By Gian Franco 2021-02-03

Munch Away on this Guilt-Free Crispy Okoy (Fried Shrimp Fritters Recipe)

A crispy Filipino appetizer that is light and good for you.



Some days we just want to bite into something loud and fatty when we fall into boredom or feeling blue. Suddenly, the food makes you giddy with excitement when it crumbles between your teeth at the sound of loud crunch as you reach out for more fried chicken or chips to stuff our mouth with. Surprisingly, there is science behind the appeal of loud mastication: gastrophysicist and experimental psychology professor correlates loudness of crunch to perceived freshness. The additional sensorial experience of hearing what you are eating makes food more palatable even though we habituate to its taste after a while.

Most go-to crispy foods are junk and obviously not good for you though. The crunch makes you appreciate it because you get addicted to the loudness; it tricks your mind to consume more and figure out its taste. It’s the sound experience that helps us identify that something is fatty—when our smell and taste receptors can’t—and therefore should satiate our guilty craving.

But some crunchy foods can still be included in healthy diet—this is not an oxymoron for a goofy marketing ploy. Okoy or Ukoy (Fried Shrimp Fritters) is an easy Filipino appetizer made out of few ingredients that are light in calories. You only need shrimp, cornstarch, and peppercorn to make batches of this simple and healthy appetizer. This recipe from Erwan Heussaff ( requires shallow fry method instead of the usual deep frying to cook through the batter yet make it less greasy. Okoy is traditionally dipped into a mix of coconut vinegar and soy sauce, and it can be either served on its own or with steaming rice.



For the Okoy/Ukoy

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

For the dip

  • 1 big red chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup coconut vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce


Get these ingredients from My Tindahan here.



  1. Prepare all the vegetable into French cuts or julienne strips. Place in a bowl and put generous amount of salt. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Whisk out as much water as you can. Spread on a clean, dry towel. Fold and squeeze to let the towel absorb the moisture. Place the vegetables back in the bowl.
  2. For the batter, combine cornstarch with cold water. Pour into the bowl with vegetables and coat evenly. Toss the shrimp and chives into the mixture. Mix everything until ingredients are coated evenly. Add more cornstarch better if preferred but keep the layer of batter thin when frying.
  3.  Under medium heat, gather a handful of okoy mixture and carefully put in the oil with the help of slotted spoon. Let the oil baste into the okoy to fry it evenly and thoroughly. Shape them into 2.5 inch rounds. Flip when the bottom starts to turn golden brown. Let the fried fritters rest over a wire rack or paper towels to remove excess oil.
  4. For the dip, combine sliced chili, minced garlic, and chopped onions into a saucer mixed with coconut vinegar and soy sauce. Dip the okoy and enjoy!


Photo courtesy of The Fat Kid Inside.


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