One of the things I didn’t like eating much when I was a child was ukoy. A fritter made of bean sprouts, tofu, and baby shrimp, I remember picking out the shrimp and tofu, and eating only the crispy edges. Much much later, in my late teens, I started liking it, but didn’t have as many chances to enjoy eating it since by then, my grandmother had already moved to Texas.
While I can never eat my grandmother’s ukoy again, my mom’s made an approximation of that ukoy recipe, care of one of our local cookbooks. That’s what we had for dinner tonight.
Here’s the recipe, taken from our browning copy of Nora Daza’s Let’s Cook with Nora cookbook. Adjustments have been made to the original recipe to make it slightly crispier. It’s still a recipe in progress 😀
Ukoy v. 12 September 2006
200g small shrimp, heads removed.
2 cups bean sprouts
tofu cut into strips
1/2 c all purpose flour
1 c cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 c atsuete / annato water (To prepare, soak 2 TBSP annato seeds in 1/4 cup warm water, then drain)
1 egg, well beaten
Mix together batter ingredients until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little water. Mix bean sprouts. On a small saucer, make a bean sprout / batter patty, then top with shrimp and some tofu strips. Pan-fry, then flip over to cook the side with the shrimp and tofu. Drain on paper towels then serve with a soy sauce + vinegar + minced garlic + sugar dip.