These crispy, crunchy and easy vegan corn fritters have tons of flavor from shallots, scallions and chives. Rice flour and cornmeal help bind them without any eggs. A vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free recipe.
Who wouldn't love corn fritters? These classic southern American fritters are crispy, usually savory, and ridiculously tasty, making them perfect eats in any season and at any hour of any day.
This is my vegan recipe for corn fritters, which I have been making for years now when we want a quick snack or savory breakfast, although you could serve them as a side at dinner as well.
Corn fritters are often pan-fried or deep-fried, but when I first made them and shared them in this space, I made them largely oil-free, except for a quick spritz of cooking spray on the skillet. This time I did use some oil to coat the bottom of the pan but you can still make them with just cooking spray and I'll share how in the tips below.
These corn fritters are eggless, of course, and they are infused with so much tasty goodness from shallots, scallions and chives, which are doing quite well in my summer garden despite the quirky temperatures, which dip low one day and careen skyward the next.
Try 'em, and let me know if you do!
What you'll love about these vegan corn fritters
- They're crispy.
- They're savory.
- They are delicious.
- They are healthy.
- They are everyone-friendly. Corn fritters usually use all purpose flour as a binder but I use a mix of cornmeal and rice flour, which makes them gluten-free. And they have no nuts or soy, of course.
- They are easy. Really. Anyone can make these and if you follow instructions they are quite foolproof.
- Fresh, frozen or canned corn kernels (I used canned because I am going for ease and saving time here, but if you have the time to shuck corn go for it).
- Shallots. I like the oniony flavor with the corn, but red onion is a fine substitute, if that's what you have.
- Garlic: For more wonderful flavor.
- Chives. Onion chives are what I use but garlic chives are great too.
- Scallions or spring onions: These complement the flavor of the shallots and the chives.
- Cilantro. Although probably not a common corn fritter ingredient cilantro adds a lot of flavor to the fritters. You can use parsley as a substitute but it's not as flavorful.
- Jalapeno peppers. You don't have to use these if you are sensitive to heat, just use ground black pepper.
- Rice flour. This is one of the binders that will help hold the fritters together.
- Stone ground cornmeal. This is the other binder. Use stoneground, either white or yellow cornmeal would work.
- Water. I needed around 1 ½ cups to make the batter, but be prepared to use more or less.
- Ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
Tips and steps for making the fritters
- Prep the corn: Drain the corn if using canned corn. If using frozen, make sure it has thawed. Place in a colander to ensure any water drains out.
- Chop the other ingredients: the shallots, scallions, chives, garlic and cilantro or parsley should be chopped really fine. You don't want big pieces of these because you want them to flavor but disappear into the background: the real star of this recipe is the corn.
- Mix the batter: Mix the corn and the herbs first, then add in the cornmeal and brown rice and mix it in thoroughly, making sure everything at the bottom of the bowl is also incorporated. Begin adding the water a little at a time. I needed a cup and a half of water and you could just seem some liquid in the bowl, not a lot. This won't look like a pancake batter, but don't worry, it will hold together in the skillet.
- Heat the skillet: Use a cast iron or non-stick skillet and make sure it is screaming-hot before you begin frying the fritters.
- Fry the fritters: Pour a teaspoon or two of oil on the skillet and brush it to coat the skillet. Alternative spritz on some cooking spray. I used a level ¼th cup measure to scoop the batter into the skillet, and it makes the perfect size fritters for me. Use the bottom of the cup to shape the fritter into a round after placing the batter in the skillet (a steel cup works best for this, don't use a plastic cup on a hot skillet. Or just use the bottom of a spoon).
Wait until the edges of the fritter appear dry and golden-brown before you flip them. The fritters will hold but be careful as they are still delicate. You can add more rice flour if you find that the fritters break up on you, or make smaller fritters, which will be easier to flip.
- Serve the fritters rightaway.
The corn fritters are very crispy if eaten rightaway, when they are piping hot. But because they are pan-fried and not deep-fried in oil they will lose some of the crispness at room temperature. To reheat and make them crunchy again pop them back on a hot skillet or place on a baking sheet in a hot oven for a few minutes.
Refrigerate them for up to three days and reheat before using. You can also freeze them for longer periods. Flash-freeze the fritters by placing them side by side on a baking sheet, then place them in a freezer-safe container.
The amount of flour in these fritters is enough to hold them together. But if your fritters are too big, it is likely they might fall apart as you flip them, so don't make them any larger than three inches. You can also make these fritters smaller, which would make it easier to flip them.
Also mix the batter each time you scoop it out as the water has a tendency to separate since there is not that much flour in this recipe.
Corn fritters are served usually at lunch or dinner, and they'd be a really great side with any vegan meal, like this Vegan Meatball Fricassee, or these Vegan Irish Whiskey Tofu Steaks.
In our home, I usually serve them as a snack or a breakfast. They are really great with a creamy sauce or even vegan mayo.
More tasty vegan fritters
- Garlicky Zucchini Fritters
- Fat Free Tapioca Pearl Fritters
- Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Cakes
- Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes
- Vegetable Cutlets
Vegan Corn Fritters
- 4½ cups corn kernels (Three 15-oz cans. Can also use fresh or frozen corn. Thaw frozen corn and make sure there is no water in it)
- 2 medium shallots (leeks are great too. Chop a leek, white and green parts, finely)
- ¼ cup chives (finely chopped)
- 6 spring onions (scallions. Chop finely)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 jalapeno pepper (minced. Deseed if sensitive to heat)
- ¼ cup cilantro (finely chopped, can sub with parsley)
- ¾ cup rice flour
- ¾ cup stone ground corn meal
- 1 tsp ground black pepper (or more)
- Salt to taste
- 1½ cups water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (for frying, or use a cooking spray)
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl except the water and oil.
- Trickle in the water until you have a batter that's just slightly fluid.
- Heat a cast-iron or non-stick skillet and coat the bottom with oil. Alternately, spritz on some cooking spray.
- Use a spoon or cup measure to drop the batter into the pan. Use the bottom of the cup measure or spoon to shape the fritters and flatten them carefully. The fritters should be quite thin, like pancakes, because you want them to cook through.
- When the edges of the fritters begin to dry and appear golden brown, carefully flip them using a spatula. Cook a couple more minutes before removing the fritters to a plate.
- Serve hot or store and reheat before serving (see faqs above)