Fresh sweetcorn is one of the crops that heralds in summer in my kitchen. They are amazing this time of the year when they are abundant at the greengrocers, so sweet and bursting with deliciousness that you could eat them raw off the cob. And I do. Seriously. Even Sam, the beagle, gets in on the act.
Strangely enough, we don’t get much sweetcorn back in Malaysia. What we do have are delicate and crisp baby corns. The tinned versions are a poor substitute, so I seldom bother with them.
David Chang prepared this dish on his PBS series Mind of a Chef episode on Soy. So simple and clever, I had to give it a go. I later realised that a version of this was published in his Momofoku cookbook (instead of cooking from it, the cookbook has been propping up my laptop…oh the shame!)
Like Chef Chang, I love corn on the cob but only when I’m on my own as they are messy to eat (I steam them and slather with butter) and it’s not the most attractive look when bits of corn get stuck between your teeth. This recipe gives the best of everything, you get slightly smokey, buttery corn with such a great umami taste (no one will guess there is miso in there), you have the cob to gnaw the juicy heart of the kernels and no messy diners.
This version of Miso Corn comes from Gourmet magazine, adapted for NZ ingredients, and my laziness. Although we don’t get smokey bacon from Benton’s here in NZ, I’m sure they don’t have Manuka smoked bacon over in NY. So there.
3 slices Manuka-smoked bacon
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp white miso
3 large ears corn, kernels cut from cobs
½ cup water (or use stock for a richer taste)
2 to 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions and bacon together until onion is softened and bacon is crispy.
Mix the butter and miso together.
Add the corn kernels to the skillet, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the butter/miso mixture and water and cook until liquid has evaporated, and kernels are coated with miso. Add in the scallions, season with freshly ground pepper to taste and give it a few good stirs. Delicious hot or warm.