This is a snack dish originated from northern Vietnam where it is called ngô chiên (fried corn), despite the fact the “chiên” is etymologically a southern dialect word for “to fry” or “frying”. This dish is often confused with a southern Vietnamese snack called bắp xào (stir-fried corn kernels usually with butter, dried shrimps and chopped spring onion). The fry dish is cooked by deep-frying corn kernels which are coated with crispy flour. The final outcome is a texture that is crispy outside and soft inside.
The butter version is the most popular one in which the corn kernels are fried twice, first with regular oil and second with some butter. In Vietnam, there are some different kinds of corn, and the suitable one is the one that is sweet.
In a frying pan of hot oil, add the dredged corn kernels. Do not stir until you see the crispy flour is cooked. Stir slightly until the outside looks crispy and puffed. Use a sieve to move the fried corn kernels into another pan with melted butter. Stir slightly until the butter soaks up the corn kernels. Turn off the heat and pour the buttered corn kernels onto a kitchen tissue.
You can make spicy corn kernels by adding some pepper. You put the fried corn in a large box, you add ½ teaspoon of paprika or chilli powder, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and shake well.