Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Best Blog Tips

It's been a long time since I last blogged. I've been taking a semi-break from internet activity for a little while, but that isn't the only reason. We've been eating pretty simply, for one thing, and I'm preparing for a cooking workshop coming up soon. Also, we've had company and the odd family emergency, and, to tell you the truth, I just haven't had much inspiration in the kitchen.

Well, today I got some inspiration-- I had a hankering for vegan Thai corn fritters. But, I wanted to develop a recipe that could be baked, for vegans who don't use much fat, or shallow-fried for those who don't mind a little oil but prefer not to deep-fry, and also for the gluten-free crowd-- or not. Seemed a tall order, but it wasn't really very difficult.

I have read many, many recipes for this crispy Thai delight and, believe me, there are many versions and variations! My version gives you some leeway about the type of flour you use and I decided to use aquafaba (the brine or cooking liquid from chickpeas or other beans that is making waves in the vegan community and even in the mainstream culinary world) as an egg replacer.

The batter is quick and easy to mix up and you have a choice of baking or shallow-frying-- I liked both versions. The baked version is not quite as crispy as the fried, but still delicious.

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Makes about 20, or 5 servings (Can be GF)
There's no need to deep-fry these delicious morsels. With this recipe you have a choice between shallow-frying the fritters in a little bit of oil, or baking them.

1 cup unbleached white flour
½ cup brown rice flour 
(ALTERNATIVE: You can omit the rice flour and use 1 ½ cups unbleached white flour, OR you can use your favorite GF flour mixture)
2 ¼ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt OR 2 tsp. soy sauce (Note: If you use the soy sauce, add it to the liquid ingredients.)
½ cup nondairy milk
6 tablespoons aquafaba (the broth from cooking chickpeas, or the liquid from canned chickpeas)
2 tablespoons fish-free Thai red curry paste, such as Maesri, or Taste of Thai brands
6 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 cups fresh OR frozen and thawed corn kernels, drained

Ingredients for the fritters
Serve with:
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce, purchased or homemade (see recipe for homemade Thai-style Sweet Red Chile Sauce below)


If you are going to bake the fritters, preheat the oven to 400°F.

If you are going to shallow-fry the fritters, have ready a large frying pan and oil suitable for frying. (Cast iron, carbon-steel or hard-anodized are good pans-- I no longer use any nonstick.)

Combine the two flours (or alternative), baking powder and salt in a dry medium-sized mixing bowl. ( If you use the soy sauce instead of the salt, add it to the liquid ingredients.)

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the nondairy milk, aquafaba and red curry paste (and the soy sauce, if you are using that instead of salt), until there are no lumps of curry paste left (use an immersion blender, if you like). Pour this mixture into the flour mixture, along with the green onions and ginger, and mix briefly. Add the corn kernels to the batter (it is thick) and mix just to distribute the kernels well.

If you are baking the fritters, lightly oil a large dark baking sheet (or 2 small ones)-- a dark baking sheet browns foods better. Scoop a heaping soup spoon-full of the batter out for each fritter and plop it onto the baking sheet(s). Repeat until the sheet is full, but don't crowd the fritters too much. Smooth out the tops, but don't spread too thin. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then flip the fritters over and bake 10-15 minutes more, or until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Serve hot with the Sweet Red Chile Sauce.

Baked fritters on the left, shallow-fried fritters on the right

If you are shallow-frying the fritters, pour about 1/4 cup of oil into your skillet and set it to heat over medium-high heat for several minutes. When you drop a bit of batter into the oil, it should sizzle. Scoop a heaping soup spoon-full of the batter out for each fritter and plop it into the hot oil. Repeat until the pan is full, but don't crowd the fritters too much. Smooth out the tops, but don't spread too thin. Fry until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, then carefully turn them over and cook until the second side is the same. Repeat until all of the batter is used, adding a bit more oil as needed. Remove the fried fritters from the pan to paper-lined plates or baking sheets, so that any excess oil is absorbed by the paper. Serve hot with the Sweet Red Chile Sauce.

Nutrition Facts (for Baked version)

Nutrition (per serving: 4 fritters): 255 calories, 14 calories from fat, 1.7g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 305.7mg sodium, 624.1mg potassium, 55.9g carbohydrates, 4.7g fiber, 4.7g sugar, 7.9g protein, 7.4 points.

One of the many brands of this sauce.

Servings: 11

Yield: 2/3 cup (11 tablespoons)

3/4 cup light-colored organic unbleached sugar
3/4 cup cider or rice vinegar
1 dried red chile, crushed
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Make the Sweet Red Chili Sauce ahead of time. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until reduced to 2/3 cup. (Keep a close eye on it.) Pour into a small bottle or pitcher and refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon): 55 calories, less than 1 calories from fat, 0g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 85.7mg sodium, 17.7mg potassium, 14.7g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 13.6g sugar, less than 1g protein, 1.6 points.