Recipes

corn fritters

We used to fritter on the regular. The earlier archives of this site are filled with favorites that got us through many snacky toddler meals and excesses of vegetables: broccoli-parmesan, zucchini, cauliflower-feta, cabbage and mixed vegetables with an okonomiyaki vibe, mixed vegetables with a pakora-spiced vibe, and of course, potato latkes in every shape and form. According to the date stamps, it’s been over 5 years since we last frittered, and this is unacceptable, especially as we are again deep in the toddler years.

three cobs for a half-recipe
cut the kernels off, scrape the cob

To me, the best fritters are mostly vegetable with just the smallest amount of egg and flour needed to bind them together. You should taste vegetable, not cake-y pancake-ness. They should be simple; ideally one-bowl. This is quick food you throw together. You shouldn’t have to think too hard, or even follow a recipe much after the first or second time. Applying this to corn was easier than I thought. The results are crispy and toasty and were mostly snatched off the table before we even started dinner because they smelled so good.


scallions and chives
frying
draining, extra salt

Harder, for me, was controlling my impulses to make them every which way. I made these fairly classic American-style, with chives and scallions and cheddar. I’d put a little dab of mayo on them, were they not so good from the pan, it was not necessary. But should you feel inspired:

Street corn-ish: Work some lime zest into the batter, use cotija cheese intead of cheddar, keep the scallions, and use cilantro for the herb. Finish with a shake of chili powder or, even better, tajín, and sour cream or the sauce we dollop on here.
Miso-scallion with sriracha mayo: For this, I’d whisk 2 to 3 teaspoons white miso into the egg in the batter, skip the cheese, double-down on the scallions. I make sriracha mayo to taste, just the amount of each that tastes in good balance to you.
Cacio e pepe: I’d skip the scallions, use parsley for the herb, many many grinds of black pepper and sharp pecorino for the cheese.
Spiced: Try this with 1/4 cup minced red onion instead of scallions, cilantro instead of chives, and then add 1 teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric and cayenne or another red chili powder to taste. Finish with a cooling dollop of yogurt.

Have another tweak in mind? Tell me, tell me. Corn season has just begun, so there’s lots of time left to play with flavors.

corn fritters

Previously

One year ago: Confetti Party Cake
Two years ago: Peaches and Cream Bunny Cake
Three years ago: Green Beans with Almond Pesto and Very Blueberry Scones
Four years ago: Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings and Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Five years ago: Slow-and-Low Dry-Rub Oven Chicken and Grilled Bacon Salad with Arugula and Balsamic
Six years ago: Blackberry Gin Fizz
Seven years ago: Flatbreads with Honey, Thyme, and Sea Salt
Eight years ago: Zucchini and Ricotta Galette and Sour Cherry Pie with Almond Crumble
Nine years ago: Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes and Mediterranean Pepper Salad
Ten years ago: Project Wedding Cake
Eleven years ago: Roseanne Cash’s All-American Potato Salad and Ratatouille’s Ratatouille

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Split Pea Soup
1.5 Years Ago: Crusty Baked Cauliflower and Farro
2.5 Years Ago: Chicken Chili
3.5 Years Ago: Feta Tapenade Tarte Soleil
4.5 Years Ago: Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini

Corn Fritters

The photos show me making a half-recipe. We got 12 to 16 fritters from it, just enough for our family with a few leftovers. Serve these with a simple green salad, or as a side for a heartier meal such as grilled chicken, sausage, or pork chops. They’re also good with an egg on top for breakfast. See additional flavor suggestions above.

  • 6 ears of corn (about 3 cups corn)
  • 4 scallions, both white and greens finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped herbs of your choice (I used chives)
  • About 1 cup (6 ounces) grated sharp cheddar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 more tablespoons if needed
  • Olive or a neutral oil for frying (I used safflower)

Shuck corn and stand the first stalk in a large bowl. Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the corn into the bowl, then run the back of your knife up and down the stalk to release as much “milk” as possible into the bowl. Repeat with remaining ears. It’s okay if you get a little more or a little less than 3 cups of corn.

Add scallions, herbs, cheese, and many grinds of black pepper and stir to evenly combine. Taste for seasoning; I usually find I needed more salt and pepper. Add the eggs and use a fork or spoon to stir until they’re all broken up and evenly coat the corn mixture. Add 1 cup of flour and stir to throughly coat. My mixture at this point (especially with bi-color corn) looked precisely like egg salad, to give you an idea of what you’re looking for: mostly kernels and just a little visible batter to bind it. A scoop of it should hold its shape unless pressed down; if yours does not, add the remaining flour. (For reference, I needed it.)

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot and shimmering, add your first scoop of corn fritter batter and press it gently to flatten it. (I used a #40 scoop, which holds a little less than 2 tablespoons. Tinier fritters are easier to manage.) Corn fritters cook quickly so keep an eye on them. When the underside is a deep golden brown, flip and cook to the same color on the second side. Drain on a paper towel, sprinkling on more salt. When it’s cool enough to try, taste and adjust the seasonings of the remaining batter if needed.

(Deborah Madison advises that if your fritter isn’t holding to add another egg and 1/3 cup flour to give it more “glue” but I didn’t find this necessary.)

Cook remaining fritters in the same manner, adding more oil as needed. Try to get them to the table before finishing them.

Do ahead: Fritters keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days, and freeze well too. I like to defrost and re-toast them in a 350 degree oven.

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88 comments on corn fritters

  1. SallyT

    perfect summer food! Can’t wait to make these – for the third year in a row, we are trying to GROW corn in our garden (while protecting it much more than in previous years – birds ate it). I’m making your swiss chard pancakes and grilled zucchini ribbons with pesto and white beans for dinner tonight – perfects ways to use my CSA share. Thank you, as always!

  2. Rebecca C.

    Deb,
    I’m on the hunt for a new set of kitchen knives and want to get quality and affordable knives (would love some Shun’s but they are outside my budget). Also, how do you like western style versus Japanese knife styles? Do you have both?
    Many thanks!
    Rebecca

    1. CI highly recommended Victorinox knives with the Fibrox handle, they’re really inexpensive, around $35 for the 10 inch chef knife. It’s certainly not as luxurious as a Shun (or my somehow missing Global), but it has the narrower angle of a Japanese knife, rather than the bulk of some of the German knives. I love mine, and highly recommend.

  3. Gerley

    This is such an awful question to ask underneath a fritters recipe of all things but if it weren’t for the internet I wouldn’t know about aqafaba so here it goes:
    Is there a way to make fritters without eggs?
    Anything that actually binds?

    1. Anne Marie

      I use a “flax egg” – a tablespoon of flax meal mixed with three tablespoons warm water. Works fabulously in everything I’ve tried, including fritters! (and baked goods)!

    2. SG

      We use flax seed eggs over here – 1 tablespoon flax seed meal mixed in 3 tablespoons water and let it sit for 5 minutes.

    3. All Herbivores all the Time

      Aquafaba won’t bind, but it is great for fritters in combination with chickpea flour or besan. That’s my favorite combo for fritters. I find that flax and chia stay unpleasantly gooey/slimy unless you cook them much longer.

      1. Gerley

        I have never tried chickpea flour! So far aquafaba has not worked very well outside of some cakes I tried so this combination could do the trick. Thanks for the idea.

    4. Ttrockwood

      I actually use a can puréed white beans with a splash of the bean liquid as the “glue” instead of eggs for veg based patties fairly often. The trick is to refridgerate the whole mix before proceeding to scoop and cook, an hour or longer. This way everything mingles and sticks together much better- and you get some added nutrition too.

      1. Actually Deb,

        It goes the other way around. You will need less flour!

        Why?

        When you freeze the kernels, the ice shards puncture the walls of the cellular structure. When you thaw them, this water disappears and that’s why frozen corn which has been thawed looks more “collapsed” than regular corn.

        Oddly, if you want a really “low flour” fritter, if you add a discreet amount of frozen corn (thawed and dried) to your fresh corn, you will NOT have the crazy popping problem that people here mention.

        Also, you will have very little flour (but usual eggs) and almost all pure corn flavor.

        Cheers!

  4. Laura

    Hi Deb, This looks delicious. I think you meant “It’s okay if you get a little more or a little less than THREE cups of corn” not 6.

  5. I love corn fritters but can rarely get myself to make them–I have gotten literally burned too many times by popping kernels. You really should warn people to use a screen and wear long sleeves. That being said, these look good and I may have to give them a go. I have never tried cheese in mine. I like to dip mine into a Thai sweet chili dipping sauce.

    1. Saurs

      Thank you for mentioning the sticking point I always contend with when fritterizing corn: SO MUCH SPLATTERS AND POPS.

      Anyone have a trick for containing these things, beyond or in addition to a screen? I love corn fritters and belong to the school of thought that requires them being eaten in huge quantities but I don’t know how the chef or her kitchen ever survives making a full or double batch.

      The weird thing is, leftovers (if any ever exist) makes great croutons crumbled up and lightly toasted, and they don’t do any of that angry popping. Maybe a hybrid preparation is in order: bake, cool & chill, and then quick-fry the following day? I’ve a friend who makes hers with canned corn for this reason, but the end-result is so tinny and lacks the summeriness of the freshly shucked.

      1. Hillary

        I love the frywall products. Got mine from food52 but they sell on amazon too.
        So much less splattering and spitting and cleaning and pain!

  6. Cath

    Do you think it would work (or sort of work, ha) with a gluten free flour blend? I’ve done fritters with it before, but the recipe only used like a tablespoon of flour so it didn’t seem as integral to the structure.

  7. MK

    Yum! I’m not a melted cheese person though (a major flaw of mine, I know). Would you make any changes to the recipe if you were leaving out the cheese? More flour, anything?

    1. deb

      I would give it a try without, just take a look at the batter and adjust as needed, picturing egg salad, and something thick and scoop-able as the ideal texture.

  8. smathes1

    I love corn more than anything but was just diagnosed with an allium allergy (no scallions, leeks, onion, garlic, chives, etc) and it is really crimping my desire to cook. Any suggestions on a good sub in this, other than the cacio e pepe (which I’ve already had for lunch twice this week)? Corn-Jalapeno-Lime, maybe?

    1. deb

      I think that sounds great. I think anything you like with corn would be great here. I wonder maybe even about a corn-bacon fritter with a spicy honey or maple syrup finish?

    2. Cath

      I’ve also got allium issues! I think the elote version would still have lots of flavor without the scallions. And in the spiced version maybe bell pepper?

  9. Lauren

    These look great as do all the riffs you have listed. I think this would be he ideal way to use corn that may-or-may-not be delicious, as in something packaged from the supermarket. I find it always a crapshoot to buy this stuff for eating “on the cob”…but all the spices could save a lot of substandard corn from ignominy, and those of us who have a couple of weeks left to be able to obtain the really GOOD stuff can indulge right now! Bless you!

  10. C

    I like Thai corn fritters/cakes. The recipe I’ve made is pretty plain (no ginger / fish sauce / lime leaves) but includes a sweet and spicy cucumber sauce that’s fantastic. Didn’t find it in my search but will try to dig it up.

    1. deb

      Oh that sounds exactly like what’s missing from the list. In Smitten Kitchen Every Day, I have a charred corn succotash with vaguely Thai flavors: a lime and fish sauce vinaigrette, crispy shallots, basil and mint. It would be great to apply that here.

  11. Josie

    I saw your facebook post and decided to cobble this together for lunch with sautéed corn left over from dinner last night. I did the miso option, and added some minced shiso leaf to the mix. Rather than the sriracha, I hit the finished fritters with some yuzu kosho, my new favorite thing. Even with my on the fly modifications, these were tasty. Thank you for the idea!

  12. Chad

    Thank you, we have our oldest daughters five and almost two year old as rather frequent weekend guests and love all of your cooking!

  13. Susan

    We traditionally ate these with grape jelly at my house (?????? idk) and in my opinion it’s the only acceptable use of grape jelly.

  14. Kris

    Mmmm, this reminds me of a favourite restaurant brunch when I worked for a few months in Cape Town, South Africa – a pile of corn fritters that looked just like these, with homemade salsa, a spicy chive/onion creme fraiche type sauce dolloped on, and tons of perfect avocado slices, salt, and pepper. As you’d appreciate I’d always ask them to put an egg on it too (poached!). When I came home from South Africa I tried to recreate it but it’s been years. Going to give it a go with your recipe!

  15. Marcia

    We have had them with applesauce a la potato latkes, or with some spiced tomato jam,and/or yogurt or sour cream . So crunchy, so good. As with all fritters I need to double recipes when my large and hungry sons are home.

  16. G

    These look great! Could I bake them instead of frying? (I’d rather turn on the oven and walk away than stand over a hot splattering pan.)

  17. Ty

    OMG, I grew up in NYC, but my New England dad made these on the regular. No scallions though. Way too forward for a Yankee. But the cheddar? I can see him giving it a moments thought and approving 100%. I shall make. Thanks!

  18. Maribeth

    I added chopped one canned Chipolte and some of its sauce. And because we are in zucchini everyday mode shredded and squeezed one of those. Used pepper jack and cheddar. Yum 🥑

  19. Robin

    Made these tonight with 1/4 c parsley and feta instead of the chives/scallions/cheddar (my four year old doesn’t like any kind of onion, the crazy person). A lot less salt because of the feta. Both kids ate them with Japanese mayo and okonomiyaki sauce on the side. Win!

  20. I’ve made the zucchini fritters a few times, and these sound great. Have you ever tried a sweet version? I just read the word “rhubarb” on another recipe on your site and got thinking about how these would work with fruit.

  21. Sarah

    When I lived in Brooklyn a decade ago I got corn fritters from a Thai place that were amazing. They were mostly corn with a little cilantro and came with a sweet sauce.

  22. Hillary

    I made these tonight and they turned out really well! I followed the recipe exactly and halved the recipe because I was only serving three people as a side dish to vegetables and fish. I would definitely make it again. I did have gluten free flour and half regular flour because I have a gluten sensitive eater and it worked fine. The oil did splatter and almost burned me a few times. A splatter guard helped. All corn fritters were eaten quickly!

  23. Jamie

    I occasionally make a corn, zucchini, and shrimp galette that’s loosely adapted from your tomato galette. Corn and shrimp are amazing together because they are both kind of on the sweet side. I’d like to try these fritters with some cooked, diced shrimp in them. Parmesan instead of cheddar, I think. Maybe this weekend…

    Thanks for this! Your blog is an inspiration!

  24. Kath

    My mum always made corned beef fritters and corn. I add halloumi to mine.

    Summer makes me think of red capsicum, corn and avocado with some smoked ancho chili and cumin. Served with a simple tomato salsa and sour cream. Pantry friendly and winter tolerant versions would have canned corn and roasted capsicum from a jar.

    Yum yum yum yum yum.

  25. Cynthia Carter

    You know how sometimes, you read a recipe somewhere, and think “Hey, I would really like to make that maybe someday soon.” I read this and rushed out to the store to get corn and stuff to make this for dinner tonight, plus big ripe tomatoes to make a salad to go with, plus sweet drippy ripe cantaloupe for dessert, because apparently we were foreordained to have these fritters for dinner tonight. And, even though it is just the two of us, I made a full batch. I am not saying we ate the whole thing, because some of them actually made it to the fridge to await breakfast tomorrow, when they likely will be warmed up and served with maple syrup. But, there were not all that many left, and I have a feeling the first one up tomorrow will be the lucky one to have fritters for breakfast. I read over your suggestions for variations, and I think I will be spending a lot more time frittering in the future.

  26. Karen Brown

    I always serve corn fritters with salsa, sour cream and avo. Have been doing this so long, that it has never occurred to me to take them in another flavour direction!
    Even though it’s Winter here in New Zealand, I’m keen to try the miso-scallion suggestion. I often use frozen corn with no problems; I just whizz some kernels in my mini-processor ( an indispensable piece of kitchen equipment IMHO), to make corn ‘milk’.
    Re. scraping the cobs with the back of a knife to get the ‘milk’, I find there is less mess, and more milk, if I use a mixing bowl for the batter that has a straight edge (as opposed to a bowl with a rolled lip), and scrape the cob firmly on the edge of the bowl. Cheers from the edge of the world, Karen

  27. Cindy Williamson

    My grandmother made something she called corn oysters, the eggs were separated with the whites beaten and folded in, no cheese and then they were served with maple syrup – delish!

  28. Amanda W.

    I’ve been obsessed with the corn hushpuppies available in the summertime at a local restaurant, and these seem close. Now I just need to experiment with making the cayenne honey butter that accompanies them at the restaurant…

  29. My mind goes to: crumbled bacon, blue cheese. Keep the chives. Sprinkle diced tomatoes on the top when serving.

    Will definitely have to try this. Fritters are a go-to for me, mainly inspired by your site and Heidi’s quinoa patties from 101 cookbooks.

  30. Thank you for this recipe. I grew up in Florida where the best corn fritters were made. My sister went back recently and said they were still good but that there was less corn in them. I would love to make these but I am gluten-free.
    Do you think they could be made gluten-free or would they crumble?
    Warm regards and happy feasting,
    Elizabeth

  31. I noticed that you referred to Deborah Madison, so I pulled out her recipe to compare. I ended up more or less combining your recipes and making this for brunch today (3 eggs, feta cheese, chives, I didn’t have scallions, leftover cooked corn on the cob, 1 c flour) and it was DELICIOUS. Even my 8 year old was exclaiming over how good they were. My husband declared that we should eat fritters more often.
    The funny thing was, we had corn on the cob a few days ago and I had the extra ears in the fridge while I was more or less waiting for The Right Fritter Recipe to appear. And yours did. THANK YOU.

  32. Scrapple Queen

    Away at lake with friends and this popped into my email. The perfect answer to what to have with our shrimp and avocado salad. Good room temp finger food. Make em small like Debbie advises.

  33. Annika Pfaender

    I just made these…like just finished frying them 5 minutes ago. And I’m peppered with little oil-spatter burns from rogue corn kernels escaping the fritter and popping randomly. So I definitely recommend using a spatter guard or something similar and using care when flipping or moving the fritters as they cook. They are DELICIOUS, just use caution!

  34. Laura B

    My husband and I just made these tonight and they were perfect! We had no popping with these because the consistency was so perfect and it uses very little oil. I felt like I was a toddler again. I forwarded it to my grown kids who have toddlers and reminded them about the zucchini pancakes they used to love as kids. THOSE did pop all over the place because the zucchini has a lot of water when it hits the grease.

  35. These were fantastic!! We found that since our ears of corn were larger, we only needed 4 to get a (substantial) 3 cups of kernels.

    A delightful summer dinner alongside a salad!

  36. I like to combine grated, drained zucchini and fresh corn in a summer fritter. I season them with basil and mint, add feta and eat them topped with halved cherry tomatoes, with or without yogurt or sour cream. I took a look at some of your other fritters and will try some others soon.

  37. Mary Jane

    Very plain corn fritters served with pancake syrup are a staple
    of traditional Pennsylvania German cuisine. My grandmother made them with much less egg (2 for 2
    cups of corn) and flour(just a quarter cup for 2 cups of corn), and no onions or cheese, but her recipe calls for both a teaspoon of baking powder and 2 tablespoons of milk. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to try international variations on her recipe; I am excited to test all of your flavor profile ideas. Thank you!

  38. Elyn

    I made these last night and they were amazing! (street corn version) My one year old ate them so fast I could hardly sit and eat before he was ready for another one. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    I’d love to tweak this for a gluten free family member. Thinking chickpea flour or fine cornmeal. Any recommendations, or would you avoid modifying to GF?

    1. Elyn, I made these tonight with the America’s Test Kitchen gluten-free flour blend and they were really good! I think any AP gluten-free flour blend would work, and I’m sure they would be delicious with chickpea flour as well.

  39. Amanda

    Dear Deb, thanks for saving me from a summer of only baby carrots!
    Sincerely, A very Grateful mom

    Made the corn and also zucchini version of the fritters and both of my picky kids gobbled them up!

  40. I made these tonight with gluten-free flour (America’s Test Kitchen gf blend) and they came out so good! Wonderful recipe – easy to make, quick and simple. Thank you for the delicious recipe, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed them!