HeiciOte-ote (read: oh-tay oh-tay) or heici (read: hay-chi) is another variety of fritters. Instead of translating into a shrimp fritter, I’d rather say it a shrimp cake.

A similarity cuisine between Southeast Asian foods is common. One day when we went to a Vietnamese restaurant in town, my husband ordered a seafood noodle dish. The dish came with a shrimp cake. I saw the shape and took a bite of it. This shrimp cake did very similar in look and taste to ote-ote. I wish that restaurant put the shrimp cake on as a separate menu, so we could buy it without ordering the noodle.

Anyway, ote-ote can be meant naked in Javanese. I speak Javanese fluently with Surabayan dialect which is known for Low Javanese. But, don’t ever ask me to speak in High Javanese. The high one is used mostly people in Central Java or when the younger speaks to the older ones. I recalled my late maternal grandma said “don’t speak with me in Javanese, you better talk in bahasa Indonesia”. See… even she didn’t accept my Low Javanese. She understood the situation as my late dad was not from a Javanese descendant, so my parent taught my brother and me Indonesian national language, bahasa Indonesia.

What sauce do I use to dip this shrimp cake with?  I use sambal petis (dark shrimp paste sambal).   From my observation, there are 3 different dipping sauces for fritters that Indonesians love to use.  The Eastern Javanese (Surabayan) loves to use Sambal Petis while Cuko (Spicy Tamarind Sauce) has been a favourite the South Sumatran (Palembangese) to accompany the fritters and the Jakarta (Betawinese) relish to enjoy fritters with Sambal Kacang (Peanut Sambal).

– Javanese Shrimp Cake –
Serving: 14-15 shrimp cakes

•14-15 medium sized shrimp, rinsed
•150 grams bean sprouts
•150 grams julienned carrots
•1 stalk Chinese celery leaf, finely chopped
•2 eggs, beaten
•350 milliliter medium thick coconut milk

Dry Ingredients:
•200 grams unbleach all purpose flour
•50 grams organic brown rice flour (can be substituted for regular rice flour)
•2 tablespoons ground dried shrimp
•½ teaspoon baking soda
•½ teaspoon raw sugar
•½ teaspoon ground white pepper
•1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Spice Paste:
•2 large-sized shallots
•3 cloves garlic

1. With a mortar and pestle or food processor, pound/grind shallots and garlic.  Set aside.

2. In bowl, mix dry ingredients together.  In another bigger bowl, combine bean sprouts, carrots and celery.  Add in the dry ingredient mixture to the vegetable bowl. Mix well. Pour in beaten eggs and stir evenly.  Last but not least, add coconut milk.

3. In a Dutch oven or frying pan, add cooking oil for deep frying.  Heat up to medium.

4. Then, dip a vegetable ladle in to the oil over about couple minutes. Remove the ladle from the oil and pour 3 tablespoons of batter into a ladle. Put a shrimp on the centre of the batter. Dip the laddle back to the oil. In couple seconds, the batter will be easier to remove. Fry the shrimp cake until golden brown. Re-do this step 4 until all batters are used.


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