Sweet Heat Corn Chips

Fried corn strips seasoned with a chili powder mixture that's one of the most addicting things I've ever made!


Sweet Heat Corn Chips

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A few weeks ago I made a crunchy omelet that has been in my mind ever since. Not for the omelet exactly, but for the corn strips that I fried up for it.

After I fried them, I thought to myself, “Self. Those look like homemade Fritos.”

So I went on kind of a little kick thinking about ways to make these corn strips something special.

It turns out that the most simple application was the best. Just three little ingredients tossed on the corn chips made them one of the most addicting things I’ve made in awhile.

Sweet Heat Corn Chips

Serves 2-4
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Helpful Equipment:

cast iron skillet

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Fried corn strips seasoned with a chili powder mixture that’s one of the most addicting things I’ve ever made!


12 corn tortillas, cut into strips
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Teaspoons chili powder
2 Teaspoons kosher salt
Oil for frying


1) Cut corn strips into strips or any other shape really.

2) Mix seasonings together.

3) Heat oil in a large heavy pot.  You only need about 1/2 inch of oil in the pot.

4) Add corn strips in batches to oil.  Stir regularly as they cook so the strips don’t stick together.

5) Cook for about 3-4 minutes until very crispy.

6) Drain chips for 15-30 seconds.

7) Season liberally.

The Quick Prep

It should go without saying that you don’t need to cut these guys into strips. Triangles or rounds would work fine also. Heck, you could cut them into Christmas trees if you wanted.

Easy step…

As far as the seasonings go, I wanted something salty, savory, and slightly sweet. So I picked up one ingredient that would accomplish each of those things: chili powder, sugar, and salt.

If you have the time (and patience), I really recommend making your own chili powder because it’ll be approximately 100 times more flavorful.

I make my own but then store it in an old chili powder container so it keeps longer.

Just three flavors.

Stir together the sugar, salt, and chili powder and you’ll have something awesome. Feel free to adjust this spice mixture to your tastes.

If you wanted it a bit spicier, you could add a pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper. If you want it sweeter, you could add some brown sugar.

It’s probably gonna be pretty good no matter what.

Tastes really good.

Testing Testing

Anytime I’m making a chip product, I always do a test run before going into full production.

This gives you a chance to make sure your oil is at the right temperature and that your spice mixture is right before you start adding it to a whole batch.

This was my quick test batch which turned out better than I was expecting.

Testing. Testing…

Cooking the Corn Strips

Any big heavy pot will work fine for cooking these corn strips. I like to use my cast iron skillet for anything fry-related.

The cool thing about this fry job is that you don’t need a lot of oil. Just about a half inch of oil in the pan will be enough to fry the strips. Once the oil is hot, add a few handfuls of strips to the oil and stir them around.

Try to make sure the strips are separated at the beginning. If you let them sit in the hot oil without stirring them, they’ll all stick together.

Cooking in batches…

One batch will need to cook for about three minutes. It’s a really quick fry, but make sure they get nice and crispy before removing them.

Then just pull out the chips and let them drain on a paper towel for about 30 seconds. You want to make sure to season them while they are still hot and a bit greasy so the seasoning sticks well.

But a quick drain is necessary.

Drain for just a few seconds.

Then dump them quickly in a bowl and season them.

Season them liberally.

Don’t go easy on them.

quick seasoning
Feel free to go heavy on it.

The finished chips will be crunchy, salty, a bit sweet, and have this delicious smokey flavor from the chili powder.

You’ll have no problem polishing off a bowl of these guys.

close up
So addictive!

I would only change one thing if I were to make these again…

I would double the recipe!

9 Responses to “Sweet Heat Corn Chips” Leave a comment

  1. Great idea – I am stealing it and am going to put that on the baked chips I have been making. I have been on Weight Watchers for four months and have lost 26 lbs. The chips have really helped me and this will just be that more delicious! I know they won't be AS tasty as yours but I am determined to lose another 20. Thanks Nick!

  2. I tried these the other night. They turned out pretty well. When i first heated the oil I believe I heated it to much because it hit it's smoke point (didnt have a thermometer in it because it was on the stove). So i threw that oil out and heated some more on a much lower temp….that worked great.

    The seasoning was amazing. It hit every taste bud with a different flavor! I will be using it on many more things….would have never thought of mixing those three simply ingredients together. Excellent!

  3. This was sooo god and addictive. Mines were thicker because I made my corn tortillas fist but these were out of this world delicious. Way better than the store brought chips.

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