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Shredded Sweet Potato and Carrot Fritters (Ukoy)

Shredded Sweet Potato and Carrot Fritters (Ukoy)

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Frying ukoy the Bad Saint way is a very active process­—the fritter will blow apart in the oil before you tease it back together. Use a tall pot with plenty of extra room since the oil will bubble vigorously when the mix hits it.


Chile Vinegar

  • 3 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup sugarcane vinegar or distilled white vinegar


  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled
  • 8 cups (or more) vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup (or more) club soda
  • 4 ounces small or medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems

Recipe Preparation

Chile Vinegar

  • Mix chiles, garlic, onion, and vinegar in a small bowl; season with salt.

  • Do Ahead: Chile vinegar can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.


  • Thinly slice sweet potatoes and carrots into 3x¼" planks (use a mandoline if you have one), then slice lengthwise into matchsticks. Place in a medium bowl and toss with a few pinches of salt. Let sit until slightly softened, about 30 minutes. Rinse off salt and pat dry.

  • Pour oil into a large heavy pot to a depth of at least 2" but with at least a 4" headspace, as oil will bubble aggressively when you add fritters. Fit pot with thermometer; heat oil over medium-high until thermometer registers 330°–340°.

  • Meanwhile, combine club soda and fish sauce in a large measuring glass. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Place half of sweet potato and carrot mixture, shrimp, and cilantro in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Pour in half of cornstarch slurry and toss to coat (slurry should cling to shrimp and vegetables in a light, even layer).

  • Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower half of slurry-coated vegetable and shrimp mixture into oil. Once bubbling subsides, mixture will disperse across the surface of oil. Using a spider or a clean slotted spoon, corral vegetables and shrimp by gathering them against the side of the pot until they form a large mound that clings together and can be turned as a single unit. Fry, turning occasionally and increasing heat as needed to keep oil temperature between 330° and 340°, until fritter is golden brown and crisp around edges, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining slurry-coated vegetable and shrimp mixture, adding a splash or so of club soda if needed to loosen batter (it should look like a glossy coating), to make another fritter.

  • Repeat entire process with remaining sweet potato and carrot mixture, cilantro, shrimp, and cornstarch slurry to make 2 more fritters.

  • Season fritters lightly with salt. Serve with chile vinegar alongside for dipping.

  • Do Ahead: Vegetables can be salted, drained, and patted dry 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 340 Fat (g) 13 Saturated Fat (g) 2 Cholesterol (mg) 35 Carbohydrates (g) 50 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 5 Sodium (mg) 350

Related Video

How to Make Ukoy

Reviews Section

Carrot and Sweet Potato Fritters

When we first started the Whole30, I was overwhelmed with how much cooking there was. The inner rebel in me fought back and I gave up on fun side dishes and just let the oven do the work.

I roasted EVERYTHING. Every single vegetable I cooked (except for my favorite salad) was put onto a cookie sheet, given a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and I called it done.

Fast forward to when the shock of the Whole30 wore off and I was ready to try something different. That’s where these carrot and sweet potato fritters come into play!

Although these carrot and sweet potato fritters are Whole30 compliant and Paleo too, they’re not just for those on an elimination diet.

My kids went NUTS for these, thinking they were one of the best vegetables I’d made in a very long time. I don’t blame them – I ate A WHOLE BATCH the day I took these photos.

And I have no problem admitting that because:

  1. They’re crazy healthy
  2. They’re mostly vegetables
  3. They’re addictingly delicious
  4. See A and B and C above

To begin making the Carrot, Sweet Potato, and Mushrooms Fritters Recipe prep and keep all the ingredients ready in a bowl. Mix all the ingredients together and check for seasoning.

Heat a kuzhi paniyaram pan, add some oil and simultaneously make balls out of the mixture and coat it with crumb and place these vegetable balls in each of the hollow cavities.

Cook on either side for 3 minutes till golden brown on both sides. Transfer Carrot, Sweet Potato, and Mushrooms Fritters onto oil absorbent paper and serve.

Serve the Carrot, Sweet Potato, Mushrooms Fritters Recipe with Tzatziki Recipe - A Greek Yogurt Dip as an after school time snack.

Okoy Recipe, a Filipino style Shrimp Fritters

Ukoy or Okoy Recipe is a delicious dish that is very popular in the Philippines. It is easy to cook and very flavorful Filipino appetizer some also serve this as snacks. The traditional Okoy uses galapong (soaked glutinous rice flour) as the batter then they added spices such as onion, garlic, salt, and scallions.

This Okoy Recipe is prepared with whole small shrimps with head and shell on, mixed in flour, cornstarch and egg batter and deep-fried until crispy. Other places in the Philippines has created their variation of Okoy. Some instead of using sweet potato as the main ingredient others use squash, papaya, or togue.

Ukoy is even more delicious if you accompany it with vinegar dipping sauce. Aside from spiced vinegar (Sinamak), you can also dip Okoy in a garlic-flavored mayonnaise with ketchup. You can eat Okoy on its own or with white rice.

Okoy (shrimp fritters)is one of the many famous street foods in the Philippines. Ambulant vendors sell this Filipino snack in front of schools and commonly served during recess as merienda.

Today, in some Filipino restaurants and bars, you can now find Ukoy (shrimp fritters) as pulutan and pair it with beer or even as part of the main course.

Ukoy (Shrimp and Veggie Fritters)


  • 1 cup shrimp thawed
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • 2 bags shredded carrots about 1 lb
  • 2-3 tbsp arrowroot powder



Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

What is Ukoy?

Ukoy or Okoy is a Filipino dish, usually appetizer, of shrimp fritters. The small unshelled shrimp is normally accompanied by other vegetables or root crops. Most commonly used are squash, green papaya, cabbage, sweet potato, bean sprouts, and carrots. Technically anything that is in season that can be shredded and fried. It is also common to find them sold by street food vendors in local marketplaces. The typical bright orange color is achieved from achuete seeds.

I've been craving for Ukoy for like ages but I always thought that it is impossible to make them while I am here in Germany. The Ukoy I grew up with uses green papaya which is impossible to find here. Then while browsing through the net, I came across several recipes for Ukoy that use different kinds of vegetables like bean sprouts, squash, and sweet potato!

I was excited to try it of course, so next on my list to cross—the shrimp! It should be not so difficult I thought, of course, there are shrimp in Germany, but usually we only have the frozen ones. It does not matter, it could work! But then all that I was able to find in our local food stores were too big, already peeled or the heads removed! I don't know why, but I cannot picture an Ukoy with shelled and beheaded shrimps. My last hope was to go to the nearest Asian food shop (which is not really so near), so I convinced Armin that it is time to replenish our fish and soy sauce.

And look what I found! The perfect shrimp for Ukoy! Shell and head intact and also the perfect size. Yes, in this case, sizes do matter. Small shrimp will be crunchy when fried, shell and all! I cannot be happier!

Potato Nutrition

Potatoes sometimes get a bum rap, but they are actually incredibly healthy. They’re low in calories, high in vitamin C, potassium (more than a banana!), B6, fiber, and antioxidants. They’re also fat-free and contain no sodium or cholesterol.

The problem is not with the potatoes themselves, but with the way in which they are traditionally served. Good news – this potato recipe today is full of healthy whole food ingredients and baked with no oil!

Pantry pasta (page 68)

From Bon Appétit Magazine, September 2016: The Restaurant Issue Bon Appétit Magazine, September 2016

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  • Categories: Pasta, baked Quick / easy Main course
  • Ingredients: sweet Italian sausages red onions olives cherry tomatoes spaghetti pasta peperoncini peppers pecorino cheese basil

Japanese vegetable pancakes

Last week was not my week in the kitchen, friends. I had great, ambitious designs on a rhubarb meringue tart that would be pink and pretty with a scalloped tart-shell edge and a meringue that looked like piped roses that had toasted petal tips. But as the week went on and as various really non-torments in the greater definition of the word but nonetheless tormenting to me mounted — thin curds, too thick curds, beige (you know, the color of pink rhubarb + multiple yolks) curd, slumped tart shells, wet meringues, useless broilers, blowtorches so close to empty, they emit the useless wisps of sleepy dragons, refill canister AWOL — my enjoyment of the project plummeted. But, because I’d like to teach my kid one day that he should follow through and finish what he started, I did, and lo, it was good, you know? Maybe I’m just not a meringue pie person and I forgot? None of this matters because the finished pie slid off the plate flopping face-down into the open fridge as I tried to put it away and then, as I crouched on the floor in front of the open fridge scooping fistfuls of meringue and curd into a garbage bag and questioning my life choices, my son walked in and asked what I was making for dinner.

I took a break from the kitchen after that. Sometimes, you just need some space, right? See if time apart restores that magic? Absence makes culinary ambitions grow fonder? Not to be clichéd or anything (cough, ugh), but I did go get a pedicure and while I was there an email appeared on my phone from Tasting Table extolling the virtues of the Japanese vegetable pancake known as okonomiyaki and all I wanted to do was run home and make it, immediately. That’s no small feat, considering the comfort of those massage chairs, and yet, if I were to wax philosophical for a moment, I would argue that this thing — when you think you’re done with cooking forever but see something new or different that’s so incredible, so doable, that you find all the minutes between then and when you’re finally able to get to the grocery store an irritant — is about the loftiest recipe goal there could be.

I actually got to making the pancakes a few days later, because life is like that, but please don’t wait so long because these are crazy delicious, filling and wholesome, as good as a side dish as they are as a main, topped with a fried egg. From what I can gather, there are many, many ways to make okonomiyaki and that this is by design — according to Wikipedia, the name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want.” What most have in common is a base of cabbage, flour, and egg, fried in a small or large fritter pancake form — can I call them Japanese latkes without offending anyone? Probably not, but there you are. From this base, only you are limited only by your imagination I’ve seen versions with everything from kimchi to shrimp or octopus, green onions or pork belly/bacon, but I kept with the relatively earnest version outlined in the newsletter, with cabbage, kale, carrots and scallions. While okonomiyaki is often made omelet-like and thick, served in wedges, it turns out I like mine the way I like my potato pancakes, which is for them to resemble a flying spaghetti monster that ran afoul of a hot skillet and crisped up on impact in all of its straggly glory — i.e. heavy on the vegetable, light on the batter, charred at the edges, tender in the center and absolutely impossible to stay irate at your kitchen long in the face of.

Japanese Vegetable Pancakes [Okonomiyaki] with Cabbage, Kale and Carrots
Adapted, just a little, from Josher Walker of Xiao Bao Biscuit, in Charleston, SC via Tasting Table

Okonomiyaki are traditional served squeeze with a generous criss-cross of Japanese mayonnaise and a okonomiyaki sauce, tangy-sweet-salty mixture I’d liken to Japanese barbecue sauce, which is sold in bottles but I attempted to cobble together a version from recipes I found online, below. Please forgive me if the flavor isn’t perfect I am new to it, but we loved it, just the same. Pancakes are then sprinkled with bonito flakes, seaweed flakes or even pickled ginger, but we enjoyed ours with a finely slivered scallion and toasted sesame seeds. I imagine they’d also be good with bites dipped in a simpler dumpling dipping sauce.

Yield: 4 large pancakes or I am really sorry, but I forgot to count, but I’d say at least 12, probably 14, smaller ones

1/2 small head cabbage, very thinly sliced (1 pound or 5 to 6 cups shreds) which will be easiest on a mandoline if you have one
4 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
5 lacinato kale leaves, ribs removed, leaves cut into thin ribbons
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
Canola, safflower or peanut oil for frying

Tangy Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (note: this is not vegetarian)
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine or sake
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey (use 2 if you like a sweeter sauce)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Make the pancakes: Toss cabbage, carrot, kale, scallions and salt together in a large bowl. Toss mixture with flour so it coats all of the vegetables. Stir in the eggs. Heat a large heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with oil and heat that too.

To make a large pancake, add 1/4 of the vegetable mixture to the skillet, pressing it out into a 1/2- to 3/4-inch pancake. Gently press the pancake down flat. Cook until the edges beging to brown, about 3 minutes. 30 seconds to 1 minute later, flip the pancake with a large spatula. (If this is terrifying, you can first slide the pancake onto a plate, and, using potholders, reverse it back into the hot skillet.) Cook on the other side until the edges brown, and then again up to a minute more (you can peek to make sure the color is right underneath).

To make small pancakes, you can use tongs but I seriously find using my fingers and grabbing little piles, letting a little batter drip back into the bowl, and depositing them in piles on the skillet easier, to form 3 to 4 pancakes. Press down gently with a spatula to they flatten slightly, but no need to spread them much. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the edges brown. Flip the pancakes and cook them again until brown underneath.

Regardless of pancake size, you can keep them warm on a tray in the oven at 200 to 250 degrees until needed.

If desired, make okonomiyaki sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth and thick.

Serve pancakes with sauce and any of the other fixings listed above, from Japanese mayo to scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

Do ahead: Extra pancakes will keep in the fridge for a couple days, or can be spread on a tray in the freezer until frozen, then combined in a freezer bag to be stored until needed. Reheat on a baking sheet in a hot oven until crisp again.

Vegan Zucchini Fritters FAQ

Can this be made gluten-free? I haven’t tried it yet but a gluten-free all purpose flour blend should be fine as a direct swap for the regular flour in these. If your mix is too dry (gluten-free flours can absorb more moisture), then add a little more vegan butter.

Do I have to use vegan butter? You can probably use coconut oil (melted) instead of vegan butter. Or use a homemade vegan butter. See our notes above about possibly using less if you didn’t squeeze as much moisture out of the zucchini.

I don’t like/am allergic to nutritional yeast, what can I use instead? I used nutritional yeast because it added a wonderful cheesy flavor to these fritters. The flavor balance is really GREAT on these.

So if you don’t use nutritional yeast, I would recommend perhaps trying to use the same amount of grated vegan cheese. If there is a brand of vegan cheese that you like (a vegan parmesan would be awesome) then grate that up and use it in the same quantity (1/4 cup). This is untested but I think could work here.

What are spring onions? They’re salad onions! Also called green onions or scallions. So they might not be called spring onions where you are, but you should be able to get them.

I think chopped chives would also be good in these zucchini fritters. If you want to mix it up, you could try those as well.