The Best Tortang Dilis- Easy Filipino Recipe

We always wanted to have a delicious dish. However, what if you are on a budget? Can you still give your family a delicious meal? It is your lucky day since this blog will provide you with a dish that won’t require you to spend more but won’t compromise the quality and taste. Please sit back and relax as we share with you how to make the most delicious version of this featured dish. 

It may sound familiar, especially for Filipinos, because they prepare this dish mostly during breakfast. The aroma of it while being done is enough reason to hook your attention and get up. That’s why you will never regret having this dish as your platter today. 

Credits to Flickr

What are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on this chance of having another easy-to-prepare but tempting food. Get your notes and list down all variations and ways of making it for you to have many options. Also, kick-off! All ideas and techniques you can get to have your yummy version. Let’s start! 

What Is This Dilis Dish

This highlighted food is a simple fish dish, whereas torta means omelet itself. Then, it used anchovy fish or dilis in the Filipino language. This torta meal is simple to make, just like the other egg dishes that you are familiar with, but some used to do it with different variations to have some twist. 

This dish is somehow called interchangeably with tortang Dulong. But, in reality, they are different because the tortang dulong is made with silverfish or Dulong and not with anchovy. However, either of the two tortang isda tastes delicious and savory, especially when mixed with egg.

The Philippines claimed that they originated this dish. Since dilis are abundantly present in their country, they used it to incorporate it with egg. Although recipes of this kind are said to have originated in Iran, it will not neglect the fact that the idea of combining it with this seafood is purely out of Filipino’s creativity and resourcefulness. 

Credits to Fire Walker in the Kitchen

Anchovy can be bought fresh, dried, or as a paste. Due to its versatility, anchovy made a popular dish in Asian and European countries. It is often dried and made with sugar. They also have spicy versions and serve as a snack or pulutan for Filipinos. You can have it conveniently because it is usually available in stores at an affordable price. 

Later on, Filipinos have discovered many ways to prepare these delicious little fish. So from a snack or pulutan, you can now also eat it as a meal partner with your rice. It can be used as a substitute for meat in dishes such as pork stir-fry, soup, and nearly the same recipes. 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to seafood anchovy. That is why they were brought up having this menu, especially during breakfast and lunch. 

What Is In This Dish

Like any other meal, it takes one, two, or more ingredients to develop the perfect taste you always wanted. Here’s what goes to this meal to finally complete your list. 

  • Anchovyit is the main star of this featured dish. That’s why it won’t be absent from the list. Its small, forage fish characteristic is suitable for frying like in this recipe procedure. The variant of this fish that is used here tends to be quite salty. Small but terrible, that’s how it marked itself. You can get an excellent protein source for bodybuilders, calcium for building bones, and antioxidants to keep your body healthy and avoid various diseases. 
  • Egg – your torta is not complete without the egg itself. The eggs should be beaten or scrambled first before including the fish and other ingredients so that egg yolks and egg white are equally distributed to the mixture. 
  • Cooking Oil -Since we have to fry this dish, we will use oil. We suggest that you use canola or vegetable oil. In frying, oil functions as a heat transfer medium and contributes flavor and texture to your dish. When food is plunged into the hot oil, the moisture starts to boil and percolate towards the surface. While frying, it dries into a pleasantly crisp shell and protects the dish’s dampness beneath. The food inside steams while the coating gets brown and crispy. 
  • Butter – some use butter instead of vegetable oil to fry this particular dish. They say it is also ideal with different kinds of recipes. When heated, butter develops a nutty yet umami flavor and aroma, which tends to attract people. In terms of taste, if butter combines with egg, it complements and enhances its taste. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – flour is most used to thicken torta recipes. People want their egg to be as fluffy as possible that’s why the powder plays a vital role in achieving this texture. 
  • Ground black pepper – this ingredient will add a strong kicking flavor to your dish. It adds an earthy kick and sharp aroma when blended into your egg mixture before frying it. It is a must-have in this dish. 
  • Salt – this condiment is known for its role in enhancing the flavor in your dish. Besides that, salt is essential in your menu because salt pulls the moisture out of your torta before frying it. 
  • Water – it lightens your food and makes it more mobile. The trick is to add just a splash of water to your mixture after you crack and whisk the egg. When heated, water creates a steaming effect that contributes to a fluffier outcome of your dish. 

What Is In The Dipping Sauce

Soy-vinegar is the classic dipping sauce for recipes like this kind, just like our featured dish today. It is simple to make, yet the taste should blend well. It has to be tangy, a little bit salty with a hint of sweetness. Here are the ingredients you need to prepare and mix. 

Credits to Kawaling Pinoy
  • Garlic-  is typically crushed or diced to extract the natural flavor and mix it with the sauce. 
  • Onion – with a swag of onion into the mixture, it will give a bitter-sweet taste complements to the sauce. 
  • Ground black pepper – to give some spice and strong tangy taste, here’s ground black pepper to save you. 
  • Sugar – this is optional to those who are asking for more sweetness. It blends well with the taste of salty and spices that the mixture of sauce has. 
  • Red bell pepper – no one can stop you from having more spices, so red bell pepper is on the go. Just chop and garnish it with the mixture.
  • Soy Sauce – gives the saltiness with a taste of umami to the sauce, making you crave more when you dip your food. 
  • Vinegar – aside from the sourness it gives to the sauce, balanced the dip’s over-all taste due to its acid content. 

Ways To Make This Filipino Dilis Dish

Pan-Fried Dilis or Anchovies

Credits to Crazy Korean Kooking

It is the most common way of preparing this particular dish wherein you have to fry the anchovy fist before including it in the mixture. Then, fry it again. We advise you to use a non-stick pan so that your dish will be crispier and you won’t be stressed out to flip it while cooking. 

Oven-baked Anchovies

Credits to Noob Cook

If you don’t like to burden yourself to flip up the side of your dish, you can have an oven-baked way of making this dish. Though it takes longer than the first method, the taste of it is almost just the same. After frying them, mix the rest of the ingredients to it, then bake until it reaches your desired fluffiness. 

Variations Of Recipes

The flexibility of your dish’s taste is endless because of the different ingredients you can add to it. Here are some of the choices you can try to make variations of your original recipe. 

  • Sweet-Style– the one that you are supposed to use here is the preserved sweet variant of anchovy. Also, omit pepper and add a dash of sugar and egg mixture. Fill with preserves; finely chopped toasted nuts or berries can also be added, and it will surely add extra flavor to your dish. 


Minor problems may occur when you are doing your dish, especially when it is your first time. But you’ll get used to it, or even prevent it by knowing what to do if trouble happens. 

  • If your dish sticks to the pan, it is either you didn’t add enough butter or oil, or maybe your heat is set too high.
  • If your dish turns scrambled, this is due to the egg’s lack of beat or whisk before final frying. To avoid it, make sure to beat the mixture well and not let it form a curdle. 


Since it is a torta dish, it provides health benefits. Egg whites can be a lower-calorie, which means it won’t make your cholesterol level high. Meanwhile, egg yolks hold many vitamins and minerals that keep your body healthy. Moreover, this dish can be a healthy protein-packed meal because eggs and anchovy are reached in this element.

Cooking Tips

Making a dish like this can be more comfortable with our insider tips. By following these quick tips, inevitably, your food will stand out among others. 

  • If you don’t have an omelet pan, it is advisable to use a heavy skillet with sloping sides. 
  • Tortas are ideally made one at a time and served while hot for superb taste, too. 
  • Make sure that you pick the eggs at room temperature before using them. After taking your eggs into the refrigerator, set aside for a while. Cold eggs take longer to establish, and this may result in your dish being overdone. 
  • Some people add milk to the egg mixture, especially in recipes like ours today. It is to obtain the fluffiness of the meal.
  • Beat the egg thoroughly before adding the anchovy and other seasonings. Whisk it until no more flecks of white can be seen. It should be bubbly and light. 
  • With regards to frying, don’t use oil or butter. Just put the mixture alone and flip it once in a while until golden brown. Having no oil while frying it will make it crispier and avoid the fatty or greasy taste. You will only use oil or butter on the latter part of making the torta itself. 
  • If you may ask how to place the dish without breaking, the answer is simple. Gently shake the pan to loosen any egg, anchovy, and other fillings (if any), then slide the torta to the edge of the skillet. 

Other Recipes Perfect To Serve With

  • Sliced tomatoes – the sweet and sourness of tomatoes is more delicious if you bite it with this featured dish. Flavors that seem to play into your mouth are what boost your appetite more. 
  • Mashed Potatoes – for instance, you wish to enhance the taste of your recipe while eating it. Having a spoonful of mashed potatoes will be enough to get through your cravings. 
  • Fried Ricesinangag, that’s how Filipino call it. Your leftover rice last night can be used to have this. This rice is always perfect to combine with this dish; try and see! 
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce- if you don’t want the classic soy-vinegar dipping sauce for your made food, it calls for another taste complimenting sauce, the sweet and sour sauce. To have it, mix mayonnaise and ketchup, and that’s it. 
  • Chicken soup – if you eat your torta meal during lunch, you may opt to consume it with this. The flavorful broth complementing your dish’s salty taste will make you ask for another cup of rice.
  • Processed meat – In the Philippines, they used to eat processed meat during breakfast. That includes any processed meat such as pork tocino, skinless longganisa, embutido, beef tapa, hotdog, and more. These are partners with egg, no matter how it is made (sunny-side up, scrambled, boiled, or torta).
  • Hot Coffee or Hot Choco – sipping your favorite hot coffee or hot choco while eating this dish is a perfect way to start your day. 


Who had thought that a small anchovy would be so delicious when mixed with eggs? Upon reading this blog, we hope you realized how simple a dish could turn into an incredible meal by following our tips to prepare and make this.

At, we always make extra efforts to give you recipes you can do without hesitation because it will surely pass to your taste and budget. This recipe reminds you that it’s not always necessary that you have to spend a lot to serve your family a good meal. 

Make every morning special by creating this hearty breakfast meal. Since you know how to prepare and make this very delicious breakfast treat, we will be glad to hear the feedback and results of trying this recipe. Enjoy your time in the kitchen! 

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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5 from 1 vote

Superb Tortang Dilis Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Seafood Recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 251kcal
Cost $3-$5


  • 1 lb Anchovies
  • 1 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 pc Onion small, diced
  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1 pc Egg scrambled
  • 3 cups Cooking oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Water


Dipping sauce

  • In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper.

Anchovies mixture

  • In a mixing bowl, combine anchovies, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, flour, scrambled egg and water. Mix well and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan. Once hot, pour the anchovies mixture in a circular form. Then fry it for 5 minutes per side or until crispy brown.
  • Transfer into a plate and eat with dipping sauce. Enjoy!


Sodium: 702mg | Calcium: 178mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 57IU | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 468mg | Cholesterol: 69mg | Calories: 251kcal | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 6g | Protein: 26g | Carbohydrates: 19g | Iron: 5mg
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