Ukoy, made of green papaya and kalabasa, are a delicious snack, appetizer, or side dish. These vegetable fritters are golden, crunchy, and tasty!

Ukoy or okoy are Filipino-style fritters made of assorted vegetables, shell-on shrimp, and an atsuete-colored batter. The chunky mixture is dropped in sizzling oil in large spoonfuls and deep-fried until crunchy.

These crispy vegetable patties are commonly peddled by street food vendors in wet markets and sold in many carinderias or restaurants. They’re served as a snack, appetizer, or side dish and are traditionally enjoyed with a spiced vinegar dip.

Vegetables to use

Shrimp fritters are not only simple to prepare but also versatile. The list of vegetables and root crops below is a great option.

  • firm tofu cubes
  • julienned kalabasa
  • shredded green papaya
  • julienned carrots
  • shredded cabbage
  • julienned sweet potatoes
  • mung bean sprouts (togue)
  • chopped green onions
  • shredded cassava
  • shredded zucchini
  • sliced shallots

How to serve

  • Serve as a midday snack or appetizer with spicy vinegar on the side for dipping.
  • As with most fried foods, they’re best enjoyed freshly cooked as they tend to lose crispness over time and do not reheat well.
  • If not eating immediately, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and keep warm and crispy in a 200 F oven until ready to serve.

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