Corn Fritters & Chipotle Aioli

The texture of these golden corn fritters is divine. A little crispy, a little cakey, with pops of whole, crunchy corn kernels. They’re filled with salty Parm and delicate, oniony chives, a nice savory contrast with the summery sweetness of the corn.

In the test kitchen, we served the fritters in stacks, while they were still warm, with a dollop of chipotle aioli and more chives. Our tasters went mad for them, and they disappeared in seconds. The fritters really are that tasty and satisfying, but we also think the aioli had something to do with it. Cream is always a natural with corn — elote, creamed corn, corn ice cream — and the aioli is the perfect light, spicy foil for a starchy fritter. They’re so good together, you just want to keep going.

For that reason, we’d say make a double batch if the kids are home or you’ve got a couple friends over for a cocktail. Mini fritters make a fantastic appetizer. Big fritters will go with anything you throw on your late-August grill — they’d be great with our lamb and mint chimichurri. A fan of corn fritters with a fried egg on top is also good. Bacon and syrup? You bet.

Our tip: You’ll have some leftover chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. You can either freeze them for later, or put them to work right away. Recipes like Filipino chicken adobo, chipotle beef tacos, and red pork chili will use up the whole can.

Servings: 2 to 4


For the chipotle aioli:

½ cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce)

1 Tbsp lime juice

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

For the fritters:

3 cups fresh corn kernels, from 3 to 6 ears, divided

Salt, to taste

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup chives, finely minced, divided

2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tbsp cornstarch

Pinch cayenne pepper

Black pepper, to taste

1 large egg, lightly beaten

½ cup, plus 2 tsp vegetable oil, divided


  1. To make the aioli: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and stir together well. Cover the aioli with plastic wrap, and place the bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

  2. To make the fritters: Process 1 ½ cups of the corn kernels in a food processor until they are coarsely puréed, 15 to 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through processing. Set aside.

  3. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups of corn kernels and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

  4. Return the skillet to medium heat, add another teaspoon of oil and the corn purée, and cook, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula, until the purée is the consistency of thick oatmeal (it will cling to the spatula rather than dripping off), about 5 minutes.

  5. Transfer the purée to the bowl of kernels, and stir to combine.

  6. Rinse the skillet and dry with paper towels.

  7. Add the flour, 3 tablespoons of the chives, the Parmesan, cornstarch, cayenne, and a pinch each of salt and pepper into the corn mixture until well combined.

  8. Gently stir in the egg until incorporated.

  9. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels.

  10. In the clean skillet, heat the remaining ½ cup of vegetable oil over medium heat until shimmering. Drop six 2-tablespoon portions of the batter into the skillet. Press with a spatula to flatten into 2 ½ -inch disks. Fry until deep golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

  11. Transfer fritters to the prepared sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  12. Serve the corn fritters with the aioli and the remaining chives.

Recipe adapted from: Cooks Illustrated

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