Ukoy is a traditional Filipino merienda (snack). You’ve probably never imagined enjoying it with bubbly or Riesling since it is a quintessential street food in the Philippines. However, I have been enjoying ukoy at cocktail hours, proudly introducing ukoy to my American friends. They love it. After all, what’s not to love? It has shrimps and fried!
Recipes vary from one town to the next, but shredded vegetables and shrimps in a flour/egg batter then fried in oil are common denominators. You can also bake ukoy.
Where I grew up, we used either shredded squash or green papaya, onions, and shrimps (with heads and tails on) fried to a crisp in flour/egg batter. However, here in the States, I’ve seen ukoy made with potatoes and carrots, bean sprouts, and zucchini.
Since I cook with whatever I have on hand, this version is very simple, using mainly butternut squash and green onions (no shrimps).
- 1 cup of oil for frying
- shredded butternut squash (half of fruit)
- 3 stalks green onions, julienned.
- 1 pound shrimps (local, shelled)
Note: I didn’t have shrimps today and used 1 tablespoon of bagoong instead. Since bagoong is already salty, I left out salt.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in frying pan.
- In a medium bowl make batter.
- Fold in shredded butternut squash and green onions.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Fry 1 heaping tablespoon size ukoy mixture until golden brown. About 2.5 minutes per side.
- Serve with soy vinegar dipping sauce.