Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors.
Update 7-29-2023: I’ve updated my method to minimize/eliminate the exploding corn issues I’ve experienced in the past. Method is reflected in the recipe below.
The batter can be made ahead and chilled in the fridge. Be sure to give it a good stir before frying.
I often make a half batch. For a half recipe, I find 1/2 cup of flour works well. And depending on how juicy the corn is and what kind of flour I’m using, I use 2 to 3 eggs.
If you don’t like cilantro, feel free to omit it or to use another herb or more scallions. I’ve made a half batch with 8 scallions and no cilantro, and it was delicious.
- 6 ears of corn, shucked
- kosher salt
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or more to taste, see notes above
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack (about 6 ounces)
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- freshly cracked black pepper, optional
- olive oil or grapeseed oil, for frying
- fresh lime, sour cream, hot sauce, or tzatziki for serving, optional
- Sea salt, such as Maldon, for finishing
- Make the batter. 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.) Transfer the kernels and milk to a large bowl. Updated Method 7-29-2023: Line a shallow bowl or cutting board with a towel, then slice off the kernels by running a knife down the side of each cob. Pat the kernels dry with the towel, then transfer to a large bowl.
- Season with 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt. (Note: I typically use 1 teaspoon of salt for every 3 ears of corn.) Add the eggs, scallions, cilantro, cheese, and flour. Season with pepper, if using. Use a spatula to mix everything together very well. Grab a golfball-sized amount of batter and squeeze it in your hands. If it barely holds together, beat another egg, add it to the batter, and mix again — you’re looking for the batter to be pasty in texture. If the batter looks too wet, sprinkle in flour by the tablespoon.
- Make a test fritter: Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon of oil. When it shimmers, drop a spoonful of the batter into the oil and flatten gently. Season with a pinch of salt. After 1 minute, check the underside to ensure it is lightly browned. If it is, flip the fritter, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until evenly golden. Season with salt. Remove the fritter and let cool briefly. Taste. If the fritter tastes nicely seasoned and holds its shape, proceed with the recipe. If it does not, adjust as necessary with more salt, egg, or flour.
- Fry the remaining fritters: In a large nonstick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan or use a brush to distribute the oil. When it shimmers, use a large spoon to drop golfball-sized amounts of the batter into the oil, then gently flatten each mound with the back of the spoon. Season with a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium. After about a minute, check the underside to ensure the fritters are lightly browned. Flip the fritters, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until evenly golden. Transfer the fritters to a serving platter, season with sea salt, and let cool briefly. Proceed with the remaining batter, wiping out the skillet and adding another tablespoon of oil before adding more fritter batter. Warning: Please be careful while frying. Keep your heat at medium to medium-high and beware of exploding corn kernels—every so often, one comes flying out of the pan—and splattering oil. If you have one of those spatter guards, use it. I’ve found that by drying off the kernels as noted in the updated method in step 1, I rarely have the exploding-corn issue, but please be aware of it.
- Serve with fresh lime, sour cream, hot sauce, or tzatziki if you wish.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: corn, cheddar, scallions, eggs, flour, rice flour