Corn Fritters with Cheddar and Scallions

July  4, 2016
6 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 6 as a light supper or appetizer (25 to 30 small fritters)
Author Notes

Adapted from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors, these crispy fritters are loaded with corn. They have great flavor thanks to lots of herbs, scallions, and Cheddar.

Cheese: Madison recommends sharp, aged Cheddar, and I'm so glad I used it: It browns so beautifully and makes a nice, crisp exterior. Other cheeses she recommends include goat, feta, Swiss, Gouda, and Jack.

Corn: I find it easy to cut each cob in half, to stand each half cut side down, then to slice down to remove the kernels.

Herbs: The original recipe called for a mix of 1/2 cup parsley and 2 tablespoons of basil or dill, so use what you like.

The batter can be made ahead and chilled in the fridge. Be sure to give it a good stir before frying. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 2 to 4 eggs
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or more to taste
  • 1 cup grated (or small diced) sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 6 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch sea salt, to taste
  • 1 or more grinds of freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 splash Olive oil or neutral oil for frying
  1. Slice the tops of the kernels off the corn, then reverse your knife and press out the milk. (You should have about 3 cups of kernels. Don't stress out too much about this step—if you cut too deeply and don't extract that much "milk," it's no big deal. Also, the blade of the knife might work better than the back, so try both ways.)
  2. Transfer the kernels and milk to a large bowl. Crack in 2 of the eggs. Add the scallions, cilantro, or other herbs, cheese, corn kernels and, and 1/3 cup of the flour. Season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together very well. Grab a golfball-sized amount of batter and squeeze it in your hands. If it barely holds together, crack another egg into the bowl, and add another 1/3 cup flour. Mix well, and test again—batter will not hold together the way a meatball will; it will be kind of pasty, and the only way to know if it’s ready for frying is to make a test fritter. See step 3.
  3. Make a test fritter: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, pour 1 tablespoon of the oil. Lightly oil your hands. When the oil in the pan begins shimmering, pinch a golfball-sized amount of batter out of the bowl and carefully drop it into the oil. Reduce the heat to medium. The mound of batter will look pyramidal or gumdrop-like in shape. Gently flatten with a spatula. After about a minute, check the underside to ensure it is lightly browned. Flip the fritter, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until evenly golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, season with sea salt, and let cool briefly. Taste. If fritter needs more salt or pepper, add more to the bowl. If the fritter did not stay together at all, crack another egg into the bowl of batter and add 1/3 cup more flour. Mix well.
  4. When fritter batter is cooperating, fry up the remaining batter in the same manner as the tester fritter, adding a thin layer of oil to the pan with each batch. Warning: Be careful of exploding corn kernels—every so often, one comes flying out of the pan.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • margotbassettsilver
  • Victoria Woodson-Lafair
    Victoria Woodson-Lafair
  • msmely
  • Barbara Chapman
    Barbara Chapman
  • Vivienne
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

60 Reviews

Linda D. September 21, 2021
Tonight I used a pickled jalapeno-yum!
Terry August 14, 2021
Maybe someone commented on this, realize that "corn kernels" is among the list of ingredients to be added to the corn and (corn) milk in the bowl - ? Also in that vein I'm glad I looked back at the ingredient list before adding a splash of actual milk, as the "milk" in the instructions apparently refers to the corn-milk! I wonder if this might be the reason the patties did not come together (or needed extra binding) for some. Otherwise I love more creative recipes for veggies than cook-and-eat and these look yummy so I'll be following up after I make them.
Linda D. August 5, 2021
First, thank you Alexandra for this corn fritter recipe. My husband has been pining for corn fritters. Second, thanks to all who took the time to share insights and experiences. After the second effort, this is what works for us: two ears of corn, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup flour, 1 jalapeno pepper, salt, and pepper. I let the batter sit for 15 minutes before making my test fritter to determine if it needed more egg or flour. The batter did not. Apricot preserves on the side when you fancy., yum! Frozen corn added when that second ear of corn did not look fresh. Thanks again to all!
margotbassettsilver August 23, 2019
Oh and also it made a HUGE amount! I did a half recipe which would have been enough for 5-6 people.
margotbassettsilver August 23, 2019
I found these to be extremely disappointing and am pretty surprised by all the glowing reviews. They are delicious by virtue of being composed of delicious things: fresh, in-season corn, sharp cheddar, herbs - but they did not hold together well until more binder was added at which point they were overwhelmed by an unpleasant gluey, floury-ness. Also needed significant salting, and I cannot imagine serving them alone without toppings - I used chopped cherry tomatoes lightly dressed with salt, olive oil & a dash of balsamic and sour cream - again, tasty because all of those things in a pile with corn and cheese is hard to make not-tasty - but SO much work for such little payoff.
Alexandra S. August 26, 2019
So disappointing to hear this as this is one of my favorite summer recipes. Glad you were able to salvage the corn with your garnishes. Again, bummer this didn't work out for you.
Beth A. July 16, 2018
caarin's comment made me think of this: using cotija cheese in the fritters instead of cheddar and adding some adobo spice to the mix. Then the squeeze of lime makes great sense.
caarin July 16, 2018
These were great. I found that once the pan and oil was truly hot, if I left the fritters alone for 2 minutes on lowish heat the bottom of the fritter caramelizes and it holds together. At that point there will not be any resistance when you lift it with the spatula - that's how you know they're ready to flip. Next time I'm thinking of adding a cup full of chopped raw shrimp to the mix. Maybe a squeeze of lime just before serving...
Victoria W. September 16, 2017
DELICIOUS! I followed the recipe but added carrot strings and seasoned ithe mixture with lemon pepper. We used apricot preserves for dipping. The family loved them.
msmely September 5, 2017
Half recipe came together easily with 2 ears of corn for 3 eggs and about 2/3 of a cup of flour. I found it was easy to scoop a golf ball sized amount onto a fork and drop it into the pan. The advice to do a test fritter and taste for salt and pepper is spot-on. I found letting the batter sit for a good 10-15 minutes ensured good hydration of the flour and ensured I didn't end up with a floury-doughy end product so I'd advise to let the batter sit before deciding whether or not to add more flour and eggs. I erred on the side of more binder. Husband is anti-cilantro so I used thyme and red chili pepper for a slightly different take.
Barbara C. August 27, 2017
I have a corn fritter recipe that is a little easier than the one here. For every three ears of corn add one lightly beaten egg, 2 tablespoons cream, 3 tablespoons each flour and cornmeal, and half teaspoon salt. Herbs may be added as well. Remove the kernels from two of the ears using a knife (I actually have a Oxo brand corn kernel remover), and use a box grater on the other. Using a butter knife "milk" the cobs to get as much liquid out of them as possible. Stir all the ingredients together and fry them in a hot frying pan with vegetable oil. So delicious!.
Chris G. April 6, 2017
Hmm, knew I would forget some things! My parents used to make corn fritters with a "regular" batter mixed separately, and then the corn kernels mixed in and carefully dropped into a deep fat fryer. I think it was a fairly sweet batter. They were wonderful fritters, too! I can't wait to try your recipe, it sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing. I am of course also itching to try experimenting with blending your recipe with my parents sauted corn recipe! :-)
Alexandra S. April 9, 2017
Chris this all sounds so good — sweet corn fritters, sweet-savory corn sauté (maybe fritterized), maybe a combination of the two. Keep me posted! Thanks for writing in!
Chris G. April 6, 2017
Reading this, and copying it, it set the old tired gray cells to thinking! When I was a kid growing up, my parents used to make a side dish they called "Sauted Corn." It consisted of 3 cups or so of fresh or frozen corn, about 1/2 a cup of diced onion, about 1/2 a cup of diced yellow onion, about the same amount of sweet bell peppers diced and 4 or 5 strips of slab bacon, cut into "lardons." They would saute all this until everything got all brown and caramelized, (and kind of gooey!) They used to do this in a cast iron fry pan which made clean-up kind of a mess and had to be soaked to remove the caramelization. Teflon would be a lot easier! It has been a really long time since I made any Sauted Corn, however I'm thinking, while it would extend the time needed to make you recipe it might make really interesting fritters!? Obviously some experimenting would be needed to adapt ingredients and cooking time/temperature and etc. (It also occurred to me that one could substitute fresh chilies for all or part of the green pepper. (type of chili to suit individual tolerance for heat levels, (capsaicin).
Vivienne October 3, 2016
I have made these for two different groups of friends. First time I omitted the cilantro because I knew one of my friends hates it. Since I made a big batch, and they were so good, one of the guests ate two right out of the fridge for breakfast. The second time I added lots of fresh cilantro and really liked it better. As a huge fan of Mario Batali's Ricotta zucchini fritter recipe, I threw in some Greek yoghurt that I sometimes substitute if I'm out of ricotta. I know, I know, substituting for the substitute. Trust me, it works. These fritters are so good they rival my other favorite Food52 recipe: Summer Corn Chowder. Make a big batch.
I'm fortunate to have a wonderful local farmer who provides the best fresh corn all summer long. I cook four ears from his 15 ear dozen and the rest I strip, raw, with an OXO stripper and seal into quart size freezer bags. Perfectly ready to make into the chowder mentioned above or these awesome fritters.
CookingJoy September 12, 2016
These really came out excellent. Made them for a party this weekend and they were completely gone. I am ashamed to say that it's end of summer but I still used Trader Joes frozen fire roasted corn as another poster had mentioned. I also added a few red pepper flakes and this korean paste to give them a kick. Really was a great recipe and I will make it again. Thanks for sharing! Also tip is to make them smaller so that they're easier to flip.
Alexandra S. September 12, 2016
Don't be ashamed—using frozen corn is such a great tip! As is making smaller fritters. Thanks!
jan September 5, 2016
I made these for dinner with the best fresh corn of the summer. I have been trying to find a good recipe for corn fritters for 25 years and my search is now over. We loved these. Although the there is cheese and flour and eggs, the ingredients are so balanced and the sweetness and crisp taste of the corn shines through. I had about 3.5 cups of corn, I used 3 eggs and just over 1/3 cup of flour. I found the trick was to be patient while cooking and let them crisp a bit in the pan before flipping and had no problem with them falling apart. Thanks for the great recipe.
Alexandra S. September 5, 2016
I'm so happy to hear this, Jan! So true re patience — if you try to flip these too quickly (before they begin developing a crust), it can get messy. I love the cheese in these, too — it's not overpowering and these by no means taste cheesy, but it adds a really nice flavor. Thanks so much for writing in!
Clover88 August 28, 2016
Made them as directed, but with only about 1/3 cup cilantro in case it was too strong a taste with the delicate corn. Delicious! A little bit of work, but not too much.
Alexandra S. August 28, 2016
So happy to hear this!
pjcamp August 27, 2016
These are extremely good BUT they do not hold together well. You'll need all of the flour. Sort of like a corn latke, and like latkes, in need of a topping of some sort. Salsa is nice. Some chopped tomatoes. Or a grated tomato and a drizzle of olive oil, like a pan con tomate.
Alexandra S. August 28, 2016
A topping is so nice with these—love the idea of a simple grated tomato and drizzle of oil.
Laura August 8, 2016
Silly question but is this made with fresh raw corn or left over cooked corn??
Alexandra S. August 8, 2016
not silly at all — fresh raw corn!
Vivienne October 3, 2016
I've used both. Had leftover corn on the cob and used it once and another time used raw.
indykath August 2, 2016
These are delicious. Served with a bit of sour cream.
Alexandra S. August 3, 2016
So happy to hear this!
Gardener August 2, 2016
After slicing off the kernels, I lightly ran the cob over the large holes of a box grater to extract the milk - worked like a charm. I tried your suggested technique first but it wasn't very effective.
Alexandra S. August 3, 2016
Great tip, thanks Gardener!