How to Make the Crunchiest Okoy (Filipino Shrimp Fritters)

What makes a good okoy? It’s light, not greasy, and makes that sought-after crunch when you bite into it. Traditionally, okoy is made with tiny shrimps with the shells still intact, which lends to the crunch, but this recipe is a variation of the traditional.

This okoy recipe is inspired by Chef Tom Cunanan’s recipe that you can watch below:

Okoy is the best afternoon snack (aka merienda), but you can also have it as a side dish, an appetizer, even as a main dish! The best part is that it’s incredibly easy to make.

Okoy Recipe

Ukoy/Okoy

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 cup Squash
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red onion
  • ¾ cup ice cold water
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup cornstarch (add up to ½ cup more if needed)
  • 16 shelled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 bunches of chives

Dip

  • 1 big red chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup coconut vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  1. Thinly slice all your vegetables into julienned strips. Place in a bowl and salt generously, letting it rest for at least 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Squeeze out as much water as you can, and spread them out on a clean towel, fold, and squeeze further to soak up the remaining moisture. Place them back in the bowl.
  2. Prepare the batter by combining cornstarch with cold water. Pour this into the bowl with the vegetables and coat evenly. Add in shrimp and chives. Continue to mix until all ingredients are coated evenly. If needed, add more of the cornstarch batter to coat. You should still have a thin layer of the batter before frying.
  3. Shallow fry in a pan at 160C. Gather a handful of the okoy mixture and use a slotted spoon to gently place the okoy in the oil. Let the oil “baste” into the okoy, to make sure every crevice fries evenly. Shape them into 2.5 inch rounds. Once the bottom starts to brown, flip. Continue to cook until golden brown, around 5 minutes. Let it rest over a wire rack to let the excess oil drip.
  4. Prepare the dip by combining sliced chili, minced garlic, and chopped onions into a saucer mixed with coconut vinegar and soy sauce. Serve with okoy.
Erwan Heussaff
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