Ukoy

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Appetizers | Ukoy

(Filipino shrimp and sweet potato fritters)

Ukoy is a simple and flavorful Filipino appetizer. These fritters have a pleasant golden color from the sweet potato and annatto. Ukoy is usually made with unpeeled shrimp and the peel is eaten. You can use peeled shrimp if you prefer. Also spelled okoy.

Image Creative Commons by knightbefore_99

Ingredients

4 to 6 servings

  • Shrimp, unpeeled -- 10
  • Flour -- 1 cup
  • Cornstarch -- 1 cup
  • Ground annatto (optional) -- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt -- 1 teaspoon
  • Water -- about 1 1/4 cup
  • Sweet potato, peeled and grated -- about 1 pound
  • Oil for frying

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, ground annatto and salt. Add the water to make a light batter. Stir in the sweet potato.
  2. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large saute pan or pot to about 365°F, or use a deep fryer. Scoop about 1/3 cup batter onto a plate and spread it out into a 3 or 4-inch round. Place a piece of shrimp in the middle of the round and press it down.
  3. Slide the round into the hot oil using a spatula and fry on both sides until browned and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter and shrimp.
  4. Serve hot with garlic-vinegar dipping sauce on the side (recipe below).

Variations

  • Garlic-Vinegar Dipping Sauce: Mix together 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Use this sauce to dip your ukoy in.
  • Ukoy usually use unpeeled shrimp. Use peeled shrimp if you prefer, or chop the shrimp and stir it into the batter.
  • Use a half-and-half mixture sweet potato and butternut squash. Or use all squash.
  • Stir in chopped scallions for more color and flavor.
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