Ukoy is the Filipino version of shrimp fritters. Small shrimps (usually with head and shell on) are mixed in a batter and fried until crispy. This is can be an appetizer, a main dish, or a mid afternoon snack. Several variations of this dish exists, the most common ingredients that are mixed with shrimps are mung bean sprouts (togue) and julienned squash. There are also other ukoy variations wherein small fishes such as dulong or dilis are used instead of shrimp.

I learned to eat Ukoy when I was still a kid. Every afternoon, our trusted vendor peddles this dish along with turon, lumpiang prito, and bananaque. I used to have this for meryenda (mid afternoon snack) and I enjoy having it soaked in spicy vinegar such as sinamak or pinakurat.

The secret to a good Ukoy is its texture. You can put any ingredient that you want as long as it is within the norm but it should come out extra crispy. During my first few tries, I was not satisfied with the texture. Although the taste was extremely superb, the texture is a bit soggy. Instead of giving-up, I did several more experiments and finally got the crispy texture that I wanted. How did I do it? I simply changed the flour and cornstarch ratio by adding more cornstarch and decreasing the amount of flour.

If you’ll notice in the video, I used small dried shrimps (the size is bigger than hibi) instead of the fresh small ones. I can’t find the right sized (small variety) fresh or even packaged shrimps in my area. It turned out that the dried shrimps are more flavorful than the fresh shrimps that I usually use.

Are you craving for Ukoy?

Try this recipe and let me know your thoughts.


1 cup small shrimps, cleaned

1 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup flour

1  1/2 cups mung bean sprouts (togue)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 piece raw egg

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1  1/4 cups water

2 cups cooking oil

Watch the cooking video:

Cooking procedure:

1. Combine cornstarch, flour, baking powder, egg, water, salt, and ground black pepper then stir until diluted.

2. Add the shrimps and mung bean sprouts in the mixture and lightly stir to distribute.

3. Heat a frying pan or small cooking pot and pour-in the cooking oil.

4. When the oil is hot enough, scoop about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture and quickly (but cautiously) drop it in hot oil.

5. Cook each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until the color turns golden brown. Please note that cooking time may vary. Repeat this step until the entire mixture is consumed.

6. Remove the deep-fried ukoy from the pan and place in a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the oil.

7. Remove the paper towel and serve with sinamak.

8. Share and enjoy!


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  1. Ricky says:

    Being single and living alone in Mid East your website is a big help, keep it up and more power to you.

  2. would you be interested in partnering with us to create a mobile app for your recipe book in iPad and iPhone? in Android Phone and tablet?

  3. my family love the food that i cooked for them.when i learned delicious recipes from ur website i really enjoyed cooking.thankx a family loves the taste.God Bless

  4. Can I cook bibingka minus salted?

  5. Hi just tried Ukoy today and can’t believe it taste almost like home cook (been away from home 3 yrs now, you can’t believe how much i miss filipino food and makati rolling resto-street vendors LOL), your website is so helpful and easy to follow especially the video. Can’t thank you enough. Hope i can get your ecookbook its like a must have best seller ;0). Again thank you to you and your lovely family.

  6. Cheri says:

    ayan! sa wakas may ukoy na rin! 😀

  7. thanks kuya am lovinnn your show..just keep it up, i enjoy cooking right now and taste good too..thanks a lot and more power!!!cheers from your FPO Family

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