These Corn Fritters Are the Perfect Appetizer for Any Occassion

These crispy corn fritters would be a welcome addition to any party menu. The recipe from the Institute of Culinary Education recommends serving them with a homemade chipotle aioli for a spicy kick.

Institute of Culinary Education

Whether you entertain guests sporadically or host weekly dinner parties, it’s helpful to have a reliable appetizer recipe in your back pocket. The best hors d’oeuvres are tasty, adaptable, and simple to make. This recipe for corn fritters with chipotle aioli from the Institute of Culinary Education checks all three boxes.  

If you’re looking for an opportunity to showcase fresh corn at the tail-end of its season, this is the dish to make. Though it requires a few more steps than eating boiled corn off the cob, it maintains the integrity of the ingredient. “The beauty of this [recipe] is that it’s mostly made up of corn,” ICE’s lead recreational chef-instructor Roger Sitrin tells Mental Floss. “There’s not a lot of flour or binders in there at all.”

To make the fritters, start by pureeing half of the kernels from four ears of corn in a food processor. With a spoon, mix the puree with the remaining whole kernels, and then stir the corn mixture together with flour, corn starch, sugar, smoked paprika, chili flakes, salt, black pepper, and a lightly beaten egg. Shallow-fry two tablespoons of batter at a time in a pan with canola oil, pressing down on the fritters to flatten them. Cook until golden brown on both sides and serve with an extra sprinkle of salt and homemade chipotle aioli.

Sitrin also recommends treating the fritter like a cracker or crostini and piling it with other ingredients. “The corn fritter becomes a vehicle for whatever else you want to put on there,” he says. “Barbecue shrimp is a great idea. I’ve done pulled pork on top of the corn fritters, which is also good.”

The Institute of Culinary Education is one of the largest culinary schools on Earth, with campuses on both coasts. In addition to their classes in the culinary arts, they offer training programs in hospitality and hotel management. You can peruse their full course curricula on their website.  

Corn Fritters

Yield: 12 4-inch fritters

4 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob, and divided into two equal portions
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Canola oil for frying

  1. Place half of the corn in a food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade. Use the pulse function to create a coarse puree. Transfer the puree to a bowl and mix with the second half of corn.
  2. Stir in flour, corn starch, sugar, smoked paprika, chili flakes, salt, black pepper, and egg. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Heat enough canola oil to cover the bottom of a fry pan. This is pan frying, not deep frying. Wait for the oil to shimmer. Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter and place in the pan. Flatten with a spatula. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan and sprinkle with salt. Caution: sometimes the corn begins to pop and the oil will splatter!

Chipotle Aioli

Yield: 1 ½ cups

3 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

  1. In a small food processor (or blender), puree chipotle peppers and adobo sauce for 30 seconds. It should be thick and paste-like; it will not be smooth.

  2. Add lime juice, mayonnaise, salt, and ground black pepper. Blend until combined.

  3. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or until served. You can refrigerate for up to a week in an airtight container.