Ukoy (Shrimp Fritters)

Ukoy (Shrimp Fritters)

Ukoy, Okoy or Shrimp fritters started as an afternoon snack which is sold by street hawkers in Philippines but now it became popular as a side dish for main meals in restaurants. Usually deep fried in batter with skin on but with today’s modern and posh restaurants they are now offering it shelled. Given the option I will still prefer the one with skin on as it gives it a distinct crisp which defines Ukoy, its edible anyways as frying it will make the skin crisp like a potato chip.

This dish is always accompanied by a vinegar dipping sauce which balances out the oiliness of the dish as a result of the deep frying, it also gives a sweet, sour and hot taste as the crispy batter quickly absorbs the taste of the sauce.

Ingredients (Ukoy)

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

Ingredients (Vinegar Dip)

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


1. In a deep bowl mix together flour, corn flour, eggs, 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 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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33 thoughts on “Ukoy (Shrimp Fritters)

  1. 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!

  2. 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. :)

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. Pingback: » Ukoy

  6. 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

  7. Pingback: Cucur Udang « Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious")

  8. 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.

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