Tag Archives: Fritter

Bakwan Sayur – Vegetables Fritter Recipe

Ingredients for bakwan sayur (Indonesian vegetable fritters): carrot, cabbage, scallions, egg, all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, sugar, and white pepper.

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. ♥

Bakwan sayur batter, ready to be fried into fritters.

Bakwan sayur batter, ready to be fried into fritters.

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.

Bakwan Sayur - Vegetables Fritter

Bakwan Sayur – Vegetables Fritter

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.

Bakwan Sayur - Vegetables Fritter

Bakwan Sayur – Vegetables Fritter

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.

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Bakwan Jagung – Corn Fritter Recipe

Bakwan jagung – Indonesian corn fritters.

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.

Ingredients for Indonesian bakwan jagung: fresh corn, eggs, shallots, garlic, scallion, celery, all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, and pepper.

Ingredients for Indonesian bakwan jagung: fresh corn, eggs, shallots, garlic, scallion, celery, all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, and pepper.

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.

Bakwan jagung batter mix: (1) Place corn kernels in a mixing bowl. (2) Add shallot, garlic, scallion, celery, and eggs. (3) Add all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, ground pepper, and water. (4) Mix gently with a spatula into a thick batter.

Bakwan jagung batter mix: (1) Place corn kernels in a mixing bowl. (2) Add shallot, garlic, scallion, celery, and eggs. (3) Add all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, ground pepper, and water. (4) Mix gently with a spatula into a thick batter.

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.

Deep fry ladleful of corn fritter batter into hot oil until golden brown, and drain the fried fritters on a wire rack over a baking tray.

Deep fry ladleful of corn fritter batter into hot oil until golden brown, and drain the fried fritters on a wire rack over a baking tray.

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.

Bakwan jagung - Indonesian corn fritters.

Bakwan jagung – Indonesian corn fritters.

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.

Bakwan jagung - Indonesian corn fritters.

Bakwan jagung – Indonesian corn fritters.

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 Jagung - Corn Fritter

Bakwan Jagung – Corn Fritter

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