These street corn fritters are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and boast the delicious flavors of the favorite street food of Mexico – Elote!
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These street corn fritters are like regular corn fritters, but with a twist. They are packed with flavor and pan fried to golden, crispy perfection.
These elote inspired corn fritters contain fresh corn off the cob, crumbly cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, lime juice and zest and fresh cilantro. The batter is easy to whip up and these fritters make a delicious snack, appetizer or side dish.
I love the flavors of this traditional Mexican street food, so I have a few elote inspired recipes including my Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad and probably my favorite soup recipe ever, my Elote Corn Chowder.
These street corn fritters turn out golden brown and perfectly crispy when pan fried. However, I know frying in oil isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I’ve tested and included instructions for air fried street corn fritters as well!
The air fried street corn fritters are lighter as they require significantly less oil, but will still crisp up just as well as the pan fried version.
This recipe also includes a bonus recipe for an easy and delicious chili lime dipping sauce. You can also enjoy these fritters with my Cilantro Lime Crema.
Fresh corn: fresh corn cut off the cob is definitely the best option for this recipe. It will add so much sweet, buttery flavor to these fritters.
Cotija cheese: this is the crumbly and salty cheese that coats elote, and is tossed into the fritter batter.
Fresh cilantro: lots of fresh cilantro is used to add a ton of flavor and freshness.
Mayonnaise: for elote, mayo is slathered over the corn on the cob before being sprinkled with cotija cheese and seasonings, so this fritter batter is going to have some as well.
Lime: both the lime juice and zest adds a needed pop of citrus.
Eggs: eggs create the batter and help bind the corn fritters together.
Flour: flour also helps bind the fritters.
Baking powder: baking powder helps make these corn fritters light and fluffy.
Spices: chili powder, garlic powder, dash of cayenne if you like a little heat, salt and pepper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, cilantro, cotija cheese, flour, baking powder, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss everything together.
Next, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Then add the eggs, mayonnaise, lime juice and zest to the corn mixture.
Mix until a batter forms, and all the flour is mixed in.
Heat avocado oil in a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the corn fritter batter and pour into preheated pan.
Use a spatula to press down and form the street corn fritters. Cook fritters for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown.
Drain street corn fritters on a wire rack with paper towels underneath. Continue pan frying fritters until all batter is used (should take 2 to 3 batches).
To make the dipping sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice and zest, cilantro, chili powder and salt.
How to Make Street Corn Fritters in the Air Fryer
Line air fryer basket with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray well with avocado oil spray.
Scoop 1/3 cup of batter onto the lined basket. Flatten and shape fritter into a circle of even thickness.
Air fry fritters at 375°F for 6-8 minutes. Carefully flip fritters and air fry for another 4-5 minutes to crisp up the other side.
What to Serve with Street Corn Fritters
Mexican street corn fritters make a delicious snack, appetizer or side. If you are looking to serve these fritters as a side dish, here are some fantastic main entrees and sides that pair perfectly with the flavors in these fritters:
- Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken
- Pork Carnitas Tacos
- Tequila Lime Shrimp
- Spicy Sofritas Tofu
- Homemade Refried Black Beans
- Fill measuring cup with batter and level off the top to ensure you get evenly sized fritters each time.
- Use a small rubber spatula to spoon the batter from the measuring cup into the pan. Do not attempt to form fritters prior to adding to the pan as the batter is too loose to do that.
- Use the bottom of a spatula to flatten the fritters into an even thickness (helps with even cooking). You can also use the spatula to shape the fritters into even circles.
How many ears of corn do I need to yield 3 cups?
Approximately 3 large ears of corn will yield 3 cups of fresh corn kernels.
Can I drain street corn fritters on paper towels?
Draining the corn fritters on a paper towel will result in a loss of crispiness as the fritters cool. It is recommended to drain these street corn fritters on a wire rack with paper towels underneath, so the excess oil can drip off.
What is cotija cheese and where can I buy cotija cheese?
Cotija cheese is an aged cow’s milk cheese that originates from the town of Cotija in Mexico. It is similar to feta in that it is firm in texture, easily crumbles and has a salty and milky flavor.
Cotija cheese can be found in most conventional grocery stores in the specialty cheese section. It is often found in a small wheel, but can also be sold crumbled, and is often next to queso fresco and other Mexican cheeses.
What is the best way to reheat Mexican street corn fritters?
The best way to reheat Mexican street corn fritters is in an air fryer or toaster oven, which will ‘re-crisp’ the fritters the best. Air fry or toast street corn fritters at 375°F for approximately 5 minutes, or until warmed through and crisp on the outside.
Fresh corn: fresh corn in this recipe is worth the trip to the grocery store. However, if it is out of season, frozen or canned corn works as well.
Cotija cheese: while cotija cheese is more traditional, feta will yield a similar taste and texture, and can be used if you cannot find cotija.
Mayonnaise: if you dislike mayonnaise (although I promise you can’t taste it in this recipe) sour cream or Mexican crema works. I’ve also tried half mayo and half sour cream, which also worked well.
Chili powder: Tajin is a great replacement for chili powder in this recipe.
Cayenne: the amount of cayenne pepper used in this recipe yields a ‘barely there’ heat. If you like heat, add 1/4 tsp more and if you do not like any heat, omit altogether.
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If you make these Street Corn Fritters, be sure to leave a comment below and rate this recipe! If you snap a pic, be sure to tag me on Instagram @thechowdown! I love seeing your creations!
Street Corn Fritters
- 3 cups fresh corn kernels
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled cotija creese
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup avocado oil for frying
Chili Lime Crema
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 lime, juice and zest
- 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, cilantro, cotija cheese, flour, baking powder, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss everything together.
- Next, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Then add the eggs, mayonnaise, lime juice and zest to the corn mixture. Mix until a batter forms, and all of the flour is mixed in.
- Heat the avocado oil in a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Use 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the corn fritter batter and pour into preheated pan.
- Use a spatula to press down and form the street corn fritter. Cook fritters for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown. Drain street corn fritters on a wire rack with paper towels underneath. Continue pan frying fritters until all batter is used (should take 2 to 3 batches).
- To make the dipping sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice and zest, cilantro, chili powder and salt.