These Thai-inspired corn fritters are amazingly crispy on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside, and subtly infused with red curry paste, ginger, and garlic! A delightful appetizer that can be served with sweet chili sauce or a zesty yogurt sauce!

Corn fritters topped with cilantro on a plate.

⭐️ Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • The perfect crunch. Thanks to the addition of rice flour to the batter, these corn fritters have the perfect crispy texture on the outside, revealing a tender and pillowy inside.
  • Superbly seasoned. While you can serve them with a dipping sauce, these fritters taste already amazing on their own. Aromatics like ginger, garlic, pepper, and red curry paste bring a ton of flavor!
  • Simply and quick. This recipe comes together very quickly. Mix the batter, add the sweet corn kernels, and fry. It’s as easy as that.

🌽 What Are Corn Fritters

Corn fritter, called “Tod Man Khao Pod” in Thai, is a popular street food in Thailand. This type of fritter is prepared with sweet corn, red curry paste, and flour and may include kaffir lime and coconut milk. The recipes differ depending on the region and the cook.

Ingredients like corn, garlic, ginger, red curry paste, and flour.

🌾 Ingredient Notes

You will need only 10 ingredients and about 30 minutes to prepare these fritters! Here is what you will need:

  • Sweet corn – Preferably fresh corn for the best flavor. If you don’t have the fresh one on hand, feel free to use frozen corn kernels. You will need one ear of corn or about 3/4 cup of kernels.
  • Flour – Regular all-purpose flour works great here. While I haven’t tried it yet, I assume a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix will work as well.
  • Rice flour – The addition of rice flour to the batter brings extra crispiness. Use white rice flour, not brown rice flour.
  • Baking powder – To give the fritters a fluffy texture.
  • Red curry paste – Optional but highly recommended. Red curry paste adds a hint of spiciness and smokiness. Not all brands of red curry paste are vegan, so make sure to double-check the ingredients.
  • Garlic – I went with one clove of fresh garlic for plenty of garlic flavor.
  • Ginger – Again, fresh ginger works best to add a citrusy and peppery aroma.
  • Salt and pepper – To enhance the flavors.
  • Cold water – Cold water not only slows down the development of gluten (so your fritters won’t be chewy) but also yields a crispier finish.
  • Oil – For frying. Use a neutral oil with a high smoking point, like canola, sunflower, or grapeseed oil.

🥣 How to Make Vegan Thai Corn Fritters

Prepare the corn

Start by removing the corn kernels from the cob. To do so:

  1. Remove the leaves and ends. Using your hands, remove the leaves and the threads from the ear of corn. Trim off each end of the corn and cut the corn into 2-3 pieces.
  2. Detach the corn. Use a knife to cut one row of corn kernels. Use your thumb to detach the following rows. They will come very easily. Repeat with the remaining corn pieces.
  3. Rinse. Add the corn to a clean bowl and cover with water. Stir to clean the corn and strain using a sieve. Rinse a second time.

Mix the batter

Once the corn is ready, prepare the batter:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, rice flour, baking powder, salt, and ground black pepper.
  2. Add the aromatics and the water. Add the red curry paste, minced ginger, garlic, and water. Mix using a spoon until it forms a thick batter.
  3. Add the corn. Next, add the drained corn kernels and stir to coat.

Fry

The final step consists of deep-frying the fritters:

  1. Heat the oil. In a deep saucepan, heat the oil until it reaches about 350°F (175°C). You can test if the oil is hot enough by dipping a wooden spatula or chopstick. If you see bubbles forming around it, the oil is hot.
  2. Spoon the batter into the oil. Using a 1/4 measuring cup or large spoon, carefully pour some of the batter into the hot oil.
  3. Fry until golden brown. Fry for 20-30 seconds and flip. Fry for another 30-50 seconds or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove from oil and transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.

🥢 What To Serve It With

You can serve these Thai corn fritters with your favorite dipping sauce! It goes very well with a sweet chili sauce, but it also tastes great with a yogurt tahini sauce flavored with some lime.

For the yogurt tahini sauce:

  1. Stir together 1/2 cup of yogurt with 2 tablespoons of tahini, 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice, and 1 clove of garlic, minced.
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin out and season with salt and pepper.

📔 Tips

  • Fry just before serving. Just like any fried food, these are best served right after frying for a crispy texture. After 15-30 minutes, they tend to soften.
  • Use coconut milk. If you want a subtle coconut flavor, feel free to replace the water with cold coconut milk.
  • Prepare the batter ahead of time. You can make the batter up to 1 day ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Be careful during frying. Pour the batter gently and carefully into the oil and not from too high, or it will splatter.
Close-up of a corn fritter over a bowl of dipping sauce.

💬 FAQ

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, feel free to replace the all-purpose flour with your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour mix.

Can I use frozen corn kernels?

You can definitely use frozen corn to make these fritters. It won’t taste as good as the fresh one, but it’s still a good option.

Can I air fry these fritters?

Unfortunately, it won’t work. These corn fritters must be deep-fried.

Are these fritters spicy?

These fritters have just a hint of spiciness. If you want them spicier, you can increase the amount of red curry paste or add a generous pinch of red pepper flakes!

I hope you are going to love these Thai corn fritters as much as we do. The crispiness combined with the juiciness of the corn kernels truly makes these fritters a fantastic plant-based appetizer!

🇹🇭 More Thai-Inspired Recipes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Corn fritters topped with cilantro and mint on a plate.
Recipe

Thai Corn Fritters (Vegan)

4.67 from 3 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
These Thai-inspired corn fritters are amazingly crispy on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside, and subtly infused with red curry paste, ginger, and garlic! A delightful appetizer that can be served with sweet chili sauce or a zesty yogurt sauce!
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 15 minutes
Total Time : 30 minutes
Servings 8 fritters

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ear of sweet corn about 3/4 cup of kernels
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp white rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the corn: Using your hands, remove the leaves and the threads from the ear of corn. Trim off each end of the corn and cut the corn into 2-3 pieces.
  • Use a knife to cut one row of corn kernels. Use your thumb to detach the following rows. They will come very easily. Repeat with the remaining corn pieces.
  • Add the corn kernels to a clean bowl and cover with water. Stir to clean the corn and strain using a sieve. Rinse a second time.
  • Prepare the batter: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, rice flour, baking powder, salt, and ground black pepper. Add the red curry paste, minced ginger, garlic, and water. Mix using a spoon until it forms a thick batter.
  • Next, add the drained corn kernels and stir to coat.
  • Fry: In a deep saucepan, heat the oil until it reaches about 350°F (175°C). You can test if the oil is hot enough by dipping a wooden spatula or chopstick. If you see bubbles forming around it, the oil is hot.
  • Using a ¼ measuring cup or large spoon, carefully pour 2-3 tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil.
  • Fry for 20-30 seconds and flip. Fry for another 30-50 seconds or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove from oil and transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter and serve the fritters immediately with a dipping sauce like sweet chili sauce!

Notes

  • Fry just before serving. Just like any fried food, these are best served right after frying for a crispy texture. After 15-30 minutes, they tend to soften.
  • Use coconut milk. If you want a subtle coconut flavor, feel free to replace the water with cold coconut milk.
  • Prepare the batter ahead of time. You can make the batter up to 1 day ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Be careful during frying. Pour the batter gently and carefully into the oil and not from too high, or it will splatter.
Course : Appetizer
Cuisine : Thai
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9 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    This sounds delish, Thomas, and thank you for posting! Quick question, please? For those of us who avoid oil and butter, could these be baked instead? What do you think?

  2. Would frozen corn work for this? I have some I froze last summer and would like to try this recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. I’m not into frying food while my brother is. Yesterday he made some corn fritters for us, using your recipe. And I had to admit it tasted super good. I guess one or two of these from time to time is ok. 😅