Ukoy (Filipino Shrimp and Vegetable Fritters)

March 01, 2021

One of the memories that sticks out to me the most in my childhood is my aunt forgetting to pick me up from kindergarten because she was so busy frying ukoy, or Filipino shrimp and vegetable fritters. My Auntie Rina did make it up to me when I got home and tried her delicious ukoy. This easy ukoy recipe makes 6 fritters that you can serve with a vinegar dipping sauce or sawsawan. 



1 ½ teaspoons annatto seeds

½ cup water

1 large pasture-raised egg, beaten

½ cup cornstarch

¼ cup all-purpose flour 

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon fish sauce 

¼ cup Local Roots Koginut squash, peeled and grated

¼ cup organic Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and grated

¼ cup organic arrots, peeled and grated

12 medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined 

Vegetable oil, for frying

Vinegar Dipping Sauce: 

1/4 cup sugarcane or white vinegar

2 tablespoons organic red onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper



  1. In a small bowl, add in annatto seeds. 
  2. Boil water and pour over the annatto seeds. Let the water sit and absorb some color from the annatto seeds until it cools down to room temperature. 
  3. Strain water into a medium-sized mixing bowl and discard the annatto seeds. 
  4. In the mixing bowl, add the egg, cornstarch, all-purpose flour, fish sauce, salt and pepper to the water. Whisk until the mixture becomes smooth.
  5. Fold the grated squash, potatoes & carrots in the batter. 

  6. In a large cast iron pan, heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350ºF.

  7. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter into the hot oil, add 2 shrimps on it and lightly press with a spatula. Depending on the size of your pan, you can fry up to 3 fritters at a time. 
  8. Fry the ukoy for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the fritters are golden and crisp.

  9. Using a spatula, remove the ukoy from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat the frying process with the rest of your batter. 
  10. Serve warm with the vinegar dipping sauce.

Vinegar Dipping Sauce: 

  1. Mix together the vinegar, red onion, garlic and black pepper in a small bowl.

This recipe was created by Local Roots Recipe Contributor @theduskykitchen

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