Yet another no-meat request by my sister for Holyweek is okoy. Okoy or caramba as my mother calls it, is one of her specialties, so on Black Saturday it was her turn to labor in the kitchen. Okoy, ukoy, or caramba, is a Filipino version of shrimp fritters. It is a medley of bean sprouts, tofu, and shrimps bound together by orange batter, fried and eaten with spicy vinegar on the side. The orange tint of the okoy is owed to a good dose of annatto in the batter. A fairly common street food in Manila (which prevalence predates another orange-colored street food called kwek-kwek), okoy is normally eaten as a snack but my family likes eating it with rice, as a main course.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the kwek-kwek, a popular street food which is an egg (be it either chicken or quail) dipped in orange batter and deep fried to a crisp, was conceived when an okoy vendor accidentally dropped a hard-boiled egg into the okoy batter and decided to fry it.
Speaking of colored eggs-- HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup Cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Medium Eggs
1 cup shrimp broth or water
1/4 cup achuete (annatto) water (2 tablespoons achuete seeds steeped in 1/4 cup water until the water turns red orange. Discard seeds and set aside resultant liquid.)
3 cups togue (Mungbean Sprouts), washed
1 cup small Shrimps
1/2 cup kinchay, sliced
1/2 cup tokwa (tofu), cubed and fried
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
Cooking oil for pan frying
Mix together first 6 ingredients to make a batter.
Add in togue, shrimps, kinchay, and tokwa. Season with salt and pepper.
Put just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Place over medium heat.
Scoop the batter (about half a cup) onto the hot pan, and flatten with a spoon until about half an inch thick.
Fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Serve with vinegar, for dipping.