Thailand’s Tod Man Khao Pod, a type of corn fritter, is not a classic Thai dish. Rather, it’s a meat-free adaptation of the country’s crispy deep-fried fish cakes served during the Nine Emperor Gods festival. “I love these corn fritters so much,” says cookbook author and Bangkok native Leela Punyaratabandhu. While some recipes specify to puree some of the corn, we found that folding the kernels into the batter whole not only is easier, it also makes for extra-crispy fritters. “The more surface area you have, the more crispiness you have,” Punyaratabandhu explains. “So the corn kernels form the little nooks and crannies that get really crispy.” A bright, sweet chili sauce—our riff on nam jim kai, the typical pairing for both the fritters and fish cakes—completes the dish, the tangy vinegar and chili heat balancing the rich, savory fritters.
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