Chipotle & Lime Crunchy Corn

August 11, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes about 2 cups
Author Notes

This is essentially a homemade version of CornNuts® without things like MSG or hydrogenated oils. I've gone with a spicy-tangy-salty flavor combo. The sumac adds a slightly earthy tangy flavor. You can leave it out if you don't have it, your end product will still be yummy, just not as zippy. Feel free to create other flavor options if you are so inclined! —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces dried white posole
  • water
  • canola oil
  • ½ to 1 dried chipotle (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon table or fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac berries
  1. Rinse posole. Place posole in non-reactive bowl or container, and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  2. Drain posole in a colander shaking as much water off as possible. Line a rimmed sheet pan with a clean tea towel or paper towels, and spread the posole out to dry. Allow to dry for 30 or so minutes. It doesn't need to be bone dry, you just don't want much water on the surface as you'll be dropping it into hot oil.
  3. While your posole is drying, make your spice mixture. Grind the chipotle (seeds and all) in a spice grinder until fairly fine. Zest your lime and add the zest to the grinder. Slice the lime into 6 wedges and set aside. Add the salt, paprika, and sumac to the grinder. Pulse several times until well-blended and no large pieces of chipotle or lime remain. Transfer spice mixture to a paper lunch bag, and set aside.
  4. Line a sheet pan with 2 to 3 layers of paper towels. Set aside for draining the fried posole.
  5. In a 3-quart or larger sauce pan (or deep fryer if you've got one) heat 1 ½ to 2 inches of canola oil to 375º F. Using a spider or large slotted spoon lower about 1/3 of the posole into the oil. Fry until the posole is a light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Use spider or slotted spoon to remove posole, and transfer to paper towel lined pan.
  6. Repeat with remaining posole, allowing the oil to reach 375º between batches.
  7. Sprinkle juice from 4 lime wedges over the posole. Transfer posole to the lunch bag containing your spices and shake well to coat. Transfer posole to a mesh strainer to cool completely (it gets crunchier as it cools.) Store in a tightly sealed container. Will keep for at least several days.
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  • Liz Vazquez
    Liz Vazquez
  • Niknud
  • SKK
  • wssmom
  • vrunka
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

44 Reviews

Liz V. February 25, 2016
Posole is a Mexican soup with pork and hominy . I'm guessing you mean hominy which is what you use for pozole.
Juanita M. February 15, 2013
I was wondering what was the texture of these nuts. I've seen other corn nut like recipes, but of those, the texture is always said to be more chewy instead of crunchy like store-bought corn nuts.
hardlikearmour February 16, 2013
They are definitely crunchy. I've made them several times, and never had them seem chewy.
Niknud September 15, 2011
Made these and brought them in for the night crew this week. Well, actually I seem to have misplaced my jar of chipotle so I substituted Penzy's smoky salt seasoning instead. Yahtzee! I was definately the hero that night - thanks for a fun recipe!
hardlikearmour September 15, 2011
Awesome! I love the idea of the smoky salt seasoning. Will definitely pick some up next time I'm at Penzeys.
ellenl August 17, 2011
Where does one buy posole? This sounds great!
hardlikearmour August 17, 2011
Hi, ellenl. I got mine at a grocery store called New Seasons, in the same area as the dried peppers and mushrooms.
lastnightsdinner August 17, 2011
Rancho Gordo sells it too:

Great recipe, hardlikearmour!
hardlikearmour August 19, 2011
Thanks, lnd!
ellenl August 17, 2011
where does one buy posole?
SKK August 15, 2011
What an amazing recipe! Posole soaking as I write this.
hardlikearmour August 15, 2011
Yay! Let me know how it goes.
wssmom August 14, 2011
This looks great - where does one find sumac?
hardlikearmour August 14, 2011
I got mine from Penzey's. It's primarily used in Middle Eastern cuisine.
wssmom August 14, 2011
OK, thanks!
vrunka August 14, 2011
Oh, my! This sounds great. I think I have a date with a can of posole.
vrunka August 14, 2011
actually, my comment makes me realize I have a question about this... Can you use canned posole and just skip to step 2?
mrslarkin August 14, 2011
i was wondering this too. Canned posole is pretty soggy and soft. I'm curious, what's the texture of the dried posole after it is soaked, hla?
hardlikearmour August 14, 2011
I tried with canned posole, and it was digusting. It kinda reminded me of overcooked egg yolk for some reason, and didn't get crunchy. The dried posole is still pretty firm after it's soaked. You can bite through it with your incisors, though, without too much trouble.
Lizthechef August 14, 2011
OK, it is time to try dried sumac, not the poison ivy I was taught to avoid in girl scout camp. Seriously, my mother watered as I read your recipe - thumbs up!
hardlikearmour August 14, 2011
I really like the dried sumac. It's got a nice flavor. When I was in girl scout camp we'd make "bug juice" out of sumac berries - a KoolAid like drink.
mrslarkin August 13, 2011
LOVE this! It would make an awesome cocktail nibble, too!
hardlikearmour August 14, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin! I will definitely be making a batch or 2 for my next cocktail party (likely to be next month.)
Droplet August 12, 2011
These are great. They sell them in the nuts section in stores in europe, too. have been wanting to make fresh ones at home,but wasn't sure whether I'd need to parboil them first, or not. Thank you for posting this. I think they would also be nice with Jamaican jerk seasoning.
Droplet August 12, 2011
I almost want to try it with powdered sugar only.
hardlikearmour August 13, 2011
Thanks, Droplet! Jamaican jerk would be yummy, and I'm intrigued by the powdered sugar idea.
boulangere August 13, 2011
Jerk sounds fantastic. Plan to make these with my teenagers' classes this fall. I think they'll be freaking amazed. Thank you so much for this brilliant recipe!
mpittsm August 12, 2011
Genius! This goes in my recipe file for cocktail parties :)
hardlikearmour August 12, 2011
Aw, shucks! I can't claim to be genius, but this would be a great snack for a cocktail party.
sexyLAMBCHOPx August 12, 2011
awesome. my spouse loves cornnuts and this is a healthier version. Never thought to make from scratch. It would be great in a bowl for BBQ or cocktail party or snacking. Recipe saved.
sexyLAMBCHOPx August 12, 2011
Can you suggest any othert flavor combinations? Like BBQ? Maybe using Old Bay?
hardlikearmour August 12, 2011
Thanks, sLC! I tried a version with ground unsweetened coconut, curry powder, cayenne and salt that was pretty good, but needed to be stronger somehow. I definitely think BBQ or Ranch would make good versions. I think Old Bay would work as well. Pretty much anything you would use for a dry rub on meat would potentially work. It's pretty easy to divide a batch and try several different options, too.
boulangere August 12, 2011
Ohhhhh, these look sooooooo good! Brilliant idea!
hardlikearmour August 12, 2011
Thanks, b!
healthierkitchen August 12, 2011
Love this! I used to love corn nuts as a kid and love this healthier version. I just got back from New Mexico where I hit the grocery store right before flying out and I have lots of posole! I also have some ground New Mexico chile that I might use.
hardlikearmour August 12, 2011
Thanks, hk! Let me know if you get a chance to try them, and definitely tweak the seasoning to your preference.
lapadia August 12, 2011
I am not big on store bought CornNuts but I would give these a try any day! Beautiful usual ;)
hardlikearmour August 12, 2011
Thanks, Linda! I'm not a huge fan either, in part due to the somewhat yucky ingredients used.
gingerroot August 12, 2011
I LOVE that you made these. They sound deliciously addictive!
hardlikearmour August 12, 2011
Thanks, gingerroot! I was happy with the outcome, and it is pretty easy to eat "just a few more."
lorigoldsby August 12, 2011
Great idea to use the sumac! I wonder if this would be good added into my chex cereal snack mix? Love when I find something "snacky" that's not over processed and flavor comes from fresh ingredients--not chemicals!
hardlikearmour August 12, 2011
Thanks, lori! The sumac definitely gives a nice tang. I could see adding it to chex mix. Let me know if you give it a try.
lorigoldsby August 12, 2011
Will do, usually a holiday treat for us. Another that brown, unbleached baking parchment? I'm looking for something similar but u have a source?
hardlikearmour August 12, 2011
It is unbleached parchment. I tore a square off, folded it into a triangle, then rolled it into a cone. I got it at a local grocery, the brand is "If You Care."