Thai Corn Fritters with Sweet Chilli & Roasted Tomatoes
Corn fritters were always my first choice when out for brunch with my dad as a child. I've tried to recreate them a few times since then, but many whole-food interpretations of classic corn fritters fall apart and are missing that extra punch that makes this dish so special. So, while corn fritters may not be the dish that comes to mind when I say "Thai," I had an epiphany one afternoon that the delicate nature of Thai herbs combined with a cafe-style sweet chilli jam and classic avo + tomato topping was just the thing to bring this brunch classic to the next level.
These fritters incorporate zingy ginger, kaffir lime, coconut milk and Thai basil, a gorgeous herb with a unique, aniseed-like flavour.. I spotted the last pot of Thai basil at a produce market in Kumeu recently after a morning out strawberry picking, and my love affair with this gorgeous herb has since been rekindled.
These fritters are:
- Infused with delicate Thai flavour
- An impressive dish for a Sunday brunch in
- Crispy on the outside
- Totally moreish
Prep time (fritters only): 20 minutes
Cook time (fritters only): 20 minutes
Equipment: food processor
Makes: 7 fritters
For the fritters
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 small or 1 large shallot
2 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger, peeled
1/2 cup besan (chickpea) flour
2 tbsp ground flax + 4 tbsp water (to form a flax egg)
1/4 tsp kaffir lime powder or grated kaffir lime leaf
1 spring onion, chopped
1/4 cup Thai basil, chopped (can sub regular basil)
1/4 cup coriander, chopped
2 tbsp coconut milk
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
Zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
Extra virgin coconut oil, for cooking
For the sweet chilli sauce
2 whole red chillies, stems cut off
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
100mL apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup coconut sugar
Vine tomatoes roasted for 30-40 minutes at 160°C
Sweet chilli sauce
Thai basil & coriander
The How To
Begin by combining the ground flaxseed with the water in a bowl and leaving to set. Preheat the oven to 160°C if you are serving your fritters with roasted tomatoes.
Place the corn in boiling water on the stove to cook for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, finely dice the shallot, mince the garlic and grate the ginger on a microplane. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil over medium-low heat.
Drain the corn and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until roughly pureed with some kernels still intact.
Cook the shallots in the preheated pan for a few minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and ginger to the shallots and cook until fragrant, a few more minutes. Set aside. Place the vine tomatoes in the oven now if you are serving those, too.
Place the corn mixture in a mixing bowl and sift in the besan flour, stirring well to combine. Add in the shallot mixture, flax egg, kaffir lime, spring onion, Thai basil, coriander, coconut milk, chilli flakes, lime zest and salt. Stir well and allow to stand while you prepare the sauce.
To prepare the sauce, place the chillies, garlic and water in a food processor and blend until broken down. Transfer to a small saucepan and stir in the vinegar, lime and coconut sugar. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Begin cooking the fritters during this time (see below). Once the 15 minutes is up, mix the corn starch with a little water then add to the sauce, cooking for a few minutes more until desired thickness achieved.
To cook the fritters, heat a spoonful of coconut oil in a non-stick pan and fry ice-cream scoop portions for 4-5 minutes each side. Serve with the roasted tomatoes, avocado, fresh herbs and chilli sauce.
Coriander and basil leaves may be small, but they are mighty powerhouses of nutrition. They are both rich in vitamins K and C and contain good amounts of iron and calcium for leaves. Basil leaves have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties while coriander is thought to possess the ability to bind to and remove heavy metals such as mercury and aluminium from the body.