Ukoy or Shrimp Fritters is a popular Filipino street food. There are different types of fillers for this deep fried fritter but the common ingredient is shrimp; unless you want to make it vegan and just have veggies.
Ukoy can be made using grated squash, sweet potatoes, yucca, green papaya, carrots or just bean sprouts, my personal favorite.
Ukoy as I mentioned is a popular street food which can be eaten on the run, but it can be served as a side dish or as I do the main course with rice and a vinegar dipping sauce.
I’ve been trying to make Ukoy the way my Lola, grandma, used to make. Hers always had the perfect texture and the right crunch. She made it with fresh tofu, bean sprouts, and medium sized shrimp. Talk about yummy!
After many fails, I mean trials, I finally figured out where I’ve been going wrong. It was my batter! For reasons I can’t explain I’ve been using egg in my batter, possibly because egg is something that I put in all my batters. But that batter is always thicker and heavier. And the end result was more like a fluffy pancake, not crunchy at all.
Well the simplest solution was no egg batter! Don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! Once I omitted the egg my Ukoy turned out perfect. Literally just like Lola’s Ukoy was!
Last month during my visit to my daughter and her family in Georgia there was an epic snowstorm in the East Coast. My grandson, Devon, requested I make him some “Sinigang”. I was surprised that he even knew what it was, but it seems that one of their friends makes it. Of course I said yes, after all that’s what Nanas do, cook for the grandkids! This Shrimp Sour Soup is the perfect comfort food for cold rainy (or snowy) days!
This was one of my favorite childhood dishes and I was happy to find out that my grandchildren love it too. Like many Filipino dishes this soup is very easy to prepare. Traditionally my grandmothers used tamarind (sampaloc) or the small Filipino limes called “Calamansi” to make the soup sour. These days it’s so much easier, you can buy the powdered soup base at most Asian markets or even order it on Amazon! (Affiliate Link)
This dish is typically eaten with steamed white rice with a side of “Patis“, Filipino fish sauce also available at Asian markets and on Amazon. It can be made with fish, shrimp, or meat with assorted vegetables like spinach, radish, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, or string beans. This time I made it with shrimp, spinach, radish, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno pepper. I like to add the pepper to give it a bit of spice, we all love spicy things in our family.
In most Filipino households this shrimp soup is made with whole shrimps, meaning shrimps with shells and heads on. I’m not a big fan of shrimp heads so I use shrimps with shells on. You can also use prawns if you have any handy.
One of my favorite Chinese seafood dishes is Salted Pepper Shrimp, we used to order it every time we dined at a Chinese restaurant. Since I found a recipe for it we can enjoy it at home. I modified it to fit our tastes and I think made it a bit simpler to make. Served over steamed white rice it’s yummy!
1 lb. Medium to Large shrimp – peeled and deveined
1 tbls. sea salt
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tbls. ground white pepper
2 tbls. ground black pepper
1 tbls. garlic powder
3 tbls. chopped green onions
2 tbls. minced garlic
1/4 + cup peanut oil
Place shrimp in a small bowl and cover with warm water
Add sea salt and let soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour
In a shallow bowl mix together corn starch, 1 tbls. each of white and black peppers, and garlic powder
Drain shrimp and lightly pat dry with a paper towel
Heat peanut oil in wok or large frying pan on medium heat until hot
Coat each shrimp in cornstarch mixture and place in wok
Cook until shrimp turns pink – turn halfway for even cooking – you may need to add more peanut oil if it gets too dry
Place cooked shrimp on paper towel to drain – Do not turn stove off
If pan is dry add a tbls. more peanut oil – add mince garlic and stir until it starts turning golden
Add fried shrimp back into pan
Add chopped green onions and stir til green onions turn bright green and starts to soften
Italian food, gotta love it! Pizza and pasta, what’s not to love? Every so often I like to have an Italian Night where I serve one of our favorite Italian meals with all the trimmings. Recently I made this delicious Tuscan Jumbo Scallops with Pasta. It’s the perfect Italian dish for seafood lovers!
Bet you don’t think of Jumbo Scallops when you’re hungry for some Italian cuisine. Well think again because these Jumbo Scallops over pasta is one of the best Italian dishes you’ll ever have. It combines perfectly seared Jumbo Scallops in a creamy sauce served over a bed of plain spaghetti. So if you’re looking for something to wow family and friends this is it!
So plan an Italian night to shine the spotlight on this incredible dish. Bust out the olive oil, pasta bowls, and of course the wine glasses! Paired with a nice dry Pinot Grigio this Tuscan Jumbo Scallops with Pasta dish is simply to die for! Here’s the recipe!
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 Cup onion, diced
1 Tbs. Minced garlic
2 Lbs. Jumbo Scallops – lightly season each side with salt and pepper
4 Tbs. Butter
1 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
3/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 Cup White Wine or chicken broth
1 Jar Sun dried tomatoes – drain, reserve the oil, slice tomatoes
2 Cups fresh spinach leaves
1 Pkg. Spaghetti
1 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbs water
Chopped parsley and fresh black pepper for garnish
Shredded fresh parmesan cheese grated for topping
Heat 2 Tbs of butter in a heavy skillet, cast iron if you have one.
Add the Jumbo Scallops and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the bottom forms a brown crust and is no longer sticking to the pay.
Gently turn the scallops and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the bottom forms a brown crust.
Remove from pan and place in a foil covered pan for now.
Melt 2 Tbs. butter in the same skillet and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes stirring until the onions have softened.
Add garlic and cook another minute.
Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan (pour a cold liquid in the hot pan to get up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. These brown bits are where all the flavors are. )
Let the wine cook down until it’s reduced by half, aboout 2 minutes.
Pour in broth and cream and bring to a simmer.
Pour in the dissolved cornstarch and whisk until combined. Cook another 5-8 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Add spinach and sun dried tomatoes and some of the reserved oil from the jar. Stir spinach in the sauce until it wilts.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place Jumbo Scallops into the pan. Cover pan and turn off the heat.
Cook spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain then add to the pan of scallops.
Toss spaghetti in the sauce to combine and serve immediately.
This is truly the primary instruction that I made of Shrimp with Black-Eyed Peas up and it created Pine Tree State pretty darn happy. I’m not curious about any diet that creates Pine Tree State eat things that don’t style smart. Thus i used to be alleviated after I Sat all the way down to eat and that I may honestly say that I actually enjoyed the meal. It created Pine Tree State feel optimistic concerning my ability to stay with this set up of ingestion whereas keeping Pine Tree State feeling healthy and happy.
What I really like concerning the style of this dish is that the juxtaposition of the flavoring and also the cinnamon, the sweet purple onion and also the hot pepper, and also the dry couscous and also the creamy black-eyed peas. Each flavor is in balance and if you’re careful to not cook the shrimp their soft sweetness compliments everything else.
I served Shrimp with Black-Eyed Peas it with couscous so as to spherical out the meal. I’m thinking of adding okra or inexperienced beans next time to feature in some additional veggies. However that will solely create it higher as a result of its superb to start with. I even created additional the last time I created it in order that I may have leftovers to eat. Dinner tomorrow is going to be nearly as good because it was last night!
1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 tsp chili powder 1/8 tsp cinnamon 20 large shrimp 1 small red onion, peeled and diced (I used a regular yellow onion b/c it was all I had on hand) 1 long hot green pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and diced 1 garlic clove, minced 1/3 cup broth 1 tbsp honey 5 tbsp fresh lime juice 1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1. In a bowl mix the oil, chili powder, and cinnamon. Add in the shrimp and toss to coat. 2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 1-4 hours. 3. When you are ready to cook place the oil, onion, and pepper In a large skillet over medium heat and cook until softened. 4. Whisk together the honey, broth, and lime juice in a small bowl. 5. Add the black-eyed peas into the pan and add in the whisked liquid. 6. When the liquid has boiled off and reduced spread the peas to the outside rim of the pan and add the shrimp to the center of the pan. 7. After 2-3 minutes (or when the bottoms of the shrimp have turned pink) flip the shrimp. It will cook faster on the second side so after 1-2 minutes stir everything together and it will be ready to serve. 8. Serve with couscous which, if made without oil, will add 88 calories and 1 gram of fat to the meal.
I’m pretty sure Sushi, all types, are here to stay. It’s not a fad food, we’ve all pretty much incorporated sushi into our dining repertoire. Most of us no longer hear the word “Sushi” and think yuck raw fish!
California rolls seem to be the most popular type of sushi along with Nigiri tpes, that’s the one with a slice of raw fish or boiled shrimp pressed into sushi rice. And many of us still consider sushi a splurge at a sushi restaurant which admittedly can cost a pretty penny. (We’ve spent about $100 just to take the kids and grandkids out to Genki Sushi. That’s what happens when you all get carried away grabbing $3 dishes off the conveyor belt!) But really Sushi is very easy to make at home and doesn’t have to cost you your first born child!
After all what is sushi? It’s seasoned white rice, some type of seafood and or veggie that can be rolled into a sheet of dried seaweed. Easy right? Ok rolled sushi comes out better when rolled with a bamboo mat that one can buy at any asian market for less than $5. But what about making sushi without a mat or sheets of dried seaweed? That would be super easy sushi!
Well recently I came across sushi molds while wandering around Daiso, the Japanese version of a dollar store that recently opened not far from my house. I grabbed all the molds they had, they were just $1.50 (it’s not really a dollar store, it’s more like the $1.50+ store.) Anyway I got the molds (I gave some to my kids) and proceeded to make these Layered Spicy Shrimp Sushi. They’re actually “deconstructed” sushi as my grandson tells me. Best of all they are super easy to make!
Hey don’t worry if you can’t find the molds, you can use an empty can, old school but it works. Your sushi will be round instead of square, but it will work just fine. Just clean an empty can and remove both ends so that you end up with a tube. Place it on a plate and layer your sushi filling into the tube, when done just slip the can off. Be careful as the can edges will be sharp.
Anyway here’s my recipe. I make the rice in my rice cooker, which actually has a setting for sushi rice. But if you don’t have a rice cooker just cook the rice on the stove or however you usually make rice. My recipe makes a lot of Layered Sushi so if you don’t need as much just cut the recipe in half or in thirds.
3 Cups uncooked short grain rice, rinsed well
6 Cups Water (if cooking on the stove) if using a rice cooker follow the cooker’s directions
6 Tbs. Rice Vinegar
3 Tbs. Sugar
3 Tsp. Salt
3 Cups mashed avocado
3 Cups Cucumber diced in small cubes
3 Tbs. Lime Juice
1 1/2 Lbs. Cooked shrimp diced in small cubes
1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
3 Tbs. Sriracha Sauce
Furikaka for garnish
Wasabi Paste for garnish
Sriracha Sauce for garnish
Make rice in rice cooker and let cool
If making rice on stove top:
Bring rice and water to boil in large pot. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer about 20 minutes or until water has been absorbed and rice is tender. Let cool.
Mix Rice Vinegar, Sugar, and salt in a small bowl.
Place cooled cooked rice in a large bowl and gently fluff, you don’t want clumps of rice.
Gently fold vinegar mixture into rice. Set aside.
Mix together mashed avocado, cucumber, lime juice, and salt to taste. Set aside.
Mix together shrimp, mayo, and sriracha sauce. Set aside.
Scoop about 2 Tbl. of Green Layer into mold. Smooth top making sure it’s distributed evenly.
Scoop about 2 Tbs. of Shrimp Layer on top of Green Layer. Smooth top making sure shrimp mixture is evenly distributed.
Scoop about 4 Tbs. Sushi Rice on top of Shrimp Layer. Smooth top making sure rice is evenly distributed. Press rice layer down firmly into the other layers so that the layers will hold together.
Gently unmold and slide into serving dish. If using a can you will have to gently flip your sushi so that the Green layer is on top.
Sprinkle top with Furikake and drizzle with sriracha sauce. Squirt wasabi paste on plate and serve with soy sauce.
If you have extra sushi rice and shrimp no worries make my version of Nigiri Shrimp sushi by forming rice into rectangular cubes.
Butterfly the cooked shrimp and gently press on top of rice cube.
Sprinkle with Furikake.
Drizzle with sriracha and dot with wasabi and voila! You’ve got yummy Nigiri Sushi!