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Thai Corn Cakes

Purple sweet potatoes and purple carrots are quite easy to find now and make dramatic looking food. They taste good too, especially in these Thai corn cakes!

Thai Corn Cakes

Dietary: Vegan

Makes: 12

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins


  • 125g purple sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 125g orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 125g sweetcorn kernels
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • small handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • fine cornmeal, for dusting

For the spice paste:

  • 1 lemongrass stick, chopped
  • 3cm galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

For the carrot salad:

  • 1 orange carrot
  • 1 purple carrot
  • juice of 1 lime


  • Steam the two colours of sweet potatoes separately, until tender. Leave to cool, then mash each colour in separate bowls.
  • To make the spice paste, place the lemongrass, galangal, garlic, lime leaves and chilli in a small processor and blend finely.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan and gently fry the spice paste with the sweetcorn and spring onion for 5 minutes.
  • Divide the mixture, together with the chopped coriander, between the two bowls of mashed sweet potato, mix well and season to taste.
  • When you are ready to cook the cakes, roll the mixture into small balls and flatten on a board dusted with the cornmeal, so they are coated on each side.
  • Heat a frying pan and add a couple of tablespoons of oil. Fry the cakes in batches, turning so they are golden on both sides. Between each batch, wipe out the frying pan with kitchen paper and add more oil.
  • Drain the cakes on kitchen paper.
  • For the salad, julienne the carrots and squeeze over the lime juice. Serve the corn cakes with the carrot salad and a dash of sweet chilli sauce.


  • If you don’t have sweet potato, use ordinary potato instead.
  • Galangal is arhizome from the ginger family with a more perfumed, aromatic flavour than ginger. It freezes well, either whole or chopped. If you can’t get it use fresh ginger instead.
  • You could substitute beetroot in the salad, if you can’t find purple carrots.

Photos by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures

For more sweetcorn ideas, check out my post Sweetcorn in Season where you'll find out how to prepare sweetcorn for cooking and some more sweetcorn recipe ideas to make the most of the season. Do you have any recipes using the fabulously coloured vegetables which are appearing in our shops? Leave a comment below or come and talk to us on social media! Find us onFacebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and, if you like this post, please share it!

We run regular Thai Cooking Courses so if you're feeling inspired and want to find out more do check our course calendar and sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date.

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