I love eating summer sweet corn, just heated through, with lots of butter and salt. But sometimes I want to serve it in an upscale setting, off the cob with some complex complimentary flavors. Enter this recipe from Momofuku, which is one of the best summer side dishes I have ever cooked.
I began with four cups of corn kernels (cut from five cobs of fresh corn), a cup of sliced scallions, six slices of bacon cut into batons, a quarter cup of roasted onions, two tablespoons of shiro (white) miso, two tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter, and a half cup of ramen broth.
I combined the miso with the butter in a small bowl, stirring thoroughly until the mixture was uniform and free of streaks. Next, I cooked the bacon over medium heat until it was brown but not too crisp, about four minutes. I drained the bacon on paper towels. You know what bacon looks like, but I haven’t included a gratuitous bacon shot in a while:
I poured off all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat, set the pan over high heat, and added the corn just as the fat started to smoke. I stired the corn untul it turned bright yellow and some of the kernels started to brown, about four minutes.
I added the bacon and roasted onions and stirred to combine.
Finally, I added the broth, miso butter, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. I glazed the corn with the butter and broth by stirring it slowly.
When there was no more broth left in the bottom of the pan, I transferred the corn to a serving bowl and garnished it with the scallions.
Sweet corn and onions, smoky bacon, nutty miso, sharp scallions — this dish had its flavors goin’ on. The balance was slightly off, due to the inexact measurement of an “ear” of corn. Next time I’ll measure out the four cups instead of relying on variable cob sizes.
The surprise ingredient was the miso butter, a combination I had not considered before but plan on using in the future to finish steamed vegetables. It added depth and complexity beyond my usual butter-and-salt accompaniment. You may consider making this corn dish, but you must make the miso butter.