Bakwan Jagung Ikan Teri Nasi / Frikadel Djagung met Ikan Teri Nasi (Indonesian Corn Fritters with Salted Anchovies)

Some time ago I posted my grandmother’s recipe for Indonesian corn fritters, known as frikadel djagung, or simply maiskoekjes in The Netherlands and perkedel jagung, or bakwan jagung in Indonesia. While my grandmother’s version is definitely a treasured favorite in my entire family and I can’t possibly make them any better than she used to, this time around I tried to do something a little different by adding some extra spices for a bit of warmth, keeping a decent amount of corn kernels whole for a bit of chewiness, and by adding a handful of tiny dried and salted anchovies to kick up that umami flavour.


Those of you that like the intense savory and fragrant flavor of salted fish (me me me!) should definitely try this version of the well-known corn fritter. Not only do the dried anchovies add a nice layer (I should say: punch!) of umami to the otherwise slightly sweet snack they also add an extra layer of crunchiness by frying up all scraggly and crispy on the outside of the fritter.

The tiniest size of dried anchovies (ikan teri nasi) are about the size of a grain of rice.

Dried and salted anchovies usually come in several sizes with the most common ones being around 3 – 4cm in length. For this recipe, however, you will need the tiniest size of dried anchovies (ikan teri nasi) that are about the size of a grain of rice (Probably explains the ‘nasi’ in the name, which means rice. Either that, the name refers to them being a common rice topping). I prefer to use these tiniest of fish, because they mix well into the batter in order to impart all of their savory goodness without changing the soft texture too much. You can usually find ikan teri nasi in the freezer section of any large Asian supermarket.

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Note: If the ikan teri nasi are too dry (hard), or salty for you, soak them in a little bit of water for 10 – 15 minutes before using them in this recipe.


Bakwan Jagung Ikan Teri Nasi / Frikadel Djagung met Ikan Teri Nasi (Indonesian Corn Fritters with Tiny Salted Anchovies)

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Indonesian corn fritters (bakwang jagung) with tiny salted anchovies (ikan teri nasi)
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Serves:4
  • Freezable:Yes

Nutrition per portion

  • 4 sweet corn cobs (about 500g corn kernels)
  • 70g small salted dried anchovies (ikan teri nasi)
  • 120g plain flour (or add a bit more if the batter is too wet)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground galangal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • Sunflower oil, for frying
  • Lime wedges, to serve
Yields about 4 fritters per serving. Note: For this recipe I've used ikan teri nasi found in the freezer section. After defrosting, these anchovies usually turn slightly soft. If you can only find fully dried/hard ikan teri nasi, soak them in water for 10 - 15 minutes before using them in this recipe.
  1. Prepare the corn: Cut the corn from the cobs, or drain the liquid from the canned corn. With a food processor, or with a large stone mortar and pestle, process half of the corn into a chunky mush. Leave the other half of the kernels intact. Transfer all to a bowl.
  2. Mix the batter: Add the flour, small dried anchovies (ikan teri nasi), eggs, crushed garlic, chopped chili, chopped spring onion, ground coriander seeds, ground galangal and salt. Stir to combine. The mixture should be thick, but slightly wet and the ingredients should sticktogether well. If the mixture is too dry, add a little bit of water, or add more flour if it’s too wet.
  3. Fry the fritters: In a wok, or high-rimmed frying pan, heat up sunflower oil on medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is deep enough for the fritters to float slightly (about 3 - 4cm deep). When the oil is hot, gently lower about a heaped spoon (or two) of the mixture per fritter into the oil. Fry the fritters until golden brown on all sides (takes around 3 - 4 minutes).
  4. Serve hot with some lime wedges on the side.

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