made at home, this could be paired with beer or any liquor, and is the perfect side dish for beer parties.

Spicy Dilis Recipe


What makes spicy dilis a treat is the mixture of sweetness and spiciness from all of the ingredients.

The dilis is coated by a mixture of tomato sauce and sugar, mixed with chili powder and red chilies.

It’s recommended that you use brown sugar in this spicy dilis recipe, as the brown sugar has an earthier and sweeter flavor to it.

You can adjust the sugar or the other ingredients (such as chili powder) depending on how sweet or spicy you want your spicy dilis to be.

Spicy Dilis

Spicy dilis preparation

An additional (but optional) ingredient is flour. Flour serves as the ingredient that makes the mixture of the chili powder and sugar more consistent; however, you can choose to skip this one. If you want to be more on the traditional side though, then you can add this in.

Favorite Asian Recipes x
Favorite Asian Recipes

As for the garnishes, you can either use sesame seeds, as this is what they do in other Southeast Asian countries. Or you can put in chopped fresh siling labuyo or dried chilis.

Check out this video by Panlasang Pinoy to see how spicy dilis is made:

Spicy Dilis

Spicy dilis recipe

Joost Nusselder
Spicy dilis is commonly sold in various stores across the Philippines. It's packaged in small plastic packets stapled on thin cardboard and is considered a snack by many a Filipino.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 3 people
Calories 111 kcal


  • 2 cups dried anchovies (dilis)
  • 2 tbsp banana ketchup
  • 2 tsp hot chili sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups cooking oil


  • Heat a pot and pour in cooking oil.
  • When the oil becomes hot, deep-fry the dried anchovies (dilis) for 2 to 3 minutes or until the color turns light brown.
  • Turn off the heat and remove the fried anchovies from the cooking pot. Set aside.
  • Combine fried anchovies, ketchup, and hot chili sauce, then mix well.
  • Add brown sugar and mix until all the anchovies are coated.
  • Heat the same pot with the remaining cooking oil and fry the coated anchovies for 2 minutes or until the texture becomes crunchy but not burnt.
  • Remove the anchovies and transfer to a serving plate.
  • Serve.


Calories: 111kcal
Keyword Fish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Spicy dilis, like most Filipino dishes, is actually flexible in that it can be served as a snack, as a side dish in celebrations or, given the right amount, as a meal for lunch and dinner.

Once it’s served as a meal, partner it with rice (sinangag rice) and sprinkle it with a bit of soy sauce to add another layer of flavor.

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.