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Spicy Dilis: a Filipino Dried Anchovies Snack

Posted on the 08 January 2022 by Sp00kje

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.

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 Print

Spicy dilis recipe

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. Course Main CourseCuisine FilipinoKeyword Fish Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 10 minutesTotal 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 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

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.

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