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In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetcorn, salt, pepper, tempura flour or breadcrumbs (if using), cornflour, 3 tablespoons of water and the egg. If the mixture is too loose, add a little more cornflour. Stir the lime leaves (if using) into the batter.
Fill a heavy-based saucepan or wok with oil to a depth of one-third and set the pan over a medium-high heat, to prepare for deep-frying.
When the oil is hot, carefully drop a tablespoonful of the batter at a time into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
Deep-fry for about 1 minute, then turn over and fry for a further minute, until golden brown and cooked through.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat until the mixture is used up – the mixture will make about 6 patties.
Serve the patties with sweet chilli sauce.
Recipe adapted from Rosa's Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian Cookbook by Saiphin Moore