Vietnamese Corn and Coconut Fritters (Cha Ngo Chien Gion)

Yum
  • Preparation: 15 mins
  • Cooking: 25 mins
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Servings: 4

Description Vietnamese Corn and Coconut Fritters (Chả Ngô Chiên Giòn)

Vietnamese Corn and Coconut Fritters (Cha Ngo Chien Gion): Tender, flavorful, and lightly crispy, these fritters release a heady coconut fragrance as they fry and are complemented by a spicy-sweet dipping sauce at the table. Traditionally, the corn was crushed in a mortar, but an electric mini-chopper or a food processor eases the workload with a fine result. For coconut cream with the best texture and flavor, make your own or use the thick, creamy plug that rises to the top of a can of Mae Ploy brand coconut milk.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels, cut from about 2 ears corn, or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • ¼ cup coconut cream, scooped from the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk or from freshly made coconut milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • DIPPING SAUCE
  • 2 tablespoons Huy Fong brand Sriracha chile sauce or chile garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Corn or canola oil for deep-frying

Method Vietnamese Corn and Coconut Fritters (Chả Ngô Chiên Giòn)

1, To make the batter, place the corn in the bowl of an electric mini-chopper or food processor and pulse 12 to 15 times, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl. You want a semicohesive mass that holds together when you pinch a little between your fingers. Transfer to a small bowl and add the coconut cream, egg, flour, cornstarch, salt, and sugar. Stir to create a batter with the consistency of thick oatmeal. If it is too thin, add additional flour 1 teaspoon at a time. Set aside for 30 minutes.
2, To make the dipping sauce, in a small bowl, stir together the chile sauce, water, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add more water and sugar if you want to decrease the heat level. Transfer to a shallow bowl for serving.
3, Line a large plate with paper towels and place next to the stove. Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch into a wok or 5-quart Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 350 ° F on a deep-frying thermometer. (If you don’t have a thermometer, stand a dry bamboo chopstick in the oil; if small bubbles immediately gather on the surface around the chopstick, the oil is ready.)
4, To make each fritter, scoop up about 2 teaspoons batter and gently scoot it into the hot oil. The fritters should be about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Cook only as many at one time as will fit without crowding. Fry the fritters, turning them once, for about 3 minutes total, or until puffed, golden brown, and crisp. Using a skimmer, transfer the fritters to the towel-lined plate to drain. If the fritters deflate, you need to fry them longer and perhaps lower the heat slightly. They should hold their shape and remain lightly crispy after frying.
5, Arrange the fritters on a plate and serve hot as finger food along with the dipping sauce.

Chef's Note

This Traditional Vietnamese Food is adapted from the book "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen" by Andrea Nguyen. Copyright © 2006 by Andrea Nguyen.

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