The recipe for Ukoy caught my eye in the Kulinarya Cookbook by Neil Oshima. These sweet potato and shrimp fritters are colourful and look unusual. They are simple, crispy and flavourful, especially when dipped in the side sauce. I mostly followed the recipe although I added some extra water to the mixture to ensure it coated the shrimp and sweet potato. Although it seems like there is little to hold the nest-like mixture together, it somehow does hold together during the frying. The result is a light, crispy nest of sweet potato. Additionally, the shrimp are meant to be with shells, but I personally prefer medium prawns without shells and heads.
As a side tip, the air fryer was perfect for reheating the leftover Ukoy to get them nice and crispy!
150g small shrimp (I prefer without head and shell)
400g sweet potato
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 egg whites
4 Tbsp corn starch
2 Tbsp cold water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
oil for frying
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 clove garlic, minced
2-3 chilies, minced or a pinch of dried red chili
First, wash the shrimp and pat dry. Place in a large bowl. Next peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into julienne strips. Add these to the bowl. Also add the minced garlic and egg white. In a separate small bowl mix the corn starch and cold water until smooth. Then add this mixture into the large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Then mix well. Drain off excess liquid.
In a saucepan or medium-sized pot, add approximately 2cm of oil and warm over medium-high heat. Scoop up a large tablespoon of the mixture, ensuring you have a few shrimp in each spoon, and drop each spoonful into the hot oil. Press with a spatula to flatten each fritter. Fry until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with sauce.
For the sauce, simply combine the three ingredients.
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