What Is Balado Teri?
Balado Teri is dried anchovies that are deep-fried and mixed with fried peanuts in chilies. The chilies themselves use fresh chilies with onion and garlic, and it is cooked in oil.
This dish is quite popular in Java and Sumatra areas of Indonesia. And it is a side dish that people traditionally enjoy with hot plain rice.
I grew up having lots of Balado Teri, as my mom used to make it every so often.
Interestingly, I remember when I was a kid, this dish was not really favored by the rich. But the irony was, I noticed it became one of the delicacies served as a compliment with your drinks at fancy restaurants and five-star-rated hotels.
So what’s changed?
I suppose as people learn more about things, their thinking changes too.
Therefore, more people can appreciate things they used to dislike or did not favor. And Balado Teri is one example.
We also know that little fish called anchovies benefit our health.
Now, back to our Balado Teri.
The secret of making the delicious anchovies crispy lies in how we fry the chili paste and when to mix our fried anchovies.
The key ingredients
- Dried anchovies: You can get them at Asian shops in Chinatown. That’s probably a faster and cheaper way. But if it’s difficult for you, you can order online at Amazon. They have a few different sellers that give you options. My favorite is the headless anchovies because it saves me time to clean and cut the head.
- Peanuts: Traditionally, Indonesians would fry the raw peanuts themselves. It’s a pretty easy thing to do. If you decide to do it, make sure you keep stirring the peanuts in the oil. So that all the nuts will be cooked evenly. I now prefer to use ready-roasted peanuts from the shop as I find it more practical.
- Chillies: What you want are big red chilies. If you love the chili heat, you may want to mix them with red bird’s eye chilies. Similarly, if you are not good with chili spiciness, you may want to deseed the big red chilies.
- Onion: Preferably, you use Bawang Merah/ red shallots. Because they don’t have much liquid in them, so your cooking process will be quicker. However, you can always use brown/ yellow onion or even red onion. You can still make tasty Teri Balado, but it will take longer for you to fry the paste.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic, please. You can opt for frozen whole garlic. But don’t use ready-paste garlic or garlic powder.
- Sugar and salt: A little sugar in your savory dishes will help enhance the flavor. As for salt, it’s pretty much self-explanatory. It is a must.
How to make crispy anchovies and peanuts in chilies
Firstly, you prepare the anchovies by washing and rinsing those dried little fish. Then deep-fry them until they are cooked and light golden brown in color.
Secondly, you make the chili paste by pounding the chilies, onion, and garlic. You can use a pestle and mortar or a food processor/ blender to speed up the process.
Then, you fry the paste in enough oil until all the liquid released by the chilli paste evaporates. You will get a dry-ish spice with oil separated from the edges.
Thirdly, add the fried anchovies and roasted peanuts to the cooked spice. Give it a good stir until all anchovies and peanuts are covered with the spice mixture. Cook further for 2-3 minutes before you enjoy your Balado Teri.
More ideas for Indonesian food recipes
Before you go, check out other Indonesian food recipes that may interest you.
Thank you for checking this Balado Teri recipe. When you try it, don’t forget to share what you think about it.
Thank you and all the best.
- Pestle and mortar or
- Food processor
- Frying pan
- Slotted spoon
- 3.5 ounces dried anchovies.
- 2 ounces roasted salted peanuts see the note.
- 3 ounces red chillies see the note.
- 1 medium onion.
- 3 garlic cloves.
- ½ teaspoon salt see the note.
- 1 ½ teaspoon sugar.
- Oil for frying.
- Clean, wash and rinse the anchovies.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan/ a wok and deep-fry the anchovies until they are cooked and crispy. Set aside.
- Using a food processor/ blender or a pestle and mortar, pound the chillies, onion, and garlic into a paste.
- Then heat up ⅓ cup of oil in a frying pan/ a wok and fry the chilli paste. Cook it until all the liquid evaporates, and you have a nice greasy chilli paste with oil separated on the side. You can use the used oil from frying the anchovies or use a new oil.
- When the chili mixture is thick and oily, you can put the fried anchovies and the peanuts in. Stir well until everything is coated with chilli paste. Do so for about 2-3 minutes at moderately high heat. Your Balado Teri is now ready.
- Traditionally, the Indonesians would use raw peanuts and fry themselves. You can do that too. But I find using ready-roasted salted peanuts saves a lot of time, and the result is equally good.
- Use the big red chilies, and you can deseed the chilies if you don’t want to reduce the heat. Or leave the seeds if you want them spicy. You can also mix the big red chilies with red bird’s eye chilies if you prefer your Balado to be hotter.
- Every brand of anchovies offers different levels of saltiness. Therefore, it’s worth it for you to try the fried anchovies before you make the chili sauce, so you will know how salty they are. Then you know how much you need to put salt in it.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.