Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Leeks, hard squash and shrimp okoy

Okoy is a Filipino street food of various crispy, pan-fried vegetables and shrimp made into a fritter. The fritters traditionally contain shredded hard squash or sweet potatoes, bean sprouts, onions and carrots. This version features leeks.

Chef Mayet Cristobal
Bon Appetit Management Co.

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1 cup cornstarch
1 cup rice flour
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups julienned leeks, white parts only (see note)
1 cup grated hard squash such as acorn or kabocha, with the skin on
1 cup shredded Yukon potato
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. peeled shrimp, roughly chopped
Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. canola or grapeseed oil, for frying

Dipping sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup palm or rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
Chopped jalapeño (optional)
1 tsp. granulated sugar


Make batter by combining cornstarch, rice flour, egg and water in a mixing bowl. Mix well, then add vegetables and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add oil. Place a small mound of fritter batter on the pan; do not overcrowd. Fry fritters until brown, about 2 minutes on each side.

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Eat fritters while hot with dipping sauce.

Note: Because they're grown underground, leeks need a good cleaning. First, cut off the roots and the tough, dark green top. This will leave you with a narrow, white stalk. Cut the stalk in half lengthwise and fan open under running water to dislodge any hidden debris—or slice and soak in a bowl of cold water.

Serves 6

Photo courtesy of Bon Appetit Management Co.

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