Potato and Sweetcorn Pancakes

Image of sweetcorn growingIt’s one of my favourite times of the year in the vegetable garden. The peas and asparagus may be over for another year but the French beans, the first tomatoes and cucumbers and above all, the sweetcorn are ready for picking.

We came home from our Irish holiday laden with produce from the Ummera smokehouse, including a whole side of smoked salmon. We ate some with friends at lunch last Sunday, served with the pickled cucumber from this recipe.

But leafing through an old cookery book when we were in Cork, I found a recipe from Paul Rankin for potato pancakes, a traditional Irish treat. This is an adaptation … I added sweetcorn to the batter and served them with smoked salmon and a yoghurt and chive sauce, though vegetarians can of course forego the fish.

It makes a substantial brunch for four people to eight people (depending on how hungry/hungover you might be). The pancakes would also be good with crispy bacon.

Potato and Sweetcorn Pancakes

Image of potato and sweetcorn pancakes with smoked salmon and a yoghurt and chive sauce


6 large slices of smoked salmon, about 350g

250g floury potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 sweetcorn cobs (or equivalent in tinned or frozen sweetcorn)

2 heaped tbsp plain flour

3 eggs, separated

Crème fraîche, about 4-6 tbsp

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Butter, for frying

For the sauce:

6-8 tbsp plain yoghurt

1 small clove of garlic, peeled

Sea salt

Small bunch of chives


Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.

Make the sauce first to allow the flavours to meld: crush the garlic with a pinch of sea salt and stir into the yoghurt. Snip in the chives, reserving a few for garnish.

Cut the smoked salmon into strips and roll into 16 rosettes, cover and set aside.

Image of smoked salmon rosettes

Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, then drain well and rice or mash until smooth and lump-free. Boil the sweetcorn in salted water until just cooked and once cool enough to handle, slice off the kernels with a sharp knife. Add to the potato bowl.

Stir through the flour then mix in the egg yolks. Add enough crème fraîche to loosen the batter and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Beat the egg whites in another bowl until white and frothy, then fold gently and evenly into the batter. Heat a small cast iron skillet and add a teaspoon of butter.

Image of potato and sweetcorn pancakesWhen it’s foaming, add a large spoonful or two of the batter to form a rough circle. Cook on a low-to-medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the pancake is set enough to flip over and is browned underneath.

Cook the other side for about two minutes, but resist the temptation to squash it down, as it’s meant to be fluffy. Put it on a plate and pop into the oven to keep warm and finish cooking through, while you make the remaining pancakes. You should get eight out of this mixture.

Give each person one or two pancakes each, with a share of smoked salmon, and drizzle the pancakes with some of the chive yoghurt sauce. Garnish with a few more chives and serve.

18 thoughts on “Potato and Sweetcorn Pancakes

  1. Oh Linda, this is brilliant. I love making savory pancakes, but I’m not sure I’ve ever included corn. And with salmon – be still my heart!

    • *bows deeply* Thanks, Mimi, that’s very kind. Hope you like it if you try it! They do pair very well with smoked salmon, especially with the addition of the sauce to cut the sweetness and egginess. Lx

  2. Glad to see a European growing corn for something besides livestock or fuel! It’s such a delicious part of summer, and the perfect addition to your pancakes. 🙂

  3. whenever I eat corn I remember how good it is… lately I have been making fresh corn polenta with it or i just simmer it in a little water + then drained and eaten with extra butter and parmesan. paul rankin: totally forgotten about him: I still identify Irish food mainly with the Allen family, Myrtle first of all, but of course there were many more…I remember him on telly years and years ago, then he sort of disappeared.

    • Love the idea of fresh corn polenta, how do you go about it please? Paul Rankin … I think he was making some TV programmes for Ulster telly with Nick Nairn but haven’t seen them. He had a lot of financial problems, hope he’s doing better now.

  4. I make a similar pancake recipe that includes a couple of spoons full of polenta to make the batter golden yellow. I usually make them bitesized to top with a twist of salmon as an hors d’ouevre. Thanks for the reminder. Fresh sweet corn is in season all year in the this crazy climate and haven’t thought about savoury pancakes for a while. Yum!

    • Yes, they’d make lovely starter portions, too. If only fresh corn was in season all year round here! I have to content myself with freezing our home-grown cobs for the winter. Lx

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