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.
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.