Believed to have originated in the province of Laguna, Philippines, Okoy or Ukoy is a simple yet very tasty Filipino dish and appetizer made from deep-fried battered baby shrimps. The shell of the shrimp is left unpeeled as it enhances the flavor and crispiness of okoy.




  • ½ lb. baby shrimps, shell on, cleaned and whiskers trimmed off
  • 1 cup kamote (sweet potato), grated
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. atsuete(annatto/ achiote) extract or ½ tsp. powdered annatto
  • 1 cup cooking oil



  1. In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, flour, egg, water, atsuete, salt, and black pepper. Stir the batter mixture very well to make sure no lumps will form.
  2. Add the shrimps and sweet potato. Mix until well blended.
  3. Prepare and heat the pan with enough cooking oil for deep frying.
  4. When the oil is ready to hot, scoop out around 2 to 3 tablespoons of shrimp mixture and carefully drop them in the middle of the pan. Press it down with a spatula to flatten similar to a pancake.
  5. Cook each side for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown (depending on the thickness of the batter mixture).
  6. Remove the fried okoy from the pan and drain on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process until the remaining shrimp batter mixture is used up.
  7. Serve while warm and crispy along with spiced vinegar dipping sauce (sukang maanghang).


    Put some veggies by adding mung bean sprouts and julienned carrots in the batter mixture. If preferred, peel off the shells of baby shrimp. Bigger shrimps can also be used. Cut them into smaller pieces before adding in the batter. If no fresh shrimps are available, dried shrimps will do. Dilis or anchovy is also a popular substitute to shrimps. Butternut squash or pumpkin can be substituted with sweet potato. Ketchup and mayonnaise can also be used as dipping sauce.



Mimaropa (Region IV-B) also known as Southern Tagalog Islands is composed of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan. The region has a diverse and eccentric cuisine. Marinduque is popular for its Bibingka Lalaki (Male Bibingka), a rice cake that uses tuba or coconut wine; and Arrowroot cookies. Romblon is popular for its dish called Sarsa that is made from boiled coconut,  chilies, and tiny shrimp. Palawan is popular for tamilok (shipworm, a worm-like mollusk.)  Mindoro’s rich marine life strongly influences the local industry and cuisine.  It is popular for Adobong Pugita, Octopus Adobo.

Adobong Pugita is made with a mature octopus that is cooked in soy and vinegar sauce.  If cooked perfectly, the dish yields a very flavorful and succulent octopus that is well-matched with steamed rice. It is usually served as a main entree for lunch or dinner or as an accompaniment to beer in the Philippines.


  • 1 whole adult octopus, cleaned,  cut in bitesize pieces, ink sac carefully separated
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water for marinating
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 dried bay leaves, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of boiling water for blanching


  1. Marinate the cuts of octopus in soy sauce, vinegar, water, salt and pepper for 45 minutes. Drain the octopus and save the marinade for Step 3. Set the marinated octopus aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or deep skillet. Saute garlic and caramelize the onion for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the marinade on the caramelized onion and garlic. Drop the bay leaves in if using. Add the octopus ink. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced. Turn the heat off.
  4. While the sauce is simmering: bring water to a brisk boil in a separate saucepan. Blanch the marinated octopus for 2 minutes. Drain well.
  5. Add the blanched octopus to the adobo sauce. Stir to mix and transfer to a serving plate.
  6. Serve warm with steamed rice.

*  Octopus can be substituted with squid.
*  Asian stores and seafood markets carry frozen and fresh octopus.
* Do not overcook the octopus. Follow the time indicated in the recipe and watch it closely.



The dish was actually popularized, prepared and sold in Malate, Manila and we can consider that it is a myth that the Bicol Express originated in the province of Bicol. It was a food bought at the train station, usually consumed during the 8-hour train trip from Manila to Naga. [1]

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  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 2 lbs pork belly cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup Shrimp Paste
  • 1 tbsp Garlic minced
  • 6 pieces Thai chili or Serrano pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Heat a pan and then pour-in the cooking oil.
  2. Sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger
  3. Add the pork and then continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes or until the color becomes light brown
  4. Put-in the shrimp paste and Thai chili or Serrano pepper. Stir.
  5. Pour the coconut milk in. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes or until the pork is tender
  6. Add salt and ground black pepper to taste
  7. Serve Hot. Enjoy!





Bacalao ng mga Caviteño is a proud recipe of Cavite. Usually served in Holy Week or Araw ng Pangilin sa pagkain ng karne (Meat Fasting). Bacalao is a Spanish word that means dried Codfish or labahita in Tagalog.

Bacalao is a coined word that originated from the word “Bacalhau”. Bacalao or Bacalhau is a dried codfish specifically from Portugal and Brazil. It is probably from the influence of Spaniards invasion that was adapted by our ancestors for many years. An amazing heritage recipe of Cavite.

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  1. Soak the salted cod in about 2 quarts of water, changing the water 3 times over the course of 8 hours. Drain and cut the fish into bite-size pieces.
  2. Layer the half of each ingredient in the following order: potatoes, codfish, onions, hard-boiled eggs, capers, garlic, olives, roasted red peppers, and raisins. Place the bay leaf on top, then pour half the tomato sauce and half the olive oil. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order. Pour the water and white wine on top. Do not stir.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender about 30 minutes.


Tulingan or mackerel tuna is widely available in Batangas. The most popular way of cooking this fish is sinaing (boiled). Sinaing na tulingan became a staple dish in the province and had been listed to its most popular dishes

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1 kg small or medium sized tulingan
1/2 cup dried or fresh kamias (make it 1 1/2 cup for fresh kamias)
50 g pork fat sliced into strips
1 cup water
2 tbsp rock salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion sliced
1 small ginger crushed
siling mahaba (number depends on your preference)


Clean the fish. Remove the gills and innards. Wash the tulingan under running water. Rub the tulingan with salt.

Place the pork fat, onions, and some of the kamias at the bottom of the pot then the tulingan. Arrange each piece properly so one would be cooked the same way as others.

Add the remaining kamias and other ingredients over the layer of tulingan.

Bring to a boil. Adjust the heat appropriately. Let it simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the fish is properly cooked.

Others use tamarind instead if kamias is not available. Anyhow, it will surely add that sour yet delicious flavor to your sinaing na tulingan.