All hail the ultimate Antipodean brunch. These soft, pancake-style fritters are naturally gluten-free, cook in very little oil and work brilliantly with slivers of soft avocado, splodges of chia chilli jam and a drizzle of creme fraiche.
Australians are very serious about their corn fritters. I should know, I used to be one. Pick any Sydney brunch spot, and you’ll find them somewhere on the menu. At times, topped with feta, sometimes with bacon or a poached egg, alongside sticky roasted tomatoes or a blob of beetroot relish— almost always with some ripe avocado.
Although it’s been eighteen years since I called Australia home, making sweetcorn fritters is the best way I can think to celebrate the oh-too-brief UK sweetcorn season (mid-August to mid-September) while savouring a taste of home.
Sweetcorn, like peas, is best eaten fresh before its sugars break down into starch, and the kernels become chewy and less flavourful. Storing them in their husk jackets can help keep the cobs fresh for longer.
And yes, an ear of corn packs a fair amount of sugar compared to a lot of veg—I’ve read estimates between 5-8g. Supposedly, this number can vary between varieties or even countries, US sweetcorn being reportedly sweeter than its European equivalent. Yup. We’re talking about half the amount of sugar of an apple. Plus, you get some lovely fibre thrown in. There’s an argument, too, that eating sweet veg can help to satisfy sugar cravings that would otherwise lead to less fibrous and naturally packaged choices.
If I’m honest, I don’t tend to overthink about the sugar content of my veg. Instead, I look more at the variety of colour that I’m consuming— and therefore the diversity of nutrients on my plate. This weekend dish promises a traffic light’s worth.
Aussie-Style Corn Fritters
2 large corn cobs or 1 ½ cups corn kernels (fresh corn is beautiful here, frozen works, tinned can be mushier – go for what’s available)
2 good-quality eggs (separate one of the eggs and set the whites aside)
1 tbsp rice flour/ GF flour blend/ buckwheat flour
30g bunch of fresh coriander
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp coconut oil (or good-quality butter for a bit of luxe)
60g of chia chilli jam or your own sweet/spicy sauce alternative
2 tbsp. creme fraiche, sour cream or unsweetened coconut yoghurt if you’re dairy-free
1 handful of rocket or watercress
- Make a quantity of my chia chilli jam recipe, if using.
- If you have fresh corn cobs, boil a large pot of water and drop the cobs into it. Cook for 4-5 minutes and remove. Allow them to cool slightly, then run a large, sharp knife down the sides of each husk to release the kernels. If using frozen corn, defrost the kernels.
- Wash the coriander bunch while keeping it intact. Chop the coriander stalks at the base finely, then run your knife roughly through the leaves. De-seed and chop the chilli.
- Separate one of the eggs and set the whites aside. In a mixing bowl, add the yolk to the remaining, whole egg and mix well.
- Add to this the sweetcorn kernels, chopped chilli, coriander leaves and stalks, along with 1 tbsp. GF flour, a crushed small garlic clove and a good grind of salt and pepper. Mix well.
- In a separate, dry mixing bowl, whisk the separated egg white until it forms a medium peak (about 1 minute, by hand).
- Gently fold the whisked egg whites into the corn mix.
- Heat coconut oil (or butter) in a large, non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once sizzling, spoon into 8cm diameter dots (about 2 tbsp each) of batter into the pan. Cook for two minutes, then flip to cook the other side for about a minute or until no liquid remains when pressed with a spatula.
- Drain on a sheet of paper towel. Repeat until all the mix is finished. You should have 8 fritters.
- Peel, de-stone and slice the avocado, season and squeeze a little lemon or lime over to prevent browning.
- To serve, pile the fritters on top of one another with slices of avocado sandwiched in between. Dollop the chia chilli jam (or hot sauce) in several places and top with creme fraiche or plain coconut yoghurt and a handful of rocket leaves.