Toasted Corn

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    6 to 8

    servings

Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

In Ghana, people frequently snack on seeds and nuts like tiger nuts, groundnuts/peanuts, and cashews, often combined with something else, such as fresh coconut or corn. While corn is boiled (and eaten alone or with fresh coconut) or popped, it is also toasted. African toasted corn requires the right type of dried corn—hominy, white Indian, or even yellow field corn. Popcorn kernels or dried sweet corn will not work. I have the best luck purchasing the corn in African specialty grocery stores.

The corn can be prepared several different ways: deep-frying, toasting in a pan on a stove top, or oven roasting. My husband claims this snack is a great stress reliever, especially when eaten with dry roasted unsalted peanuts. Note that this is not a snack for children, nor for anyone with weak teeth. Also, it is best eaten shortly after it has been cooked and cooled as it becomes harder as time passes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried corn
  • Vegetable oil (not olive oil)
  • Salt

Method

Directions

Prepare corn

  1. Soak the corn in water for at least 3 days in the refrigerator but make sure it does not begin to sprout.
  2. Rinse and drain the corn in a colander, and after allowing the water to drip off, blot the corn dry with paper towels or a clean cloth.

Deep-frying Method

  1. Fill a heavy frying pan with a cover no more than half-full with vegetable oil and heat on a stovetop on medium-high for 5 to 10 minutes. To test the temperature: Carefully, using a long-handled slotted spoon, lower a kernel of corn into the hot oil. If it sinks to the bottom and stays there, the oil is not hot enough; if it bounces up to the top immediately, the oil is too hot; if the oil bubbles and the corn gracefully floats up, it is perfect.
  2. When the oil is ready, using a slotted spoon with a long handle, carefully pour the corn into the hot oil, give it a quick stir, and cover it immediately (I use a clear glass lid). It will begin to splatter as soon as the corn hits the oil (the reason for blotting the water off the drained corn). Depending on your stove, you may wish to turn the heat down to medium at this point.
  3. After 5 minutes, with the edge of the lid away from you, using a potholder, carefully lift the lid halfway up (the edge of the lid in front facing down and the edge of the lid in back almost facing straight up). Quickly and carefully peek at the corn (around the lid) to see if it has turned golden or slightly brown. If not, continue cooking and check again in 2 minutes. You can also remove a kernel, let it cool, and taste to see if it is crunchy. If so, remove the pot from heat and use a slotted spoon to quickly remove the corn and drain it on paper towels. Add salt to taste while the corn is still warm.

Stove-top Method

  1. After draining the corn and blotting it dry, pour it into a bowl and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil and a little salt. Stir well.
  2. Heat a frying pan on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Coat the bottom of the pan lightly with a little oil (I use a pastry brush). Add the corn and cook until it is lightly browned (about 15 to 20 minutes), shaking the pan (or stirring) several times to ensure it cooks evenly. If the corn seems to be browning too quickly, lower the heat. Watch carefully because the corn can quickly burn. Keep a lid handy just in case the corn begins to “jump.”
  3. Line a colander or pan with paper towels or simply put paper towels on a counter, and place the toasted corn on it to cool. Add salt to taste while the corn is still warm.

Oven-Roasting Method

  1. Put the rack in the middle of the oven and turn on the oven to preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly brush vegetable oil on the foil.
  2. Pour the corn into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and some salt and stir well (more salt can be added later). Spread the corn evenly in a single layer on the cookie sheet.
  3. Cook in the oven until lightly golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 or 7 minutes to make sure the corn cooks evenly. Add additional salt to taste while the corn is still warm.