Okoy or Ukoy is a dish that is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. This crispy mixture of batter, shrimp, and vegetables, such as, bean sprouts and sweet potato, is a popular street food in the Philippines.
Yesterday, I picked up a frozen box of what I thought was “tiny shrimps” for my Ukoy or Okoy recipe. I did not realize until I got home that they were krill.
Now what on earth are krill, you may ask?
With a little “Googling”, I found out that both shrimp and krill are crustaceans (obviously) and Wikipedia says you can differentiate them by their externally visible gills. But for me, they look completely the same and they both taste yummy!
So, whether you have shrimp or krill on hand, these crispy, golden sea critters will draw a thumbs up after the first bite.
How do you make okoy?
Start by preparing the batter as the holding agent for the rest of ingredients. If you use flour alone, it will result to a thicker batter. This is why I mixed the flour with cornstarch which is actually double in ratio. Cornstarch will yield a lighter and crispier texture.
Sprinkle salt and pepper and mix until consistency is smooth.
Toss the minced shallot, shrimp, bean sprouts and sweet potato strips. Mix until everything is coated with the batter.
Add just enough oil to cover the pan for shallow frying. When the oil is ready, sizzling but not smoking, drop a large spoonful of batter into the pan. Use your spoon to spread the batter thinly and cook until golden and crispy.
Do not overcrowd the pan to keep the temperature at a constant high. This will keep the fritter from absorbing excess oil.
Turn over the fritters to cook the other side. Take out of the pan and drain quickly on absorbent paper. Immediately serve while warm and crispy.
You can dip them in vinegar with some crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper.
- 250 g small shrimp or krill washed and drained
- 100 g bean sprouts
- 1 100g small sweet potato, peeled and cut into strips
- 6 tablespoon cornstarch about 60g
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour about 30g
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 medium shallot minced
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of ground pepper
- Make the batter. Combine cornstarch, all-purpose flour and baking soda in a bowl. Make a well in the center, then stir in 1/4 cup of cold water to make a smooth batter. Add salt, pepper and minced shallot.
- Coat the shrimp and vegetables with batter. Toss the shrimp, bean sprouts and sweet potato strips into the batter and give the mixture a good stir until everything is coated.
- Cook the fritters. In a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil just enough to cover the pan as want to cook the fritters in just a touch of oil. Spoon out a heap of the mixture with a tablespoon into the pan to form fritters. Cook in batches for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden, firm and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining mixture, adding more oil to the pan, if needed. Drain on a paper towel.
- Make the dipping sauce. Stir together vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then serve with the fritters.