Sweet Corn Fritters

Fresh sweet corn fritters flavored with a bit of onion and some fresh herbs are one of my favorite late summer go-to recipes. The simple batter for these delightful fritters takes about 15 minutes to mix…and a further 30 minutes to chill. The cooking time is literally minutes.

Fritters are amazing and there are dozens of variations to explore. The problem with most preparations is they are deep-fried to create that lovely crispy exterior and soft interior. My version relies on cooking the fritters a bit like a pancake, then finishing them in a hot oven to create that crispy exterior. This method allows for the complete exclusion of oil – or just a bare minimum if you choose – and yields a fritter that is not greasy and explodes with fresh flavors.

I like to serve fresh corn fritters with a simple tomato salsa – one that is a bit spicy – and a dollop of soy yogurt. They make a perfect late summer lunch or light dinner.

Yield: makes about 15

Preparation: Simple

  • 1 ear fresh sweet corn (about one cup), kernels removed (see tips)

  • 1 spring onion, green and white parts sliced fine

  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil, sliced thin

  • 90 grams (1/2 cup) corn meal (fine polenta)

  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour (see tips for gf option)

  • 45 grams (1/3 cup) masa harina

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 180 ml. (3/4 cup) soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)

  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • 60 grams (2 tablespoons) soft silken tofu

  • extra virgin olive oil to cook (optional)

  • Remove the kernels from the sweet corn and reserve in a small bowl. Add the finely sliced spring onion and basil to the sweet corn.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the corn meal, flour, masa harina, baking powder, salt, chili powder and black pepper. Make sure the dry ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  • In a small blender or food processor, combine the soy milk, vinegar and soft silken tofu. Process until smooth.
  • Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the sweet corn, sliced onions and basil. Mix well then refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat while your fritter batter is chilling. Turn the oven to 200°C (390°F), using only the top heat. Make sure the top rack is relatively close to the heat source.
  • I use about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in the pre-heated pan – this will help create a crispy exterior. You can also cook the fritters without using any oil if you prefer. Once the oil is added, scoop a large tablespoon (I use an ice cream scooper) of batter into the pan and flatten slightly. Work with 3-5 fritters at a time without crowding the pan. Cook over medium heat until the edges begin to show signs of changing to a golden color. Carefully flip the fritter over and cook the other side. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes on the first side and about 1-2 minutes on the flip side. Reserve on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Once you have made all the fritters, place the pan in the pre-heated oven and cook 3-5 minutes. The fritters will take on a rich golden color and begin to crisp. Make sure you set a timer or keep a close watch to prevent burning them. Enjoy the fritters hot.

Jack’s Fresh Tip

Find out more about sweet corn and understanding how to purchase, cook and prepare corn – all about sweet corn

As an alternative to spring onions, consider young leeks. Wash the leeks well and slice them very thin. Blanch in boiling, salted water for about 1 minute, then strain and dry well.

You can make these fritters gluten-free, by substituting all the all-purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free mixture. You can really indulge in corn flavor by using additional masa harina to replace the all-purpose flour. This will make them a bit like a stuffed corn tortilla – a worthy recipe as well!

Chilling the batter helps the fritters crisp on their surface. It is not strictly important to the recipe, but it does help if you like a crispy exterior. You can make the batter one night in advance and keep it in the refrigerator.

Cooked fritters can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen for up to 6 months (put a date on the freezer bag). To reheat, simply put the frozen fritters on a small baking tray and then under the broiler (or grill – it’s the top heat in the oven) set to 200°C (390°F). Heat through and enjoy.

You can also cook these fritters in the pan as described above and finish in an air-fryer to obtain a crispy exterior.

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