The moment summer comes and fresh corns flood the market is the time I start cooking up batches upon batches of bakwan jagung (Indonesian corn fritters).
I don’t mind a bit of deep frying every so and then, but I have received quite a fair amount of requests to create oven-baked version of bakwan jagung.
After a bit of experimentation, I think I can say I have come up with a delicious baked version for bakwang jagung. I hope you will give it a try and let me know what you think.
Kaffir lime leaves, coriander, and turmeric
These corn fritters are made with fresh corns, shallots, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, eggs, all-purpose flour, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and salt.
My regular bakwan jagung recipe doesn’t use kaffir lime leaves, coriander powder, nor turmeric powder.
If you prefer, you can certainly stick to the more common seasoning, using scallions (Indonesian: daun bawang) and Chinese celery (Indonesian: daun seledri) instead of kaffir lime leaves.
Coriander is such a ubiquitous seasoning in Indonesia, and it is actually very common in regular bakwan jagung too. As for turmeric, I use it mainly to boost the color, plus it is supposed to be good for you!
Bake in a standard muffin pan
To emulate the shape of regular bakwan jagung, I opt to bake the bakwan in a standard muffin pans.
You would want to really grease and flour each of the muffin cup to make the fritters easier to release.
Also, since each and every corn differs in size, make sure to cook the fritters until fully cooked and not just purely relying on my baking time. 🙂
Bakwan sayur is Indonesian deep fried vegetable fritters. Found nation wide, mostly sold by street food vendors, the most popular version uses a mix of cabbage, carrot, and mung bean sprouts. Some regions in Indonesia call this as bala-bala, though it is more widely known as bakwan sayur.
If you are Indonesian living overseas, I am sure there are times that you crave some freshly fried bakwan sayur. Now with this recipe, you can cook some to cure that homesickness. ♥
Vegetables mix for bakwan sayur
Although cabbage, carrot, and mung bean sprouts are the most common mix, you can use your own mixture.
If you are familiar with Japanese yasai tempura (vegetables tempura), then all the vegetables that you can use for yasai tempura can be used in bakwan sayur.
For this particular recipe, I keep it as simple as possible and use a mixture of shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, and thinly sliced scallions. But reallly, there is no fixed rules, so feel free to improvise.
Batter for bakwan/Indonesian fritters
My bakwan batter uses very simple ingredients: all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, sugar, ground white/black pepper, grated garlic, egg, and ice cold water.
Rice flour is the secret ingredient to get crispy fritters. You can substitute rice flour with tapioca starch to get the same effect.
As you increase the amount of rice flour/tapioca starch, the crispier the fritters get but it will be less chewy. Everyone has a different preference to the crispiness and chewiness level of their fritters, so feel free to experiment.
For beginners, stick with 150 gram all-purpose flour and 50 gram rice flour ratio. If you decide that you want a crispier batch next time, you can use 100 gram all-purpose flour and 100 gram rice flour.
You cannot avoid deep frying
If you want to whip up authentic bakwan, there is no avoiding deep frying. To get crispy bakwan, my trick is to make sure the oil is hot, and the bakwan batter is super cold.
If you have a thermometer, you want the oil to reach 170 Celsius (340 Fahrenheit). If you don’t have a thermometer, the oil should look shimmering, and a drop of batter should sink slightly in the hot oil and immediately float up the surface.
To make sure the batter is cold, use ice cold water. Usually, I even put the batter back in the fridge while my pot of oil is heating up.
Once out from the hot oil, drain the bakwan over a wire rack to remove excess oil. Please don’t drain excess oil with paper towels as they will make the fritters soggy. Serve the fritters immediately, as is, or with your favorite chili sauce.
If I must pick two of the most popular side dishes/savory treats that seem to be sold everywhere in Indonesia, then I will have to settle for perkedel kentang (potato fritters) and followed closely by bakwan jagung (corn fritters).
Both are delicious and the smell of these can make you feel hungry instantly even after a full course meal.
For those who want to learn to cook Indonesian dishes at home, any of the two is a great dish to start. They are both not spicy, and the ingredients are common anywhere in the world. I am confident that anyone who wants to prepare Indonesian food in their kitchen should be able to make either one in their home.
What’s in bakwan jagung?
Indonesian corn fritters are made from fresh corn, eggs, shallots, garlic, scallion, celery, all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, ground white pepper, and ice cold water.
Fresh corn, frozen corn, and canned corn
It is best if you can use fresh corn, but you can also use frozen corn or canned corn when fresh corn is not available.
On average, one fresh corn yields a 3⁄4 cup of kernels. So for this recipe, you will need 2 1⁄4 cup of corn kernels.
If you use frozen corn, be sure to thaw and drain off any excess liquid and pat the kernels with kitchen towel before using.
For canned corn, please drain and pat dry as best as you can. Since the liquid in canned corn contains salt, you may want to reduce the amount of salt in the recipe from 1 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.
Chinese celery vs. regular US celery
Chinese celery is more readily available compared to regular celery in Indonesia, so most Indonesians prefer using Chinese celery to prepare corn fritters.
You can substitute Chinese celery with regular US celery. Chinese celery has a stronger flavor, so you will miss some of that flavor when using regular celery. But you will still end up with delicious corn fritters even with regular celery.
Rice flour and its substitute
Rice flour makes the corn fritters crispy. You can substitute rice flour with an equal amount of tapioca starch.
If you don’t have any rice flour or tapioca starch at home, you can also use the same amount of all-purpose flour, but know that the corn fritters will be less crispy.
Preparing the batter
For fresh corns, please place a small ramekin inside a large mixing bowl. Stand each ear of corn on the small ramekin, and use a sharp knife to scrape off the kernels. The kernels will fall into the mixing bowl without making a mess. Throw away the cobs.
If you are using frozen corn or canned corn, be sure to pat dry the corn kernels first before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Add minced shallot, minced garlic, thinly sliced scallion, thinly sliced celery, and eggs into the mixing bowl. Add also all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, ground white pepper, and ice-cold water. Mix gently with a spatula into a thick batter.
For the crispiest possible corn fritters, it is best if you can keep the batter as cold as possible. I always chill the batter in the fridge while I prepare the hot oil for deep frying.
Frying corn fritters
The best pot/pan for deep-frying is a cast-iron skillet/pot or a Dutch oven since it will retain heat better and make sure the oil temperature stays where we want it.
Choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil or canola oil. Fill the pot with about two inches of oil and turn the heat to medium. Wait until the oil is hot before frying the fritters.
When the oil is hot, a bamboo chopstick lowers into it will have air bubbles around it. The oil will also register 170 Celsius/340 Fahrenheit on a thermometer.
Drop ladleful of batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes each side.
You can fry several fritters per batch, but don’t overcrowd the pot. Doing so can lower the oil temperature and you end up with greasy fritters.
Please drain fried fritters on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Draining fritters on paper towels will make them soggier compared to a wire rack.
Storing and reheating leftover fritters
If you have leftover corn fritters, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or free for longer storage.
Please thaw frozen fritters before reheating. Thaw frozen fritters for one hour on the kitchen countertop, or overnight in the fridge.
To make the fritters crispy again, try heating a small amount of oil in a frying pan and fry until hot and crispy.
This will feed a crowd
You don’t need to make the whole recipe if you don’t plan to serve the fritters to a lot of people. One fresh corn (1⁄3 recipe) is good for 2-4 people, two fresh corn (2⁄3 recipe) for 4-6 people, and the full recipe for 6-8 people.
The above numbers assume that you are feeding a horde of super hungry people. On average, the full recipe should be enough for 10-12 people.
Play around with your bakwan ingredients
There are other varieties of bakwan that you can make with this basic recipe. Just substitute corn with the same amount of other vegetables (or mixed vegetables) of your choice.
Popular ingredients include shredded cabbage, carrot julienne, green bean julienne, mung beans sprouts, thinly sliced blanched cauliflower/broccoli, and even roughly chopped shrimp just to name a few.
If you like this recipe, you may want to give my bakwan sayur (vegetable fritters) recipe a try.
Bakwan (Indonesian fritters) is a popular snack and side dish consumed in Indonesia. The most basic one is made with a mixture of cabbage and carrot, though shrimp and corn are also popular choices.
This recipe for bakwan jamur is using white button mushrooms as the main ingredient. It is a very unusual choice, but I love the result. Mushroom is a very meaty vegetable, and this can serve as a main dish for vegetarians.
Another difference between this recipe and other typical bakwan recipes is that I choose pan frying instead of deep-frying. I think the pan-frying version tastes just as good, so this can be a great option when I don’t feel like deep-frying. If you want a more authentic and traditional approach, stick to deep frying, otherwise, feel free to pan fry 🙂
Ingredients for bakwan jamur
We will need button mushrooms, garlic, scallions, bell pepper (or red/green chilies), all-purpose flour, rice flour, eggs, coriander, salt, sugar, and white pepper.
You can use either white or brown button mushrooms. You can even use oyster mushroom if that’s what you have.
Bell pepper vs. chilies
If you are planning to serve these to people who can tolerate plenty of heat from chilies, feel free to use red/green chilies instead of bell pepper. I usually use Fresno or jalapeno since these are rather mild, and more people will be able to enjoy the fritters.
Rice flour is optional
Rice flour makes the fritters crispier. If you don’t have rice flour at home, you can replace it with the same amount of all-purpose flour.
If you prefer super crispy fritters, feel free to use a mix of 50% all-purpose flour and 50% rice flour.
How to cook bakwan jamur
1. Prepare the batter
In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, rice flour, eggs, coriander, salt, sugar, white pepper, and water into a thick paste.
Add thinly sliced mushrooms, minced garlic, thinly sliced scallions, and diced bell pepper to the batter. Stir with a spatula until well mixed.
2. Fry the fritters
Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a skillet/frying pan on medium heat. Drop ladleful of mushroom batter into the frying pan, cook until both sides are golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat until the batter is used up.
Serving, storing, and reheating
You can serve mushroom fritters as a snack, or as a side dish with steamed rice. Most street food sellers in Indonesia will serve their freshly fried fritters with a handful of raw bird-eye chilies. I usually eat these plain, though some people also love dipping them in chili sauce.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week. It is best if you can reheat them either by lightly frying them in a frying pan or with an oven toaster for about 5 minutes. Please avoid reheating in a microwave since, or the fritters will lose their crispiness.
Bakwan kuah spesial vegetarian ini dibuat dari bahan utama berupa kentang, kaki jamur shiitake (hioko), dan wortel. Sesuai namanya, bakwan ini dinikmati bersama kuah pedas asam manis yang terbuat dari gula merah, cabai rawit hijau, dan perasan jeruk nipis, sehingga menjadi ciri khas bakwan ini.
1 buah kentang, potong kotak 1 x 1 cm
100 gr tepung terigu
1 buah wortel, potong kotak 1 x 1 cm
10 buah kaki jamur shiitake (hioko), rendam dan suwir tipis
2 sdm minyak goreng
1/4 kg minyak untuk menggoreng
Merica, garam, penyedap rasa secukupnya
5 sdm air
BAHAN KUAH: 5 buah cabai rawit hijau, haluskan 1 potong gula merah 1 gelas besar air 1 buah jeruk nipis
CARA MEMBUAT: 1. Untuk Bahan Isi: Panaskan minyak dalam wajan, tumis kaki jamur, masukkan garam, penyedap rasa, dan merica, tambahkan wortel, aduk-aduk dan biarkan sebentar. 2. Masukkan kentang dan masak sampai semua bahan matang, angkat, dan sisihkan. 3. Untuk Adonan Terigu: Campur terigu dengan air, garam, penyedap rasa, aduk rata, dan sisihkan.
CARA MENGGORENG: 1. Siapkan sendok sup ukuran sedang, panaskan minyak goreng (1/4 kg) dalam wajan, celupkan sendok sup ke dalamnya kemudian angkat dan sisakan minyak 1 sdm di dalamnya. 2. Masukkan 1 sendok adonan terigu, tambahkan 1 sdm bahan isi dan tutup lagi atasnya dengan 1 sdm adonan terigu. Celupkan sendok sup ke dalam wajan sampai permukaannya kuning kecokelatan, angkat. 3. Lakukan hal yang sama sampai semua adonan habis.
CARA MEMBUAT KUAH: Didihkan air, gula merah, cabai rawit hijau, dan perasan air jeruk nipis, beri garam secukupnya, angkat.
CARA MENYAJIKAN: Sajikan bakwan dengan disiram kuahnya. Nikmati selagi hangat.