Ukoy (Shrimp Fritters)

Unveiling the crispy magic of #FilipinoFlavors! 🍤✨ From street snack origins to a restaurant star, Ukoy dances with tradition and modern tastes. Dip into the delight! 🌟 #CrispyUkoyJoy. Crispy Ukoy, a Filipino favorite, blends succulent shrimp with a distinctive batter. Deep-fried to perfection, it’s a culinary delight with a vinegar dip.

Ukoy, also known as Okoy or Shrimp Fritters, boasts a fascinating journey in Filipino culinary history. Originating as a humble afternoon snack peddled by street hawkers in the Philippines, it has evolved into a popular side dish featured in various restaurants. The transformation reflects not only changes in culinary preferences but also the adaptability of traditional recipes to modern tastes.

Traditionally, Ukoy is prepared by deep-frying shrimp with the skin on, creating a distinctive crispiness that defines this beloved dish. While contemporary and upscale restaurants may offer a shelled version, the original, skin-on Ukoy retains a unique texture reminiscent of a potato chip when fried to perfection.

The historical roots of Ukoy tie back to the street food culture of the Philippines, where vendors skillfully crafted these delectable fritters to provide a satisfying snack. Over time, Ukoy has made its way into the mainstream culinary scene, becoming a delightful accompaniment to main meals.

A crucial element of Ukoy’s charm lies in its dynamic flavors and textures. The combination of crispy batter and succulent shrimp creates a harmony that is further elevated by the dish’s traditional partner—a vinegar dipping sauce. This sauce not only counters the oiliness resulting from deep-frying but also introduces a symphony of sweet, sour, and hot notes as the batter absorbs its rich taste.

Ukoy’s significance in Filipino cuisine goes beyond its delightful taste; it represents a culinary heritage that has withstood the test of time. Its journey from a street snack to a restaurant staple reflects the adaptability and enduring popularity of this iconic dish.

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Ukoy (Shrimp Fritters)

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Description

Crispy Ukoy, a Filipino favorite, blends succulent shrimp with a distinctive batter. Deep-fried to perfection, it’s a culinary delight with a vinegar dip.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Ukoy

  • 500 g small shrimps, skin on
  • 1 1/2 cup butternut squash, chopped thinly or grated
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 freshly ground black pepper
  • oil

Vinegar Dip

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup cane vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 pcs birds eye chillies, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a deep bowl mix together flour, corn flour, garlic, water, fish sauce and pepper. Mix well and make sure it’s free of lumps.
  2. Now add the butternut squash and shrimps and mix well.
  3. In a pan, add oil enough for deep frying but letting patty settle down flat on the pan. Now using a scoop, spoon out shrimp batter and place in pan like mini pancakes, frying each side for around 2-3 minutes each.
  4. Once fritters are cooked place on a paper tower to drain excess fat.
  5. Prepare the vinegar dip by mixing all the vinegar dip ingredients.

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35 Responses

  1. That sounds delicious but I’d probably prefer it without the heads. I don’t mind the shells. Vinegar sauce sounds perfect too!

  2. I could enjoy these for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Sammie says:

    omg I LOOOVE these. They’re so delicious!! I’ve had a different version of it before! The shrimps are minced and shells are stripped. It probably goes by a different name but nevertheless, anything with shrimp is DELICIOUS!

  4. nors says:

    natikman mo na ba yung ukoy dito? sa fish n chips sa takapuna, sarap pre!

  5. Judy says:

    Um, I’ll take mine shelled and I won’t need that fork. 😉

  6. PolaM says:

    I like that the shrimp are whole. It must give the fritter a pleasant crunchiness!

  7. Tessa says:

    Simply delicious! And, your vinegar dip sounds similar to a dip that my grandmother used to make when she made lumpias. Thank you!

  8. Food Stories says:

    I would prefer with diced shrimp, I think 🙂

  9. rgingco says:

    Ukoy was my favorite street food along with veggie eggroll during my college years in Manila. I love to get my hands on those stack of ukoy that you have and I’m sure it’ll taste great with the vinegar dip. Thanks for sharing a memory. 🙂

  10. I love shrimp and these look really good. I bet they smell amazing when cooking!

  11. i haven’t had one of these in, like, forever! i love dipping them in vinegar…sure, they smell awful to foreigners, but this is an iconic one!

  12. OMG!! These will be a killer in my home…
    We all love shrimps, I can imagine how fast they will disappear…

  13. Kristy says:

    I never thought about eating the peel. How interesting! And a vinegar dipping sauce sounds great!

  14. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Shrimp fritters! This will be popular in summer serving with beer!

  15. this looks wonderful we make a little different

  16. foodjaunts says:

    Funnily enough when I was young I wouldn’t eat shrimp lol but I would eat ukoy. It’s something about how crispy it is with the dipping sauce. Even though they’re fried yours look so light and tasty.

  17. mjskit says:

    Oh my! These look delicious! I was very surprised to see the butternut squash in the recipe, but I bet it’s fantastic with shrimp. Great recipe!

  18. ailecgee says:

    Wow, I love Okoy! Yummy! The shrimps looks so crispy! Makes me drool.Haha..

  19. Carole says:

    Great recipe. Would you be happy to put up a link to it in my Food on Friday – Asian Food Series.

  20. I grew up eating these shrimp fritters Raymund… a definite triple yum for me. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Carole says:

    these look really yummy. Thanks for linking them to Food on Friday

  22. Chochay says:

    Yummy Ukoy.. love it.

  23. They have these in Malaysia and Singapore as well. Street food at its best!

  24. youRMYu says:

    Also a popular dish in Vietnam, they call it Banh Tom Chien (Cake Shrimp Fritter – translated by words order) – but instead of squash, sweet potato or jam were used… and the vinegar dip was made with Nuoc Mam (fish sauce) since soy sauce is a chinese product. FYI

  25. Randonn C Belen says:

    ilanserving itong recipe?

  26. Okoy recipe has a lot of variations. Instead of squash one can use shredded carrots. Both are good sources of Vit. A. Somebody up there suggested Sweet Potato or Yam. And then of course there is the bean sprouts. Mine is fancier with a dot of sauteed bagoong, chopped cilantro, tofu slices, and sweet onion slces. Whatever recipe is followed one will end up with a super yummy, crunchy fritter…especially with a good dip.

  27. john paulo mercado says:

    ang sarap na ukoy lulutuin namin sa school yan kaia nag example kmi sobrang sarap

  28. richardlajorda says:

    I want to cook OKOY 🙂

  29. Anna Pacheco says:

    That’s a good recipe. I love it. Thanks for sharing. Now I don’t have to buy for $1.50 each …

  30. Lagrimas Brooks says:

    We used bean sprouts instead of squash, and we don’t include garlic nor ground black pepper in the ingredients.

  31. Marilyn Thusberg says:

    Very tasty and easy to make. I did not have the complete ingredients but it tasted delicious. Next time I will get all needed before starting. To cook.

  32. Jeziah says:

    Great to see that recipes like this for shrimp fritters and the like remain delicious even after doing it again 3 years later

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