Dilis Crispies (fresh)

My mama used to cook this when  was a little kid. This is one of her recipes, hand-written on an old notebook, half-eaten by termites. All these years I have kept it, like a precious gem. Dilis (I guess this is anchovies in English) are small slender fish, about 2 to 3 inches long. Fresh dilis can be prepared as kilawin, a very appetizing dish. For now, I will share Mama's dilis crispies, one of my favorite food.

1/2 kilo fresh dilis; 4 tsp. calamansi (chinese lemon) juice; 4 tsp. table salt; 1 tsp black pepper (ground); cornstarch; and cooking oil for frying.

Remove head of dilis. Wash fish very well and allow to drain. Soak fish in a mixture of salt, juice and pepper for about 15 minutes. Drain and dry fish under the sun for about 20 minutes by scattering the fish on a tray. Cover with screen to keep away flies and other insects. Place cornstarch in a plastic bag, drop some dilis and shake untill all the dilis is well coated with cornstarch. Fry the dilis until golden brown and serve with your favorite dip or sauce. Happy eating!

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