While some fried corn recipes call for actually deep-frying corn on the cob, this recipe is a simpler, easier preparation of pan-fried corn kernels. Recipe developer Kate Shungu likes to make it from fresh corn, but if this vegetable is out of season or you just don’t feel like shucking and cutting the kernels off the cob, she does say you can use the frozen kind.
Shungu says her favorite thing about this fried corn is the fact that it is, as she describes it, "seriously creamy." The reason for this creamy texture is all on account of one particular ingredient she uses in the recipe. No, it’s not cream, nor is it milk — in fact, the only dairy product this dish contains is a small amount of butter. Instead, Shungu adds flour to the corn, telling us that in combination with the liquid used in the recipe the flour will "thicken the corn mixture into an almost cream-like sauce for the corn."
Assemble the ingredients for the southern fried corn
Shungu uses fresh corn on the cob for this dish, but tells us that 6 cups of frozen kernels can be used in their place. Should you use frozen corn, though, she advises adding a few tablespoons of water to replace the liquid from the corn cobs. This recipe also calls for bacon grease, but if you don’t happen to have any on hand, Shungu notes that "you can use any fat that you like, although she feels "butter [has] the best flavor." The other items you’ll need are butter (whether or not you use the bacon grease), flour, salt, and sugar. If you’re wondering why you’ll be adding sugar to what is meant to be a savory dish, Shungu explains that this ingredient "enhances the natural sweetness of the corn" without making the dish overly sweet.
Prepare the corn
You’ll need to begin by shucking the corn unless you’ve paid the surcharge for the pre-shucked kind. Once you’ve gotten rid of the leaves, tassels, silk, and all that gunk, cut the kernels off the cobs using a sharp knife. Now take the knife and run it down the cobs, making sure to save any liquid that runs out of them as you press down.
Combine all ingredients in a pan
Heat the bacon grease and butter in a pan on a stove burner set to medium, then stir in the corn and all of the other ingredients including the liquid from the cobs. If you didn’t squeeze much juice out of the cobs and the dish seems dry, you can always stir in a little water.
Cook the corn until the sauce thickens
Cook the corn for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring it from time to time. By the time the corn kernels are cooked, the sauce should have thickened up. Once the dish is done, you can garnish it with chopped chives. As for pairing options, Shungu tells us, "I like serving this [fried corn] with fried chicken or roast chicken or alongside pork chops and mashed potatoes."
- 6 ears corn, shucked
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- chopped chives, for serving
- Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels of corn from the cobs.
- Run the back of the knife down each corn cob, pressing down to release any liquid from the cobs.
- Heat the bacon grease and butter over medium heat.
- Add the corn to the skillet along with the flour, salt, sugar, and liquid from the cobs.
- Cook the corn, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until it is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Top the cooked corn with the chopped chives.