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Ukoy: A Filipino Fritter Side Dish

Ukoy: A Filipino Fritter Side Dish
Learn more about the exploding Filipino food movement on "<a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.kcet.org/shows/the-migrant-kitchen" href="https://www.kcet.org/shows/the-migrant-kitchen" target="_blank">The Migrant Kitchen</a>" Barkada.

Chef Alvin Cailan is owner of the popular eateries Eggslut and Unit 120. His dishes have been known to visually excite and satisfy customers, so this recipe will not disappoint. You can see chef Alvin Cailan in action by watching Episode 2 of The Migrant Kitchen.

Ukoy is a traditional side dish in my province, Cavite, in the Philippines. It’s eaten as a snack — kind of like egg rolls. I love dipping ukoy in vinegar spiced with mashed up chiles and garlic. When frying, it’s vital not to fidget with it; it takes patience to get it perfectly crispy and golden brown. Ukoy is best eaten hot, but is also delicious the next day, re-fried and topped with an egg.


14 small shrimp
1/8 cup shredded carrot
1 cup cornstarch
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups mung bean sprouts (toge)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 organic egg
1 3/4 cup water
1 quart cooking oil for frying


1. In a bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, egg and water. Beat with a whisk or fork until it forms a smooth batter. 

2. Add the shrimp, bean sprouts and shredded carrot. Mix until the three ingredients are well-coated with batter.

3. In a deep frying pan, heat cooking oil. Using a ladle or sandok, scoop about 1/8 cup of the mixture and pour in hot cooking oil. Cook each side for about three minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Place on a colander or paper towel to drain excess oil. Note: Cooking may vary depending on the cooking oil temperature and size of the fritters.

4. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Serve with vinegar, sliced onion, crushed peppercorns and crushed garlic.

Top photo: Courtesy of Garrett Ziegler/Flickr/Creative Commons License