Corn on the cob is great, but sometimes one wants to enjoy fresh corn without having to floss our teeth before smiling afterwards.
SPICY CORN FRITTERS to the rescue! Yes, they’re a little more work than dropping an ear of corn in boiling water, but once you try one…or more of these crispy pancakes, you’ll agree that they’re worth the effort.
SPICY CORN FRITTERS – makes about 11, depending on how big you make them
- 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3/4 cup + 1½ tsp sugar, divided
- 1 red jalapeño chili, minced (or serrano, if you like to kick it up a notch)
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 2 T cilantro leaves, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 8 oz (2 ears, about 1½ cups) – fresh, frozen, or canned
- vegetable oil for frying
Make the sweet & sour sauce by combining vinegar, 3/4 cup sugar, chili, and 1/2 tsp salt in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, uncovered. Continue at a hard boil until sauce is reduced to 2/3 cup total. You don’t have to stir, but keep an eye on it so you don’t reduce it too much. This takes about 5 minutes, depending on how high your burner is. Cover and set aside until ready for use.
If you’re using fresh corn, like I do in the summer, remove raw kernels. This is quite easy – rest one point of the shucked ear at a diagonal, holding it away from you, and run a sharp knife from midway downwards. Flip the cob and repeat. Boil kernels in a little unsalted water for about 2 minutes, until done (adding salt at the beginning of cooking can lead to tough corn). Drain.
If you’re using frozen corn, thaw.
If you’re using canned corn, drain.
Into a blender (preferably the small pitcher that comes with some blenders), place the cilantro, garlic, black pepper, and water. Blend until pureed.
In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, rice flour, 1½ tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and baking powder. Stir corn and cilantro mixture into flour.
Heat 2 T vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet (yes, you have to oil nonstick pans) over medium/high heat. When hot, pour in 1/3 cup amounts, spreading out batter to about 4″. Cook until well browned on bottom. Flip and cook other side.
Serve immediately, spooning on Sweet & Sour Sauce.