How to Make Corn Nuts

Contrary to their name, corn nuts are not nuts, but they're just as satisfying as a crunchy snack. They're made by deep frying corn kernels until they're hard and brittle, and then seasoning them. Look for dried white corn kernels in the grocery store. Serve corn nuts as a snack or use them in recipes.

Put 1 inch of vegetable oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat to high, and bring the oil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, using a cooking thermometer to check the temperature.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add 1/3 cup corn kernels to the hot oil. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kernels are golden brown. Fry the kernels in small batches of around 1/3 cup until you have as many as you need.

Line a bowl with paper towels, and transfer the fried corn nuts to the bowl. Let them sit for 2 to 3 minutes, or until most of the oil has drained off.

Discard the paper towels, and sprinkle the corn nuts with salt, dried paprika and cayenne pepper to taste. If you prefer less spicy corn nuts, omit the cayenne and replace with ground black pepper.

Serve the seasoned corn nuts immediately, or store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for up to one week.


Always be careful around hot oil.