Ukoy na Togue is a popular Filipino vegetable fritter made of togue (bean sprout) and shrimp, bind in a thin batter, deep-fried until crispy and crunchy. It is served with spicy vinegar garlic dip. There are many variants of ukoy recipe. Other vegetables used are carrots, sweet potato or squash. Some people use small shrimp while I prefer bigger or jumbo shrimp.
This ukoy togue recipe is easy and quick to make as long as batter consistency is right. Frying with heavy, thick batter creates an oil sucking pancake like mixture. My first attempt in making these vegetable fritters it had this texture. When my mom visits, sometimes I get to watch her cook. It looks so easy to make so I never paid much attention.
One day, I had a craving and my parents were out of the country. I experimented many times but cannot get it right. I knew it has something to do with the batter. On my to do list, I wrote, get mom to show me how to make ukoy. Finally, I learned how to make a crunchy crispy ukoy na togue without relying on my mom. Now, she has dementia and I get to make it for her.
Whenever she made ukoy, she prepared 2 versions. Ukoy na togue, my Dad’s favorite while she preferred ukoy kalabasa. I have no preference as I like them both. It is usually served as a snack or appetizer but at times it becomes as a main course since I like having it with rice.
When I was working, I seldom cooked and when craving for vegetable fritters I get it at Costco or Sams. It is not as crispy but nonetheless it was a good substitute.
How to Make Ukoy na Togue
- Use fresh firm togue or bean sprouts. Wash and drain well.
- Batter consistency should not be runny nor thick. Batter is the key to a delicious, crispy and crunchy fritter. A runny batter will not bind the bean sprouts and shrimp while a thick batter will end up like an oily pancake.
- Oil should be hot but not too hot since it can easily burn.
- For a crispy and crunchy ukoy, do not overcrowd while frying.
- Once bean sprout mixture is place in hot oil, spread it quickly to form a circle then press shrimp to stick. If having a hard time getting shrimp to stick, in a bowl place all the shrimp and mix 1 tablespoon of batter.
- Ukoy is best served during the first hour after cooking. After a few hours, it will not retain its crispiness.
- Serve with spicy vinegar garlic dip.
- 12 medium sized shrimp (unpeeled or peeled and deveined)
- 3 cups togue or bean sprouts (washed and drained well)
- 1 cup oil for frying
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- ½ cup flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- ¼ cup green onion chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- a pinch of salt
- 3 Thai chili peppers
Combine and mix ukoy batter ingredients until smooth. Batter should not be runny nor too thick.
Stir in togue or bean sprout in batter.
In a pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Measure ukoy na togue mixture with a tablespoon or a small cup, whichever is easier. Scoop about 2 to 3 tablespoons of togue mixture, place in hot oil and distribute evenly by pressing mixture with kitchen utensil, then press 2 shrimp in the middle. Tip: To make sure shrimp sticks with mixture, place all shrimp in a small bowl with a tablespoon of batter. Mix well.
Note: You can form the mixture into a circle using a saucer, pressing the shrimp on top of the mixture. Slowly slide mixture in hot oil.
For a crispy and crunchy ukoy, oil should be hot and do not overcrowd.
Fry each side for 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Remove ukoy na togue from pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel for a minute to absorb excess oil. If not serving right away transfer to a wire rack to cool off.
Serve with spicy vinegar garlic dip. In a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup white vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, chopped, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!
- Do not overcrowd ukoy when frying.
- I use medium heat when frying. You might need to adjust heat accordingly depending on your stove.
- Serve it during the first hour after cooking. After a few hours, it will not retain its crispiness and crunchiness.
- When turning ukoy over, it is easier when using 2 flat kitchen utensils than a tong. No oil splash and it keeps fritter intact.