Spicy Dilis: Filipino dried anchovies

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 26, 2020
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Spicy Dilis is commonly seen sold in various stores across the Philippines. It is packaged in small plastic packets stapled on thin cardboard and is considered as a snack by many a Filipino child.

However, if one does not fancy eating this delicious treat that is, admittedly, kind of suspect because we are not sure where it is actually produced, then you can follow this spicy dilis recipe so that you can follow your craving.

If made at home this could be partnered by 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 the spiciness of all of the ingredients.

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

It is recommended that one uses brown sugar in this spicy dilis recipe as the brown sugar has a more earthy and sweeter flavor into it.

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

Spicy Dilis


An additional (but optional) ingredient is flour. The flour serves as the ingredient that makes the mixture of the chili powder and sugar more consistent; however, you can opt to skip this one.

If you want to be more on the traditional side though, then you can add this up.

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


Spicy dilis recipe

Spicy Dilis is commonly seen sold in various stores across the Philippines. It is packaged in small plastic packets stapled on thin cardboard and is considered as a snack by many a Filipino.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Fish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 people
Calories 111kcal
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $4


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


  • Heat a cooking pot and pour-in cooking oil.
  • When the oil becomes hot, deep-fry the dried anchovies for 2 to 3 minutes or until the color turns light brown.
  • Turn-off 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 cooking 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.

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, can be served as a meal for lunch and dinner.

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

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.