These vegan corn fritters are very easy to make with just a few simple ingredients and are totally oil free. Served with a sweet and savoury maple-chipotle sauce and cool avocado, they’re great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
There must be a million and one different ways to make vegan corn fritters. I’m sure I checked at least 50 different recipes trying to figure out the best technique: with or without baking powder, flax egg or no flax egg, cornmeal or no cornmeal.
I finally stumbled across a (non-vegan) recipe in Cook’s Illustrated. They’ve done all the testing for me and are great at explaining the why behind each ingredient. One thing they made clear when making fritters: the fewer the fillers the better.
That’s why my vegan corn fritters have just two principal ingredients: corn and flour. The flavour ingredients (onions, herbs, spices) are totally customizable and not even necessary if you want just straight up corn fritters.
The trick is to take half your corn and puree it in a food processor. Mix that with the corn kernels, a bit of flour as a binder and your flavour ingredients. No flax egg necessary. I experimented with different ratios of soy milk but found that even a small amount led to gummy fritters. So no milk necessary either.
I used canned corn for this recipe and I’m sure frozen corn would work just as well. I have not tested this recipe with fresh corn. The Cook’s Illustrated recipe suggested removing excess moisture from pureed fresh corn by sautéing it until it sticks to your spoon.
Since it’s corn season in America right now, if anyone tries this recipe with fresh corn, do let me know how it works out! (I also imagine that grilling the corn first would make it extra delicious!)
The maple-chipotle sauce, let me tell you, is everything. Some people like their vegan corn fritters sweet, some like them savoury, and this sauce is the best of both worlds! I used cashews to make my sauce in order to keep this recipe totally oil free, but you can also use vegan mayo for a cheaper option.
I strongly recommend serving these vegan corn fritters with an avocado. It’s the perfect cool, refreshing compliment to the sweet and spicy sauce and, of course, goes great with the cilantro in the fritters. We had these fritters for dinner along with a leafy green salad and garlic bread but they’d also be great for breakfast or an appetizer!
Got leftovers? Use them in these recipes:
Corn, cilantro: Vegetarian Enchilada Soup
Vegan Corn Fritters with Maple-Chipotle Sauce
- ½ cup (75 grams) raw cashews soaked overnight - $1.15
- ¼ cup (60 ml) 60 ml water plus more as necessary - $0.00
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup - $0.47
- 1 - 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - $0.66
- 2 teaspoons lime juice - $0.06
- 3 cups (525 grams) canned (and drained) or frozen (and thawed) corn* - $1.36
- ¼ cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour - $0.02
- 2 green onions chopped - $0.10
- ¼ cup (15 grams) chopped cilantro - $0.10
- 1 clove of garlic grated - $0.08
- 1 teaspoon salt - $0.03
- A few grinds of pepper - $0.03
- Start with the sauce. Combine the cashews, water maple syrup, chipotle peppers and lime juice in a small food processor. Add more water as necessary to make a smooth sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Put half the corn into the food processor and puree. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the remaining whole corn kernels, flour, green onion, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat (you can use a bit of oil if you’re not a fat-free vegan). Use your hands to make balls of 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of the batter. Place them into your pan and flatten with a spatula. Fry, flipping from time to time, until they are golden brown on both sides. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool to the touch before serving.
- Serve with the maple-chipotle sauce and a sliced avocado.
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