Okoy – Crispy Shrimp Fritters

okoy / ukoy - crispy shrimp fritters

Hello, okoy! We meet again.

We’ve missed this Filipino dish because it’s been a while since my mom cooked a few batches of these crispy treats. Ukoy or okoy is believed to have originated in the province of Laguna here in the Philippines. It is made of either large shrimps or the tinier version called ‘hipon yap-yap‘ that are mixed with bean sprouts, rice flour, and then deep fried until crisp.

The dipping sauce is made of hot n’ spicy vinegar with some garlic and onion for extra flavor and kick.

I grew up eating okoy as either a viand or snack/meryenda in the afternoon. My aunt, who cooks and sells meryenda in their baranggay in Binan, would send us home with these delicious treats together with lugaw or arroz caldo, whenever we visit them.

Okoy is one of those Filipino dishes that I enjoy since I was as a kid. And up to now, I would crave for this dish once in a while.

There are a few versions depending on the cook and the ingredients used. This is a picture of okoy without toge [mung bean sprouts] and tokwa [firm tofu]. We substituted the veg with grated yellow squash instead. It tastes as good as the original recipe.

Okoy/Ukoy:

tiny shrimps, unpeeled  — these make this dish crispier

grated yellow squash [kalabasa] — either as a substitute to bean sprouts or as additional ingredient

Chinese parsley or cilantro [kintsay/kinchay]

minced garlic and onion

rice flour

water

salt and pepper to taste

bullion cube or powder [you can use chicken or pork flavor]

cooking oil for frying

Procedure:

* Combine rice flour and water to make a light batter. You can decide on the consistency of your batter, but it’s best to keep it light or a bit runny. Add the seasonings, grated kalabasa, bean sprouts, kinchay, garlic, and onion. Add the tiny shrimps last. Mix well.

* Form the okoy patties in the hot oil using a ladle. Flatten the patty to make it thin. Fry til golden brown. Drain the excess oil before serving with your choice of dipping sauce.

sweet chili sauce

dipping sauce:

You can make 2 versions – 1 vinegar and 1 sweet chili

[1] for the vinegar dipping sauce — any white or palm vinegar, salt and pepper, red hot chili [siling labuyo] ;   finely minced garlic and/or onion are optional

[2] for the sweet chili sauce — you can use any bottled chili sauce; add to that a few tablespoons of tomato ketchup, salt and pepper, slivers of red hot chili, a splash of cider vinegar, a teaspoon of honey or sugar; just mix everything together and adjust the seasonings according to taste

*note:  it’s always best to serve this dish hot off the frying pan, so cook only what you can consume and keep the rest of the mixture in the fridge

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