I tried to prepare a recipe of crispy fried corn. I coated the corn kernels with corn starch, but the starch didn't stick to the corn kernels properly, so when I deep-fried them in hot oil they started popping, bursting.

  • What type of corn did you use? I'm wondering if specific varieties of corn are meant for this application.
    – mroll
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 5:12
  • 1
    Can you share the recipe?
    – Jade So
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 5:21
  • I used sweet corn cob and removed kernels from it. Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 17:34
  • recipe I used yourvegrecipe.com/recipe/… Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 17:35

2 Answers 2


It sounds to me like you are accidentally making popcorn, which is a result of hot gasses building up inside the hull of the kernel. Fresh kernels typically have a tougher hull than frozen or canned, both of which use methods that weaken the hull. Freezing the corn causes growing ice crystals to damage cells. Canned corn is boiled, which both seals the can and cooks the corn, softening it.

Here's some things you can do to fix your problems:

Boil the corn

Boiling would solve your popping problem, as the pre-cooked corn's hull would be soft, enough to release the moisture from inside, or only just split rather than have the entire kernel pop. It would also fix the issue with the cornstarch not adhering to the kernels, as the softer (and now wet) corn would be more prone to releasing it's inner moisture.

  1. Boil the fresh corn for 3 - 4 minutes or until soft
  2. Transfer corn into a colander or a sieve to remove excess water. Excess water might cause the cornstarch to clump together.

Freeze the corn

Freezing the corn beforehand would also soften it, just make sure to fully defrost and drain the corn (see above).

Fry the corn on a lower temperature

Your oil might just be too hot, causing the higher moisture inside to cook and expand faster than the husk, which could cause popping.

  • I worked with sweet corn only but will try your suggestion. Thanks Commented May 10, 2018 at 23:09

My assumption is that you simply started with ripe kernels off the cob. This will give you popcorn.

If you want them to not pop, you need some other form - "milk" (unripe) kernels, or maybe canned kernels. They should not pop as readily. Also pay attention to the time they spend in the hot oil, it shouldn't be overly long.

Also see this question for doing roughly the same thing in an oven.


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