Elote Fritters

published Jul 27, 2023
Elote Fritters Recipe

If you can't get enough of Mexican street corn, we combined all the flavors in one sweet, salty, and crispy fritter.

Serves4 to 6

Makes13 (3-inch) fritters

Prep20 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 40 minutes

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stack of four elote(corn) fritters on a plate garnished with white cheese crumbles and chopped cilantro
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: James Park

Fresh corn on the cob turned into elote is one of my very favorite summer dishes. Elote is sweet, creamy, crunchy, salty, tangy — so many delicious things put together. But what about the rest of the year when corn isn’t at its peak, or if you want a version of elote that you can eat with a fork instead? 

Make elote fritters! It’s everything that makes Mexican street corn so delicious, all pan-fried up into one tasty, crispy fritter. We’ve got you covered on the creamy part, too — they’re served with a zesty lime crema for dipping or slathering.

These elote fritters are wonderful as part of a summer meal next to fish, pork, or chicken, but you can also just serve these with a salad as a lighter vegetarian meal. Leftovers are also absolutely wonderful reheated in an oven. Try them with a fried egg and a dash of hot sauce on top for a winning breakfast.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: James Park

Ingredients You’ll Need for Elote Fritters

  • Corn: Both kernels cut from fresh ears of corn or thawed frozen corn will work here.
  • Cotjia cheese: This salty Mexican cheese pairs nicely with sweet corn.
  • Lime and sour cream: Stir sour cream and lime juice together for an easy lime crema.
  • Cilantro, scallions, and chili powder: These add freshness and a little bit of spice.
  • Basic batter ingredients: The batter is made of flour, milk, eggs, salt, and baking powder.

How to Make Elote Fritters

  1. Stir together the dry ingredients. Whisk flour, baking powder, chili powder, and salt together.
  2. Prep the remaining ingredients. Cut corn kernels off the cob or thaw frozen corn. Chop up scallions and cilantro. Crumble cotija cheese. Toss it all together in the flour mixture.
  3. Add in the wet ingredients. Whisk eggs and milk together, then stir that into everything else to form the batter.
  4. Pan-fry. Cook in a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet in a little bit of oil until golden-brown and crisp.
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: James Park

Elote Fritters Recipe

If you can't get enough of Mexican street corn, we combined all the flavors in one sweet, salty, and crispy fritter.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 40 minutes

Makes 13 (3-inch) fritters

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the lime crema:

  • 1 to 2

    medium limes

  • 1 cup

    sour cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

For the fritters:

  • 3/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 3 cups

    fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels (from 4 cobs)

  • 4

    medium scallions

  • 1/2 medium bunch

    fresh cilantro

  • 5 ounces

    cotija cheese, plus more for sprinkling

  • 3/4 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 6 to 8 tablespoons

    vegetable oil, divided

Instructions

Make the lime crema:

  1. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lime into a small bowl (about 1 teaspoon), then juice the lime plus a second as needed into the bowl until you have 3 tablespoons. Add 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and whisk to combine to make the dipping sauce. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Make the fritters:

  1. Place 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper if desired in the large bowl and stir to combine.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of flour as you complete it: Shuck and cut the kernels from 4 ears fresh corn until you have 3 cups. If using frozen corn, measure out 3 cups thawed frozen corn kernels and drain well. Thinly slice 4 medium scallions (about 1/3 cup). Finely chop the leaves and tender stems from 1/2 medium bunch fresh cilantro until you have 1/2 cup. Crumble 5 ounces cotija cheese (about 1 cup). Stir to combine.

  3. Place 3/4 cup whole or 2% milk, 2 large eggs, and 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until combined.

  4. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 200ºF. Fit a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick frying pan or cast iron skillet (at least 12 inches) over medium heat until shimmering. Drop 4 (1/4-cup) portions of the batter evenly around the pan. Cook until golden-brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a flat spatula and cook until browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Reduce the heat to medium-low if the fritters are browning too quickly.

  6. Transfer to the wire rack and place the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat cooking the remaining batter, adding 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the pan before each batch. Serve topped with the lime crema and sprinkled with more crumbled cotija cheese.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat in a 400°F oven until warm and crisp, 5 minutes if refrigerated and 10 minutes if frozen.