Corn Oysters

Dated July 1, 1955.

Comparing two early recipes shows two varieties of corn oyster: one like the recipe above, which is an oval-ish corn fritter, and one that’s more of a johnnycake sort of composition without leavening.

The earliest recipe I’ve found so far is from the September 2, 1866 edition of the Burlington (Iowa) Daily Hawk-Eye:

Corn Oysters. — Grate the corn; to every pint take three well beaten eggs, sufficient flour to make the corn hold together in the shape of fried oysters. Season with pepper and salt, and brown on a riddle. Serve with butter. They must be made quite flat or they will not cook through thoroughly.

A slightly more detailed version was included in 1870’s Jennie June’s American Cookery Book by Jane Cunningham Croly:

Corn Oysters.

Take six ears of boiled corn, three eggs, one and a half table-spoonsful of flour. Beat the yolks very thick; cut the corn off the cob, season it with pepper and salt; mix it with the yolks, and add the flour. Whisk the whites to a stiff froth, stir them in with the corn and yolks; put a dessert-spoonful at a time in a pan of hot butter, and fry to a light brown on both sides.


From a box sold in Warren, Michigan. Click here to see the card in full size.
This box was a birthday gift to AdGo from Julie at Thanks Mmbe!

Corn Oysters

Mix together:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon double acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon paprika


  • 2 cups freshly scraped corn pulp
  • 2 well beaten egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk

Mix well.

Fold in stiffly beaten whites of 2 eggs.

Drop batter by spoonfuls onto 1/2 inch hot fat in shallow frying pan. Fry until golden on both sides, cooking only a few at a time so they will not stick together. Drain on absorbent paper.


One Comment

  1. S S

    Miss Leslie’s book Directions for Cookery has a recipe for Mock Oysters of Corn (1837,’s copy is an 1840 edition):

    Take a dozen and a half ears of large young corn, and grate all the grains off the cob as fine as possible. Mix with the grated corn three large table-spoonfuls of sifted flour, the yolks of six eggs well beaten. Let all be well incorporated by hard beating.

    Have ready in a frying-pan an equal proportion of lard and fresh butter. Hold it over the fire till it is boiling hot, and then put in portions of the mixture as nearly as possible in shape and size like fried oysters. Fry them brown, and send them to table hot. They should be near an inch thick.

    This is an excellent relish at breakfast, and may be introduced as a side dish at dinner. In taste it has a singular resemblance to fried oysters. The corn must be young.

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