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Thai Corn Cakes

Mary Edwards | May 25, 2023

We love the rich flavor of Thai red curry, and in this special corn cake and shrimp recipe, all those wonderful flavors of coconut, ginger, and spice come through beautifully. The corn cakes themselves feature cornmeal and popcorn (you read that right) to give this dish a playful touch. This dish inspired our squad of judges so much, it won Mary Edwards third place honors at the National Cornbread Cook-off in 2023.

Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Cook it With Our
Thai Corn Cakes


Neutral cooking oil (vegetable or peanut)
1 8 ounce box of cornbread mix
1 can coconut cream, divided
2 eggs
5 tablespoons chopped green onions, divided
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided
1 teaspoon grated ginger
5 slices of fresh ginger
1 ear of fresh corn, off the cob OR 1 cup of frozen corn
1½ cups popcorn
⅓ cup water 
⅓ cup rice wine vinegar 
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cups diced watermelon rind, skin removed and leaving an edge of red flesh 
1 tablespoon diced crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped mint
1 thinly sliced Serrano chili pepper
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (or to taste)
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
2 teaspoons Sriracha (or to taste)
1½ pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and cleaned


  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Pour ¼ cup cooking oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven to heat. 
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk the coconut cream to blend well. In a bowl, mix together the box of cornbread mix, ½ cup of the coconut cream and the eggs. Stir in 3 tablespoons of green onion, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, grated ginger, corn, and popcorn. Once the skillet is fully heated, add the cornbread mixture and spread it evenly. Bake for 5 minutes and brush with oil; continue to bake for 7 to 10 minutes more.
  3. Make a pickled watermelon rind relish. Simmering water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, crystallized ginger, salt, and watermelon rind for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and just before serving add the remaining cilantro, mint, and Serrano.
  4. Add the red curry paste, butter, brown sugar, sliced ginger, fish sauce, and Sriracha to the remaining coconut cream in the saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring as needed, to thicken. 
  5. In a bowl, add shrimp and ladle enough red curry sauce to coat. In a skillet, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil and quickly saute the shrimp, turning once.
  6. To serve, flip the cornbread onto a large cutting board and use a biscuit cutter to cut circles. Divide curry sauce equally among serving dishes and top with 2 corn cakes and shrimp. Drain most of the liquid from the pickled watermelon rind and spoon on top. Sprinkle with the remaining green onion.
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Contributed By: Mary Edwards

Mary Edwards lives in Ormond Beach, Florida and placed third in the 2023 Cornbread Cook-off with these curry-full Thai Corn Cakes. Learn more about the National Cornbread Festival and the Lodge National Cornbread Cook-off here!

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