Tod Man Khao Pod (Thai Corn Fritters) Recipe

These sweet, spicy corn cakes are flavored with curry paste and makrut lime.

A serving dish of corn fritters and Thai sweet chili dipping sauce.

Serious Eats / Leela Punyaratabandhu

Why It Works

  • Hydrating the batter with puréed corn results in fritters with maximum corn flavor.
  • Folding whole kernels into the batter creates fritters with juicy corn pockets that burst as you bite into them.

If you like the flavor of classic Thai fish cakes, it's very likely that you will like these little corn fritters as well. They're also seasoned with curry paste and makrut lime leaves that have been sliced into superfine strips.

You won't get the bouncy, elastic texture of the classic fish cakes in these corn fritters. But what you get is the crispy edges, the slightly chewy interior, and the contrast of textures between puréed and whole corn kernels. While this is a meatless way the lacto-ovo vegetarians amongst us can enjoy the flavor of Thai fish cakes, it's also a delicious appetizer/snack for those of us who do not abstain from meat.

The use of makrut lime leaves in this recipe may make some of you let out a weary sigh. They're hard to find, I know. I live in big city with a sizable Asian community and many great Asian markets, but I still find it hard to get fresh or frozen makrut lime leaves on a regular basis. So if you cannot find makrut lime leaves, use Thai basil leaves—sweet basil, if that's all you can find—and these fritters will be just as great, though slightly different.

September 2012

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 30 fritters

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Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn (see notes)

  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

  • 1 large egg

  • 3/4 cup rice flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

  • 3 makrut lime leaves or 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves

  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying

  • Store-bought or homemade Thai sweet chili sauce

Directions

  1. Remove corn kernels from cobs. Heat oil to 300°F (149°C) in a wok or Dutch oven. Line a large platter or cookie sheet with paper towel and keep it nearby.

  2. Reserve half of corn kernels and place the other half in the blender or food processor along with red curry paste, egg, rice flour, baking powder, and salt; blend until smooth and transfer mixture to a bowl.

  3. Stack up makrut lime leaves (or basil leaves) and roll them up tightly into a roll. Slice the roll crosswise as finely as possible. Fold makrut lime leaf strips into corn batter along with reserved whole corn kernels.

    Whole kernels and threads of makrut lime leaf are added to the fritter batter.

    Serious Eats / Leela Punyaratabandhu

  4. Drop corn batter very gently into oil by the tablespoon. Do not over-fill pot. Once the fritters float to the top, flip them around to make sure they're browned evenly. Once they're golden brown and start to darken around the edges, fish them out onto the paper towel-lined platter with a slotted spoon. Repeat until all fritters are cooked.

    Freshly fried Thai corn fritters are transferred to a paper towel-lined platter to drain.

    Serious Eats / Leela Punyaratabandhu

  5. Allow fritters to cool slightly. Serve them with Thai sweet chili sauce.

Special Equipment

Dutch oven or wok

Notes

Frozen corn kernels can also be used in this recipe. Make sure to thaw them completely and squeeze as much moisture out of them as possible.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
71 Calories
3g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Calories 71
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 173mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 40mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)