Sour Fried Corn and Leeks

Just 3 Ingredients To Create A Side Dish With IT!

I’ve made this dish for over 25 years. It never fails to please and surprise. When I see fresh corn, this recipe “dings” my mind.

It includes a traditional Japanese “vinegar” known as—ume plum vinegar. It is actually a sour-salty brine that works magic as a mystery seasoning across many dishes. Ume loves to marry with sweet. This fried corn dish will get you up and running with it. Trust me. Find at large supermarkets and Asian markets. It’s not expensive.

Serves 6-8 can easily be halved


  • leek – 2 cups, (1 large), or sweet onion
  • corn niblets – 6 cups, (6 to 8 ears)
  • olive oil – 2 TBS.
  • ume plum vinegar – 2 TBS. + to taste

OPTIONS: Add minced red bell pepper for color, and chives, parsley, or cilantro. Serve with hot sauce at the ready.

INSTRUCTIONS: It’s important to get some caramelization on the leeks 

  1. Prepare the leek: halve down the length and slice into 1/4 inch half-rounds. Then soak off any dirt and dry with salad spinner or toweling. If using onion, dice into corn kernel size pieces.
  2. Use corn off the cob or frozen corn that has been thawed.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium-high, add the oil and the leeks. Sauté several minutes until the leeks turn brown on edges. Be mindful as they can burn quickly at this stage.
  4. Add in the corn and the vinegar, and combine. Cover and cook a few minutes, then remove cover and lower heat to medium-low. Continue to cook a few minutes until moisture has evaporated. Taste for sour-salty and adjust vinegar if needed.
DSCN4251 2
For added color include minced red bell pepper and chopped herbs like parsley, cilantro, or chives

Expand this into a main course by adding scallops, shrimp, or vegan protein options.

Recipe adapted by B. Hettig, original by Frank Arcuri

3 thoughts on “Sour Fried Corn and Leeks

  1. I have been making this for the past 30 years! First had it at the Roxbury Dinner Club in Orlando/Winter Park Florida. Thank you for sharing. Great and different recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

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