Thai Spiced Corn Cakes with Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce

5 Aug

As you probably all know by now, I have a chilli plant on the terrace which is producing lots of beautiful red birds-eye chillis at the moment. We are overrun with them. I pick some every day and freeze them in a plastic pot. Make that two plastic pots, that are full.

I love Thai sweet chilli sauce so it didn’t take me long to realise that I wanted to make some with our chillis. This homemade version has none of the nasty chemicals that you find in many of the store-bought sweet chilli sauces and it tastes just as good. I think it’s even better. The Washer Up thinks so too, he said it’s less sweet and more rounded, so there you go.

Inspiration for what to make to go with this fabulous sauce came from watching these towering sweetcorn plants growing while walking the dog in the morning. I swear they must grow about a foot every day.

This one has pink hair for some reason, does that mean the corn will be pink too?

I made two attempts at these corn cakes/fritters. The first recipe I used didn’t hold together very well in the pan. I ended up with a spicy sweetcorn hash with some very small cakes because the sweetcorn breaks away very easily from the cakes.

For my second attempt I followed The Washer Up’s instruction. He wisely explained that sweetcorn is a bit of a nightmare (in his experience) and that it would hold together much better if I blended half of the mixture and then added the rest of the corn kernels for some texture. So that is what I did, and it worked.

Those Thai street vendors who are knocking out hundreds of the things every day, no problem at all, obviously know something we don’t. If you are brave enough, you can try it without blending the mix first, to see if you have any more success than I did. I would definitely add a bit more egg though, and keep your fingers crossed.

Thai Spiced Corn Cakes & Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce

For the Sweet Chilli Sauce:

makes a 250 ml bottle, vegan, gluten-free. From Chilli World

  • 10 chillies, finely chopped
  • 225 gr (1 cup) sugar
  • 110 ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 110 ml (1/2 cup) white vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or fish sauce)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Remove the stems from the chillis and finely chop them (wearing gloves is a good idea). Put them in a small saucepan with the sugar, water, vinegar, garlic, paprika and salt and bring to a rolling boil over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar for a few seconds then reduce the heat to low

Simmer until the liquid reduces slightly and thickens to a light syrup, about 10-15 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a few tablespoons of water in a cup until smooth then stir this into the sauce. Cook for another few minutes until thickened slightly then remove from the heat and stir in the soy (or fish) sauce and lime/lemon juice.

Pour the hot sauce into a sterilised (boiled in water, then dried in a warm oven for 5 minutes) bottle, seal and leave to cool before storing in the fridge.

For the Thai Spiced Corn Cakes:

serves 2-3, vegetarian, gluten-free

  • 2 fresh corn cobs
  • 1o fine green beans, trimmed & finely sliced
  • about 100 gr (1/2 cup) polenta (cornmeal), plus extra for coating
  • 50 gr (1/3 cup) masa arepa (precooked corn flour) or plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp Thai green curry paste (or red)
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt & white pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
  • Thai sweet chilli sauce to serve (see above)
  • lime cheeks, to serve

Mix the corn, polenta, masa arepa flour (or plain flour), eggs, curry paste, green beans, spring onion, coriander, chilli, soy sauce and lime juice in a bowl until well combined.

Take out about half of the mixture and blend it to a chunky paste. Add this back into the rest of the sweetcorn and mix well. Season with salt and white pepper then taste to see if you want to add any more curry paste/lime juice/salt. Cover and put in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up.

Pour a thin layer of polenta onto a large flat plate. Remove the mix from the fridge and start to take small handfuls of the mix and make them into pattie shapes. You may want to squeeze them to make them hold together well. Put them on the polenta plate and lightly coat both sides. You can cover and refrigerate again now if you like.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the corn cakes for about 3 minutes on each side until golden & crispy. Serve immediately with the sweet chilli sauce and a lime cheek to spritz over.

The sweet chilli sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for anything really. Fried food works particularly well and it is also great as a base for a Thai salad dressing or marinade. Just add some soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil, taste and adjust to your liking.


Things That Made Me Smile Today….

We finally found some Agapanthus. We’ve been looking for some since we came back from here. Their season is nearly over but we had to have them anyway.

We are having some cushion covers made for this seating area on the terrace. The fabrics we bought are different faded blue linens, so all the plants in that area now are going to be on a blue and white theme. I can’t wait for the cushions to be ready and then I will take some proper pictures with it all set up, exciting!

He does planting as well as washing up!


40 Responses to “Thai Spiced Corn Cakes with Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce”

  1. tony ward August 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    These little devils look fabulous, thinking Saturday brunch(ish), very well chilled Rose and the rest of the day spent with friends(and their Rose !!)
    Great pic’s too dahling.I love the blue and white one especially…..nice to see the ol’ man working… I detect a hint of colour about his person ???
    Have a lovely weekend. xx

  2. Steph@stephsbitebybite August 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    These look delish!! I love, love corn and am always looking for new ways to make it!

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide August 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Those peppers look great! Love the recipe too!

  4. carol campbell August 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    I’m so glad to have found your blog and that you are both well.Your recipes look lovely,I’m trying one on Sunday.We used to come to your restaurant,we are a family of vegetarians,you often made us special dishes on round the world nights.Sadly that doesn’t happen any more.
    Love Carol

    • foodblogandthedog August 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Of course I remember you! How is everyone? What are you making on Sunday? I’m feeling the pressure!!

      • carol campbell August 15, 2011 at 10:25 am #

        sorry to be so long replying but with everyone here it’s been very hectic.I made the green tomatoes which were delicious.we used some local chillies,my husband did them for me,he didn’t use gloves,and suffered badly,especially when trying to put contact lenses in.I’m mad about the chilli sauce and have it with everything,especially on hummus.and avocado.I plan to make some more recipes at home where I have a well equipped kitchen.We go home tomorrow after 3 weeks here,coming back a week later.where do you get the arepa flour from?I try not to eat wheat too as I have a bloating Carolx

      • foodblogandthedog August 15, 2011 at 11:41 am #

        I made an Indian chilli sauce yesterday, it’s really fiery my fingers were stinging too! Glad you’re liking the recipes, I get the arepa flour from Mercadona, with all the flours in a bright yellow & red pack called PAN. Safe journey back!

      • carol Campbell August 17, 2011 at 12:50 am #

        we are going to try the red bean burgers tomorrow,i have the maize from the weight you give for the beans dried or cooked or tins?
        thanks and thanks for all your lovely recipes photos etc

        love carolx

      • foodblogandthedog August 17, 2011 at 8:51 am #

        It’s for cooked in the glass jars a jar is about 400 gr, enjoy!

      • carol Campbell August 18, 2011 at 10:13 am #

        we made the beanburgers last night.they were delicious despite an accidental deviation from the recipe.the corn cakes were lovely,and had faces,and the relishes were great too.katie and I really enjoyed cooking and are searching for tonight’s meal amongst your recipes.I also found scotch bonnets in our sainsburys!the salespaerson thought i was mad for being so happy!
        Browsing ,is it rude of me to ask if you live on the alhaurin golf course?its where we live too.
        Thanks for all these lovely recipes,my family all love looking too.

      • foodblogandthedog August 18, 2011 at 11:21 am #

        I’m so glad to have inspired you and that you are all cooking together! Definitely wear gloves for the scotch bonnets, they are hot,hot. I’m trying to come up with some more recipes using them because I have two pots in my freezer and a whole bush full that are just about ready to harvest! We don’t live on Alhaurin Golf unfortunately (a swimming pool would be nice) we live in the old town. Have fun!

  5. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts August 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    What great corn cakes! We made them the other night for dinner, but thought they needed a sauce. We couldn’t figure out what would work (from the sauces we had around the house). This sweet chili sauce seems perfect!

  6. Caroline August 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    So much better than store bought, I agree. Looks delicious!!

  7. veggiegrettie August 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    These look amazing! I am reading your post at lunchtime and I really, really wished I could have some right now!

  8. chicaandaluza August 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    I love sweet chili sauce (well, I love any kind of chili sauce actually) and have never thought of making it…as soon as my chilis do their thing (they are waaaay behind yours) I´ll be making a batch. I must look out a very good recipe I have for corn fritters….see if that works for you. Corn is rather badly behaved in a fritter situation I find!

  9. Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet August 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    This sounds delicious. Spicy definitely makes me happy. Beautiful pics.

  10. tiffany August 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    I love corn cakes… these look wonderful! And I eat sweet chili sauce like it’s going out of style! So great to have a recipe for it! Happy Friday friend 😀

  11. Yudith August 6, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    I love corn cakes, and love your homemade thai chili sauce as well.

  12. E August 6, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    OH MY GOODNESS these look ridiculously great! I just ate a major dinner but somehow I’m able to think about food again thanks to your scrumptious-looking corn cakes! I will be attempting these in the near future!


    (P.S. I still have my aubergine, it’s still good, just haven’t had an opportunity to make the curry yet — will soon, though!)

  13. Maris (In Good Taste) August 6, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    The corn cakes look absolutely fantastic!

  14. sprint2thetable August 6, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    These look fantastic! I love chilis – yours are so vibrant!

  15. Cooking through the seasons August 6, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Hello sunshine person,
    Once again lovely, lovely photographs, I want them all. Your corn cakes look delicious too and I have to say, compliments to the Washer Up for the good tip!
    Your Dad popped in to view my blog, which was so nice.

  16. Clarkie @ Beloved Green August 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Fresh chilies, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

  17. Eileen Carpio August 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    Trying these tomorrow and made the sweet chilli sauce tonight as I was already chopping a bunch of other stuff. Didn’t have any gloves and fingers are stinging like crazy!! But it’s worth it… 🙂

    • foodblogandthedog August 7, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      I did it without gloves too, it burns like mad afterwards! Hope you enjoy them both!

  18. Eileen Carpio August 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Sorry, what quantity is needed for green beans? I think I put in too many and after blending half my mixture and adding it to original mix there is a bitter aftertaste, which I think is coming from the green beans! Darn, I think I messed up! Help???

    • foodblogandthedog August 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

      I used 10 fine green beans, finely sliced. Don’t know why your mix tastes bitter, have you managed to save it?

  19. kita August 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Wow. Pink on corn. I guess it was a rock star. 😀

    These corn cakes sound delicious. We are boring with corn here and I never really do much of anything to it (as the bf always says he doesn’t really care for it) but I bet if I mixed it up a bit, it could become a regular guest on the table.

  20. Beth Michelle August 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    These look so amazing. I know it doesnt go along with the vegetarian thing but I would love this with some shrimp chopped up inside 🙂

  21. chicaandaluza September 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Hi Natalie. I want to make this sauce this week and was wondering – did you use the little red cayenne peppers or the longer ones? Thanks! Tanya

  22. foodblogandthedog September 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Hi, I used the small Thai birdseye chillis, cayenne would do the same I think but the bigger ones are less fiery so use more!! Let me know how it goes 😀

    • chicaandaluza September 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

      Brilliant – I have some super hot ones, so maybe they´re not cayenne, and will use these! Thanks so much 🙂

  23. chicaandaluza October 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Hi again Natalie. Just wanted to let you know that I have just made your sweet chilli dipping sauce (finally) and it is amazing…thanks so much for the recipe. Much, much better than any shop bought. Almost didn´t put in the fish sauce and lemon juice as it tasted so good before I added it (yes, I kept “testing” it!), but when I put it in…oh my, it lifted it to another level!

    • foodblogandthedog October 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

      So glad you liked it, I’ve just made another batch too, The Washer Up puts it on everything!!


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