Alternative namesOko'-oko', Oku-oku, Ketupat tehe tehe, Nasi tehe tehe
CourseMain dish
Place of originPhilippines
Region or stateTawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga Peninsula, Sabah

Oko-oko is a Filipino dish consisting of rice cooked inside a whole sea urchin shell. It originates from the Sama-Bajau people. It is a common delicacy in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, and the Zamboanga Peninsula.[1] It has also been introduced by Sama migrants to Sabah, Malaysia, where it is known as ketupat tehe-tehe or nasi tehe-tehe.[2]

Oko-oko is prepared with a specific type of sea urchins called tehe'-tehe' (also transcribed as tehe-tehe). The spines are first scraped off and the entrails removed through a small hole at the bottom. The edible gonads are retained. Uncooked rice mixed with spices and various ingredients are then poured into the hole. The hole is plugged with pandan or coconut leaves. It is then boiled whole until the rice is cooked. Oko-oko is eaten by cracking the shell and peeling it like a hard-boiled egg. The compacted rice inside with the salty sea urchin gonads are eaten directly while held, similar to leaf-wrapped rice cakes.[3][4][5]

See also


  1. ^ Villareal, Melo. "Chavacano Cuisine: Discovering the Flavors of Zamboanga". Out of Town Blog. Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Tehe-tehe rice: A Bajau Laut specialty". Malay Mail. Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  3. ^ "Oko-Oko". The Philippines Today. Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  4. ^ "Making Oko'-Oko', A Sama Sea Urchin Delicacy". Kauman Sama Online. Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Food Trip: Must-try Food in Zamboanga City". The Wandering Juan. Retrieved 3 June 2023.