One of my first cookbooks, almost 13 years ago, was Linda McCartney on Tour, a vegetarian cookbook with recipes from all over the world. McCartney’s recipes were easy for a novice cook and years later, I’m still crazy about her corn fritters. I’ve made some adaptations to the recipe over the years to produce these perfect little appetizers that everyone loves.
Versions of corn fritters are found across cultures, from the Southern United States to Asia. They are mostly made with all-purpose flour, but can also be made with rice flour and even cornmeal, with different seasonings and sauces. I love mine spicy with a sweet sauce.
The size of the pot for deep-frying is key. Use a large, sturdy pot and fill about one third of it with oil. The best oil for deep-frying is peanut oil, but canola or corn oil will also work. All three have high smoke points and are relatively inexpensive. A safe temperature for frying is 175 degrees Celsius, and a deep-fry thermometer can help, but the bread test will also work. Drop a crouton size piece of bread into the oil. If the temperature is right, it will sizzle and brown in about a minute. Fry in small batches to prevent the temperature of the oil from falling. Alternatively, if the oil starts to get too hot, lower the temperature. The corn fritters should still be sizzling when removed from the hot oil. If they stop releasing air bubbles, they are overdone.
The best way to prepare these corn fritters is with summer’s fresh corncobs. Shuck the ears using a knife and gather the kernels. Alternatively, canned corn kernels, drained, will work perfectly well, as will frozen corn as long as it is defrosted.
Be sure to make the sauce first as it needs to cool down before you serve it.
Makes appetizers for 4
Spicy Corn Fritters
- ½ kg corn kernels (see head note)
- ¾-1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (more if you like it very spicy)
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 large organic egg, or two small eggs
- Vegetable oil for shallow frying
- Garlic dipping sauce
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn kernels, flour, chili powder, coriander seeds, black pepper, salt, garlic, ginger, cilantro, soy sauce, and green onion if using. Mix well.
2. Beat the egg. Add the egg to the dry ingredients one tablespoon at a time. Mix. It is important that the batter not be too wet. There should be just enough egg to hold the batter together.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan (see head note). When the oil is hot, gently drop in one tablespoon of the mixture into the oil at a time. Fry until light brown.
4. Serve with garlic sauce.
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- A pinch of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
1. Mix all ingredients except chili powder and cilantro in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes till it thickens.
2. Remove from heat and add chili powder and cilantro leaves.
3. Cool and serve.