Perkedel jagung (Indonesian corn fritters), is a popular snack made from mashed corn shaped into small patties. The fritters are usually deep-fried until they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. One of the great things about perkedel jagung is that they are very easy to make, plus you will most likely have many of the ingredients in your pantry already.
Perkedel jagung can be enjoyed on their own as a snack, or they can be served as a side dish with a main meal. The fritters are often served with rice and other Indonesian dishes like nasi goreng (fried rice) or sate (grilled meat skewers). You will also find perkedel jagung as part of a nasi campur Bali meal. In addition to being delicious, perkedel jagung is a very affordable snack with inexpensive, widely available ingredients, and you can adjust the spiciness after your liking. It’s a great snack or side dish to bring along for your next potluck or as lunch or dinner, served with rice or a nice salad.
This recipe is from Mama Bu Made, who runs a small restaurant, Warung Bali Bu Ade, in the heart of beautiful Ubud in Bali. After eating at the restaurant for days in a row, I asked Mama Bu Made if I could come and cook with her, and she invited me to stop by at 4am(!) in the morning to watch how she prepares the food for the restaurant. She also shared 3 delicious recipes with me, and this one is the first one out.
My translation of Perkedel Jagung is corn fritters, but the perkedel jagung in this recipe are actually more like little dumplings or meatless meatballs, slightly similar to Danish frikadeller, but made with corn instead of pork.
Corn: You can use canned corn instead of fresh corn, but it is best to use fresh corn. Canned corn is cooked and sometimes has added salt, and the flavor of the fritters will be slightly different, compared to using fresh corn straight off the cob. Don’t overdo the food processor pulsing. You would want the batter to have a mixture of chopped corn and whole kernels. If in doubt, you can chop half of the corn in the food processor and mix with the other half of kernels afterwards. After pulsing the batter in the food processor, let it rest for 10 minutes, so the flavor has time to come out fully.
Turmeric: If you can’t find fresh turmeric, you can use turmeric powder instead. If you are using powder, ⅓ teaspoon is enough.
Oil: Use your choice of cooking oil, but it has to be a type of oil meant for frying (i.e. an oil with a high smoking point), so don’t use olive oil. Peanut oil, canola oil or other types of vegetable oil are great. Use plenty of oil for frying. The corn fritters should be able to float around freely without touching the bottom of the pot or the pan.
Chilis: The chilis used in this recipe, is a non-spicy variant from Bali, but any non-spicy, medium-sized chili would do.
Chinese celery/leaf celery: If you can’t find Chinese celery/Leaf celery, you can use a bit of chives instead but use a little less as it has a stronger flavor.
The corn fritters are ready when they are golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside, and with a soft, bouncy texture on the inside. If the better is too runny, and the fritters are very soft inside, even after a few minutes of frying, try adding a little more flour to the batter.