Make Ahead

Crunchy Coconut Corn Fritters

August 11, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 2 dozen fritters
Author Notes

The combination of corn and coconut is something that will always remind me of childhood. One of my favorite East African dishes growing up is one called makai paka. It’s basically sweet corn on the cob simmered in a creamy, coconut-based broth with turmeric, garlic, green chilies, and cilantro. The fun was in eating the corncobs; you could suck out the spicy coconut curry absorbed into the cobs, making ridiculous slurping noises. Not something I can quite get away with these days…
I wanted to see the combo in a more familiar form, something easy to eat or serve as a snack to guests. With all of the beautiful summer corn, it’s also a great way to use up any leftovers you might have sitting around. These come out surprisingly light, not overpoweringly coconut heavy, and have a sweet and savoury quality to them. The fritters work really well with a cilantro aioli or even a spicy ketchup dipping sauce. Enjoy! - aliyaleekong

Test Kitchen Notes

“Wow, these are so pretty!” was the immediate response from the discerning friends doubling as my tasters for this recipe. Then they went silent as they devoured every one of these flavor-bursting fritters. The fritters are light inside but crunchy and fried for that fatty curbside appeal. The chiles offer a good bite, while the coconut undertones sooth. – cheese1227 —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • a few dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsps butter, melted
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 1 cup frozen, grated unsweetened coconut, thawed
  • ¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp green chilies, finely minced (optional)
  • salt
  1. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cayenne. In another bowl, beat together egg, coconut milk, hot sauce, and butter. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until it comes together. Don’t overmix. Fold in remaining ingredients.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, dutch oven, or deepfryer, heat about 4 inches of vegetable oil to 325? F. Carefully, drop spoonfuls of the batter and cook until golden brown, working in batches. Remove to a towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  3. A few things: (1) don’t overcrowd because it will bring the oil temperature too far down, and (2) be careful – it splatters when cooking.
  4. Serve warm with a dipping sauce of your choice…a cilantro aioli would work well here or even a spicy ketchup.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cheese1227
  • dymnyno
  • Sunchowder
  • TasteFood
  • Sagegreen
Chef, Author - Exotic Table: Flavors, Inspiration & Recipes from Around the World to Your Kitchen, Mom to a chickadee ?

36 Reviews

LAF November 1, 2010
Have you tried making these ahead, freezing them and reheating in a hot oven?
aliyaleekong November 2, 2010
Hi, LAF. I have not tried to do that, but would love the feedback if you do! I'm always weary with fried foods, texture and do-ahead, so I mostly leave it for a la minute...
panda October 7, 2010
panda October 6, 2010
They look amazing, can't wait to try! If I were to make for a large party, do you suggest frying ahead of time and heating in oven?? Or frying during party?
aliyaleekong October 7, 2010
Thanks, panda! I think frying during the party, though inconvenient, would yield the best results. If you must, you could fry them right before and keep them in a 200F oven on a wire rack on a baking sheet. If you put them directly on the sheet or cover them, you run the risk of them going a bit soggy. Hope this helps!
cheese1227 October 7, 2010
I've made these twice during parties -- once at one of my own and another at one I was catering. People love to watch. But just a warning -- sometimes one of the corn kernels may pop and then grease spatters widely.
aliyaleekong October 7, 2010
True! Frying at a high temp with corn can be dangerous, so do be careful!
cheese1227 August 30, 2010
Everyone at the table loved these! Served them with a cilantro and lime aoili. Great recipe.
aliyaleekong August 31, 2010
Great! That sounds like such a delicious combination :). So happy you made them.
dymnyno August 19, 2010
I just made these and they are not only delicious but they taste great too!. I served them plain and they were a hit. The flavors of the fritters by themselves have a lot going on and don't need anything except a little sea salt.
aliyaleekong August 19, 2010
Fantastic! I'm so happy they worked out for you.
dymnyno August 30, 2010
I meant to say that they not only LOOK delicious but they taste great too! I just did a lunch for the owners of the Auberge hotels (Calistoga Ranch, Esperanza, Rancho Valencia, Auberge de Soleil, etc ) and they loved them...ate them all!
aliyaleekong August 31, 2010
That is amazing! I LOVE the Auberge resorts - stayed at Auberge de Soleil last time I was in Napa. I'm glad they got to enjoy them! Thanks, dymnyno, for the feedback.
Sunchowder August 19, 2010
I have saved this one too, it looks delightful!
aliyaleekong August 19, 2010
Thanks, Sunchowder!
TasteFood August 17, 2010
What a great recipe - I love the combination of ingredients with the surprise of coconut.
aliyaleekong August 18, 2010
I'm so glad! it was such a common combination for me as a child, I sometime forget that it can be "surprising". :)
Sagegreen August 17, 2010
Too tempting!
aliyaleekong August 18, 2010
Thanks, Sagegreen! You know i'm a fan of your recipes :).
lapadia August 17, 2010
Beautiful recipe!
aliyaleekong August 17, 2010
Thanks, lapadia!
littleclove August 17, 2010
Oh my. These sound heavenly! And they way you described that corn on the cob? I have to make that, too! LOVE IT!
aliyaleekong August 17, 2010
LOL...i am a true mess with corn even now as an adult! Glad you like the recipe :).
Savorykitchen August 16, 2010
Can't wait to make these! I'm a little afraid of how quickly I'll eat them.
aliyaleekong August 16, 2010
They do go quickly. My husband inhaled like 5 of these when he got home the night I made them...don't leave them sitting out is the moral of the story...:)
Lizthechef August 14, 2010
How come no-one has given this the "thumbs up" yet - here goes.
aliyaleekong August 15, 2010
Very sweet of you, Lizthechef!
dymnyno August 15, 2010
thanks, I forgot! My thumb is up!
aliyaleekong August 14, 2010
Wow, thanks! Who would have guessed...i definitely have to submit now! :)
dymnyno August 14, 2010
You must be a psychic to know the theme was going to be corn...this is a perfect recipe!
Lizthechef August 14, 2010
I agree!
Sagegreen August 12, 2010
These look dangerously delicious!
aliyaleekong August 11, 2010
Thanks! i warn you they are addictive...
dymnyno August 11, 2010
Saved and printed...this really sounds delicious!
aliyaleekong August 11, 2010
Thanks! It is a favorite of mine :).
nannydeb August 11, 2010
Sounds like a tasty combination!