No corny Business

Just when you thought you had heard them all, along comes something else you can do with a mealie. Thanks to the Thai-style dipping sauce, these delicious fritters can be a snack or a side dish.

To make corn fritters with a Thai-style dipping sauce, you will need:

For the fritters
4 fresh young mealies
1 bunch fresh coriander
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 onion
1 cup self raising flour*
Salt and pepper on demand
2 eggs
1 red chilli
Canola oil as required

For the Thai-style dipping sauce
50mm fresh root ginger
2 tablespoon jaggery* or standard brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon South-East Asian fish sauce*
1 chopped deseeded chilli
2 tablespoons fresh
coriander leaves

First a brief note on the ingredients marked with an asterisk. You can make your own self-raising flour by adding 4g of baking powder per 100g of plain flour. Next, jaggery. This is unrefined brown sugar usually sold in a solid lump. A great and singular flavour. Finally, fish sauce. Like all seldom used condiments, I recommend a small bottle for your kitchen which must be refrigerated once opened.

Moving on…
Fritter time. Cut the kernels off the mealie cobs. Prepare the fresh herbs by rinsing them under cold water. Discard the coriander roots and stems, saving only the freshest leaves. Select two-thirds of the total amount of mealie kernels, all the coriander leaves, the peeled onion, the depipped chilli, the chives, self-raising flour and the eggs. Pour these into a food processor and pulse a couple of times until the mix is quite smooth.

Add a little salt and coarsely ground black pepper plus the remaining third of the mealie kernels and pulse the food processor once or twice to produce a smooth mixture with just a bit of texture. Select a heavy-based large frying pan and pour in a tablespoon or two of canola oil. Bring this up to medium heat. Using a large serving spoon as your measure, add a spoonful of the mixture at a time to the hot oil.

When the fritters are firm enough to stay whole, flip them once with an egg lifter then remove to a sheet of kitchen towel to drain. Finally, the Thai-style dipping sauce. Peel then finely grate the raw ginger. Remove the pips from the chilli, as without this safeguard, the sauce will be too hot. Finely chop the washed fresh coriander leaves. Choose a small mixing bowl and combine the sugar of your choice, the rice vinegar and the fish sauce.

Stir well until the sugar has dissolved, noting that if you are using jaggery with its singular and highly desirable flavour, this will require more time to dissolve than plain sugar. Add the chopped coriander, finely grated ginger and the chopped deseeded chilli and stir well. Let this stand for half an hour or so to concentrate the flavours.

Contact David Basckin at [email protected]. Please state ‘Real cooking’ in the subject line of your email.