Ukoy Filipino spicy shrimp with butternut squash

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 24, 2020
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This Ukoy recipe brings back memories of childhood where kids play in the backyard, sidewalks, or vacant lots with the occasional snack vendor howling his usual products such as Ukoy, Turon, Maruya, Karioka and much more.

A howl from the vendor can possibly bring these kids back to their houses to ask their parents for coins so that they could buy these afternoon snacks.

One of the healthiest of this bunch is Ukoy. Although it can be seen sold by walking peddlers in the afternoon, Ukoy (or shrimp fritters) can also be served as a viand for lunch and dinner.

Cooked with vegetables, eggs, and shrimp, it also guaranteed to be a healthy snack or viand, especially if you have been filling yourself with the tastier dishes in Philippine cuisine.

Ukoy Filipino spicy shrimp

Ukoy Recipe Preparation Methods and Tips

As with other Filipino dishes, the Ukoy recipe will highly change depending on who is cooking. However, typical ingredients would include shredded papaya and squash and togue (munggo bean sprouts).

Though other recipes would substitute papaya and squash with carrots. The constant out of all of the ingredients, however, is unshelled and undeveined small shrimps.

The batter of the Ukoy recipe, on the other hand, includes flour, cornstarch, juice of annato seeds (if you want to have color), fish sauce , and eggs.

Another addition to the batter could be spring onions to provide a contrasting zing to the ukoy recipe once it is cooked and to also complement the dip.

Be sure to mix everything very well. Also do not make the batter too thick or you might end up with a very soft ukoy.

While frying the mixture, be mindful to not burn the ukoy and also to not crowd the pan so that the individual ukoy will not stick together once you try to pick on one.

You can serve ukoy with banana ketchup or with vinegar with chopped chillies as dips.

Ukoy Filipino spicy shrimp

As with other Filipino dishes, the Ukoy recipe will highly change depending on who is cooking. However, typical ingredients would include shredded papaya and squash and Togue (munggo bean sprouts).
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword seafood, Shrimp, Ukoy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 226kcal
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $10



  • 500 g small shrimps skin on
  • 1 cup butternut squash chopped thinly or grated
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg beaten
  • cup water
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil

vinegar dip (sukang sawsawan)

  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large red onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 pcs birds eye chillies  chopped


  • In a deep bowl mix together flour, corn flour, eggs, garlic, water, fish sauce and pepper. Mix well and make sure it’s free of lumps.
  • Now add the butternut squash and shrimps and mix well.
  • In a pan, add oil enough for deep frying but letting patty settle down flat on the pan. Now using a scoop, spoon out shrimp batter and place in pan like mini pancakes, frying each side for around 2 minutes each.
  • Once fritters are cooked place on a paper tower to drain excess fat.
  • Prepare the vinegar dip by mixing all the vinegar dip ingredients.


Ukoy spicy shrimp Ingredients

Bowl with mixed flour eggs garlic and water

Shrimp in egg flour batter

Fried battered shrimp in frying pan

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.