Indonesian Corn Fritters


My wonderful friend Cindy took Lisa and I out to Lisa’s favorite restaurant in Santana Row for my birthday.  We started with these fantastic corn fritters — and then we had another order — and then ANOTHER order!

Unbelievably delicious and easy to make.  Don’t freak out by the length of the recipe — it’s a cinch.


Serves 4 as appetizer

1 tsp. freshly toasted and ground coriander

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 medium shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. fresh galangal, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. sugar
4 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from cob OR 3 c. frozen corn thawed and squeezed dry
1 T. minced green garlic (now in Farmer’s Markets!) or green scallions
1/2 lime juiced and zested
4 T. brown rice flour (got it at Whole Foods — if you can’t get brown, buy the white — the rice flour makes these extra crispy.
1 large egg, beaten
canola oil for frying

1. In a small skillet toast the coriander seeds and let cool.  Put the coriander, black pepper, shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, kosher salt and sugar in a small food processor and puree until a smooth paste.  A mortar and pestle is an even better tool for the job if you have one and the inclination to do it manually.
2. In a medium bowl, lightly mash some of the corn kernels with a fork and leave others whole.  This helps create a combination of textures and the mashed corn helps in binding the fritters.   Add in the spice paste mixture and combine well.  Add in the green garlic or scallions and lime zest and lime juice.  Let sit for 20 minutes or so to let the flavors meld.
3. Add in the rice flour to the corn mixture after sitting a bit and toss thoroughly.  Pour in the beaten egg and stir lightly until well incorporated.
4. In a large skillet, cover the bottom of the pan to 1/4″ in high, for a shallow fry.  Turn the heat to medium and when the oil is shimmering hot and sizzling, it’s ready.  Drop carefully a large tablespoon of the corn batter into the oil.  You can drop probably 3-5 into a normal sized skillet but do not crowd the pan.  Lightly press each one flat with the back of the spoon.  Fry until the fritters are golden brown on the first side, about 2 minutes and then flip.  Fry the second side until deep golden brown, anothe 2-3 minutes.  Remove fritters from the oil and let drain on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath to catch any excess oil. Repeat in batches.
5.  Serve the fritter while still hot, on a large platter and garnish with chopped chives and lime wedges.  Put the dipping sauce on the side.  Encourage people to give a quick squeeze of lime over the fritters and then dip in the sauce and enjoy!

The dipping sauce is below, but I usually just use Sweet Chili Sauce that you can get in the Asian section of most markets.

For the Sweet-Hot Chili and Cucumber Dipping Sauce (Saus Lado)

4 fresh red Thai chilies, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced lengthwise in four pieces
1 T. seedless English cucumber, minced
1 lime, juiced
3 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 T. ketchup (optional)
2 T. warm water

1. Make the dipping sauce first so it has time to meld flavors and lose some of the raw taste.  Make sure to leave the garlic in big chunks.  You want the flavor of garlic, but not small pieces of raw garlic to stick to the fritter when you dip.  In a small bowl add the chilies, garlic, cucumber and lime juice.  Stir to cover all veggies with the lime juice.  Add the sugar, kosher salt, rice wine vinegar and ketchup if using.  Go for ketchup if you want a milder and sweeter flavor, leave it out if not.  Stir thoroughly and add in the warm water to thin slightly.  Set aside.

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