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!