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It's National Shrimp Day, Let’s Deep-Fry Some Shrimp!

Unless you’re allergic to them, shrimp is an everyday favorite. Whether it’s tiny shrimp or giant prawns, these juicy crustaceans can be cooked every which way—steamed, boiled, grilled, baked, and best of all, deep-fried! While May 10 is National Shrimp Day in the United States, it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate as well here in the Philippines.

Filipinos love to make them into crispy fritters called okoy. But Chef Sau del Rosario comes up with a different take on this traditional dish. He shares, “I deconstructed it a bit. I put corn and annatto and separated the shrimp.” He suggests, “You dip it in our homemade coco vinegar. It’s nice to munch on with shredded mangoes.” The result is a crunchy-on-the-outside and chewy-on-the-inside fried shrimp delight!

If you don’t want to make this okoy recipe yourself, you can sample it at Chef Sau’s Café Fleur in Angeles City. Located in an old home protected by the National Historical Institute, the restaurant offers Chef Sau’s own spin on Kapampangan dishes, especially those recipes he learned from his mother and grandmother. He describes, “It’s not too traditional. It’s a little bit modern, but the flavors are still the same.”


Crispy Okoy and Shrimps

Serves 4

  • 1 cup grated cassava 
  • 1 cup grated squash 
  • 1/4 cup grated papaya 
  • 1/4 cup yellow corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup spring onion, chopped
  • cooking oil, for deep-frying
  • julienned green mango, for garnish
  • deep fried shrimps, for garnish
  • spring onions, for garnish

1. Squeeze grated cassava, squash, and papaya until dehydrated. 

2. Combine with yellow corn and spring onion. Mix in the slurry (recipe below) to add color to the okoy batter.

3. Preheat oil to 180°C. Drop about 3 tablespoons of okoy mixture into the hot oil and deep-fry until crispy.

4. Arrange okoy on a serving platter. Garnish with green mango and deep-fried shrimps. Sprinkle spring onions before serving.



  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • annatto oil (recipe below)
  • Combine all-purpose flour and water. Add salt and pepper and annatto oil (recipe below).



Mix together 2 tablespoons annatto seeds with 1/2 cup oil. Simmer until oil turns red in color, around 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and then discard seeds.



Café Fleur, L-463B Miranda Street, Barangay Sto. Rosario, Angeles City, (0995) 313-8413


A longer version of this article first appeared in FOOD Magazine, Issue 3, 2016

Photo by JC Inocian