I love discovering dishes that have close similarities to a Filipino food item, these dishes that have nearly the same ingredients but prepared in a different way. It always makes me think why it was done differently and how would that slight variation affect the taste of the final dish.
In South East Asia it’s a common phenomenon specially dishes in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Some good examples of these dishes are Assam Pedas Ikan which is nearly similar to the Sinigang na Isda, Cincau to Sago Gulaman, Kuih Kodok to Maruya and this post called Cucur Udang which is similar to Ukoy.
Cucur Udang like ukoy is a shrimp fritter mixed with other ingredients, the difference is that the Filipinos use squash and the Malaysians use corn and chillies. Another difference is the sauce served together with this fritters, usually in the Philippines we use vinegar as its dip while in Malaysia they use sweet chilli sauce and sometimes peanut sauce. I tried this several times when I was in Malaysia and I love its texture, similar to Ukoy its crispy outside but soft and moist inside. The different textures and flavour you get from corn, onions and chillies adds to the character of the whole dish, best served fresh and consumed on its own. If you love ukoy or any savoury fritter then I don’t find any reason why you would not like this Malaysian treat.
1/2 cup corn kernels
200g shrimps, shelled
1 cup bean sprouts
1 stalk spring onions, chopped
1 red chili, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
1 tsp chili paste
freshly ground black pepper
Sweet chilli sauce
- In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, chili paste, salt & water. Mix well until smooth.
- Add the corn, prawns, bean sprouts, spring onions, chives, chillies and freshly ground black pepper.
- In a large wok add oil enough for deep frying, then when oil is hot, scoop out a spoonful of the batter then drop in oil. Fry until golden brown.
- Place in a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil then serve with sweet chilli sauce or satay sauce.