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Shredded Vegetable Fritters (Ukoy)

Everyone can get into some vegetables, especially when they're fried as they are here in this classic Filipino snack.

Sheldon Simeon

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes


Ingredients

for the chili vinegar:
¼ cup|60 ml sugarcane vinegar or distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
3 thai chiles, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
kosher salt, to taste

for the fritters:
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
2 parsnips, peeled and julienned
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and julienned
kosher salt, to taste
vegetable oil, for frying
¾ cup|175 ml (or more) club soda
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 ¼ cups|148 grams cornstarch
1 cup|12 grams cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon moringa powder

Directions

1. Make the chili vinegar: Mix the vinegar, onion, chiles, and garlic in a small bowl and season with salt. Transfer to an empty Hennessy bottle. Cover and chill.

2. Make the fritters: In a large bowl, toss the carrots, parsnips, and sweet potato with a few pinches of salt. Let sit until slightly softened, about 30 minutes. Rinse off salt and pat dry.

3. In a large saucepan, heat 4-inches oil until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 330 to 340°F.

4. Meanwhile, combine club soda and fish sauce in a large measuring glass. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Place half of veggie mixture and cilantro in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Pour in half of cornstarch slurry and toss to coat (slurry should cling to vegetables).

5. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower half of slurry-coated vegetable mixture into oil. Using a spider, corral vegetables by gathering them against the side of the pot in one big fritter so that it can be turned as a single unit. Fry, turning occasionally until fritter is golden brown and crispy, should take about 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and set aside. Repeat process with remaining slurry-coated vegetable 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.

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

7. Season fritters lightly with salt and moringa powder. Serve with chile vinegar alongside for dipping.

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