Fresh corn kernels are amazing when scraped off the cob and then fried in buttery bacon fat. This will probably be the absolute best corn you will ever taste!
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Corn isn’t just something that you serve straight out of a can or something you crush up and turn into tortillas.
You can take individual corn kernels, fry them up in bacon or butter fat and turn them into a surprisingly tasty and addictive side dish!
The key is to use really fresh corn kernels straight from the cob – while corn from a can is certainly easier, it just doesn’t have that same fresh and delicious taste. Plus, all of the water in a can of corn ruins the texture, making it difficult to get them really crispy.
Fried Corn Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• Fresh corn kernels scraped off of the cob
• Thick-cut bacon
• Salt & black pepper
• Chives or parsley as garnish
How To Make Fried Corn
• Place the diced bacon into a large, heavy-duty skillet or cast iron pan and cook on medium-high heat until browned or crisp
• Remove the bacon pieces from the pan and drain them on a paper towel
• Drain the bacon grease from the pan, leaving at least 1 tablespoon remaining in the pan
• Heat the grease and the butter over medium-low heat until foamy
• Add the fresh corn kernels in an even layer
• Fry the corn, stirring occasionally
• Lower the heat as needed to keep the butter and corn from burning
• Fry until the corn is light golden in places, about 15 minutes
• Sprinkle with the salt & pepper and, if desired, the sugar to help sweeten it
• Garnish with fresh minced chives or parsley
How To Easily Scrape The Kernels Off Of The Cob
While fresh corn kernels are definitely the key to this recipe, trying to get a corn to give up its kernels can sometimes be a pretty tricky task.
Unless you have been shucking and removing corn kernels all your life, trying to do it quickly and easily can definitely be a bit of a challenge.
However, it isn’t overwhelmingly difficult – just really fiddly.
You first need to get a really good grip on your corn cob, planting one end of it on your chopping board or another hard surface, and then gripping the top part with your off-hand.
Using your knife, you want to slice down the corn cob, freeing the little corn kernel bit by bit as your knife pulls downward.
If you just go straight in with a regular kitchen knife, you will actually end up slicing the corn off of the cob, leaving behind little bits of the corn.
This is a lot easier than trying to remove each individual kernel, though it does waste a little bit with each cut.
To avoid wasting any whatsoever, you can use a smaller knife to sort of cut the kernels off from the cub by digging your knife behind each kernel, almost like you are trying to hull a strawberry.
Keep in mind, though, that the amount you actually waste is pretty low, so don’t worry too much about losing those last little bits of corn.
Should You Use Sugar In This Recipe
The addition of sugar in this recipe might seem a bit strange, considering this recipe is a savory side dish.
However, corn works surprisingly well with sweeter flavors, which is why you will often see corn and cornmeal being used in sweeter dishes like cakes.
The addition of a little bit of sugar in this recipe is to help create more of a cornbread-like flavor, something you might get in the American South.
You absolutely don’t have to add the sugar if you don’t want to, though! The sugar will make it taste a bit more homey, as well as a bit more traditional, but you can always skip it and instead add all kinds of other seasonings to turn it even more savory, like cumin and cayenne pepper.
Just keep in mind that the little bit of sugar you add can actually help to encourage browning on the individual corn kernels, so if you skip it, you might end up with a bit less tasty browning on every corn kernel.
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- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 25 minutes
- Side Dish
- Karlynn Johnston
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels scraped off the cob (about 6 ears)
- 4 slices thick cut bacon diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- fresh chives, parsley use as garnish if desired
- Place the diced bacon into a large heavy-duty skillet or cast iron pan and cook medium-high heat until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the bacon pieces from the pan and set on a paper towel to drain.
- Drain the bacon grease from the pan, leaving 1-2 tablespoons remaining in the pan.
- Heat the grease and the butter over medium-low heat until foamy.
- Add the fresh corn kernels in an even layer.
- Fry the corn, stirring occasionally.
- If needed lower the heat if necessary to keep the butter and the corn from burning
- Fry until the corn is light golden in places, about 13-15 minutes. Add in the cooked bacon.
- Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and if desired, the sugar to sweeten it a bit.
- Garnish with fresh minced chives or freshly minced parsley if desired.
- Sugar is optional but if you are person that likes sweet cornbread, you will probably like it in this dish!
- If desired you can leave out the bacon!
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.