Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thai Inspired Corn Fritters

This is a Southeast Asian take on an American classic. A little sweet with some heat and a whole lotta flavor. The corn kernels pop in your mouth against the fluffy, moist centers and crispy exteriors.  

Corn and coconut are delicious together. Scallions and a generous handful of peppery Thai basil give them a final flavor boost.  Summer corn makes them even better, but frozen corn will work too.  The bright flavors present in Thai coconut curries show up here.  If you like Thai curries, give these fritters a go. No deep fryer necessary.

Thai Style Corn Fritters Recipe

Makes 16 fritters
Some Notes:
The fritters can  be made many different ways by following the basic recipe. Instead of Thai basil and coconut, use whatever herbs and ingredients float your boat. I’ve made them with dill, scallions and 4 cups of corn instead of the Thai ingredients. The ingredients should complement each other. Use the correct oil to pan fry them and select the right milk to make everything cohesive. 
Take care when making these fritters that you don’t squish them down with a spatula and flatten them while cooking. The less you fuss with them, the better they’ll be. Adjust the heat so they’re browning nicely and poofing up. Then flip over and brown on the other side. They’ll be so high, fluffy and scrumptious this way.
Thai peppers are very hot. You can also use a jalapeno. Remove the seeds if you like less spicy food.
I think you can make them vegan by using a vegan egg replacer. I also think you can  make them gluten free by using Pamela’s Gluten Free Mix in place of the self rising flour.

  • 8 ears of corn, kernels taken off the cob (about 3 1/2 generous cups total). You can also use frozen corn.
  • 1 bunch of scallions, about 6-8, diced. Use only the dark green part in the fritters. Reserve the white part if you’re making the tomato salsa.
  • 1 bell pepper, diced, you pick the color
  • A handful Thai basil or regular basil, chopped
  • 1-2 small Thai chili peppers, diced or you can use all or part of a jalapeno pepper.
  • 1 inch piece of ginger grated. I use a microplane zester to grate it. (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 large eggs
  • 11/2  cups of self rising flour
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage or regular low fat milk
  • Oil for cooking. I use coconut.
  • Sea salt to taste
  • For serving: lots of lime wedges and tomato-avocado salsa  (recipe below)

Instructions for the Fritters:
Saute the bell pepper and the Thai pepper in a little oil with a pinch of salt. When the pepper is tender, add the corn, grated ginger, shredded coconut and the scallions. Add a little more oil and saute until the veggies are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl and set aside to cool.
Once cool, stir in the chopped basil, the flour, a dash more salt, the coconut milk beverage and the eggs. Stir to combine. The batter will be thick and full of vegetables. It  shouldn't be dry, though. So add a little more milk if it seems too dry.  If you let the batter sit for five minutes, before pan frying, the fritters will be fluffier.  Drop by 1/4 cup fulls onto a medium hot nonstick fry pan coated with oil. Pan fry until golden brown on one side and then flip. Fry until golden brown on the other side and cooked in the center. Serve with lime wedges and/or my tomato-avocado salsa (recipe below).

Tomato-Avocado Salsa Recipe

If you want to bump up the protein in this vegetarian dish, add a can of rinsed and drained black beans to the salsa.
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  • A drizzle of honey (optional, depends on how ripe the tomatoes are)
  • A couple of squeezes of fresh lime juice
  • Dice the reserved white part of the scallions.
  • 1 diced avocado
  • A generous handful of Thai basil or regular basil, chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and serve with the corn fritters.

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