okoy

Disappointed with Vigan’s okoy

Vigan's famous okoy is kind of disappointing. CLICK TO ENLARGE

It would have been the perfect complement to Vigan’s empanada but the okoy (fried battered shrimps) was a bit of a let down. It was more flour, and lots of it, a few pieces of small shrimps and kutchay (Chinese leek).

The three cities of Batac, Laoag and Vigan in Ilocos Norte are known to have their own versions of the famous Ilocos empanada: fried pockets of vegetables, an egg and longaniza (garlicky native sausage) that is different from the typical empanada found in other parts of the country.

While Batac is known as having the best,  Vigan differs from the other two by offering another native fare, the okoy. This popular snack (or in some cases, viand) consists of small shrimps with shell, battered and deep fried into a round form. In Vigan, kutchay is added.

But what really disappointed me was that it was more flour that resulted in a thick layer of a chewy, oily consistency that kind of lessens the food experience.

One might say that it’s just P30 but still, not that good. Vigan empanada and okoy are available at the fringes of Plaza Burgod, facing the commercial buildings.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

2 Comments

  1. edmaration
    June 11, 2011 @ 19:11

    => Hello sir, maybe you have ordered to the wrong place because stalls at Plaza Burgos really have their own “templa” . The best okoy can be found at Hidden Garden and Cafe Leona which is more expensive however.

  2. estan
    June 11, 2011 @ 22:27

    @ed, thanx for the comment. the plaza burgos stalls are there and most people gravitate to that place and hence, i have to see what it has been offering. there are lots of stalls there but for that afternoon, i can only afford one. i will, however, try the best ones that you’ve recommended. thanx again pre.

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