BLazing about at the very last, the song of the summer is finally upon us. Titled It’s Corn, the song is an instantly catchy and surprisingly heartfelt ode to sweet corn performed by a kid known as Corn Boy, and it’s truly a must-watch on TikTok. The lyrics are not only frankly direct (“It’s corn!” it’s okay. “A big piece with knobs, that’s got juice! I can’t imagine a nicer thing”) but they also make you want to listener to go out instantly and eat as much corn as possible. And for that reason and that reason alone, here are the 10 best corn recipes on the internet.
Sweet corn fritters
Let’s start with Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Sweetcorn Fritters from earlier this month. The recipe is worth revisiting for two reasons. The first is that Cloake emphasizes how important it is to eat corn on the cob as fresh as possible, because the sugars begin to turn into starch as soon as they are picked. Second, the donuts are spectacular – crispy, sweet and lacy.
In fact, let’s double down on Cloake’s recipes, because last year she also created the perfect creamed corn. An overlooked dish in the UK, partly because the simple act of gnawing on a cob is such a foolproof method of sweetcorn delivery, creamed corn is extremely comforting and easy to prepare. Fry a load of corn with a little onion, pour in the milk and cream, mix and you’re done. Beautiful.
Grilled Corn in its Husk with Creamy Pecorino Vinaigrette
Speaking of gnawing on a cob, you’re not short of variations. My mother’s method – boiling them into oblivion – is perfectly fine. But for a little extra elegance, Yotam Ottolenghi’s corn roasted in its husk with a creamy pecorino vinaigrette is hard to beat. The husk acts like a steamer, trapping the corn’s juices, but the dressing is what really enhances the dish. Spicy (thanks to lemon juice) and salty (thanks to cheese and anchovies), it is perhaps the best possible accompaniment to corn.
sweet corn pudding
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a quick left turn. Andi Oliver’s Sweetcorn Pudding is the kind of dish that, unless you’re from the southern United States, might not make much sense on paper. This is a semi-sweet, egg-flavored, creamy sweetcorn casserole traditionally served with chicken. You might need some momentum behind you to try this one, but I promise it’s worth it.
If you’re feeling particularly optimistic about your heart health, allow me to introduce corn cheese as a Korean side dish. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a load of sweet corn suspended in mounds of melted cheese. There are optional frills — you can toss the corn with diced peppers or brush it with mayonnaise, as the My Korean Kitchen recipe does here — but you’re really only here for the cheese.
In the meantime, if you’re not determined to smack headfirst into a nightmare of clogged arteries, here’s Veg Recipes of India’s recipe for corn chaat. It takes a cheerfully loose attitude to the preparation of the corn (you can boil it, fry it, bang it in a pressure cooker) and the ingredients (serve it with diced tomatoes, or cucumber, or apples ground, or chickpeas, or kiwi fruit), but the end result is always wonderfully pure in taste.
Makai paka is an East African coconut and corn curry that takes almost no time to prepare. According to Tasty’s recipe, all you need to do is blanch your corn, melt some butter, add chilies, spices, and coconut milk, then mix everything together. It’s an almost perfect weeknight dinner.
We could compile a separate list made up entirely of various cornbread recipes. Here, however, we will simply stick to the African Bites Mealie Bread Recipe. Made with a mixture of cornmeal and mashed corn, it is a moist, dense South African bread traditionally steamed in cocoa cans and sold as street food. This recipe is a little different, requiring you to bake it, but it’s delicious nonetheless.
As Corn Boy rightly points out, corn has juice. To honor this watertight observation, here is the atol de elote recipe from Growing Up Bilingue. It is a Guatemalan corn drink, most commonly sold on the street at Christmas. As with the pudding above, it has a flavor profile that may seem unusual – it’s cooked in milk thickened with sugar and cinnamon – but it’s delicious.
Corn on the cob broth
At this point, you’ve listened to It’s Corn several thousand times, tried all of these recipes, and now find yourself surrounded by several hundred spent cobs of corn. Fear not, because the ever resourceful Tom Hunt is here to save the day with his stockpile of corn cobs. A pile of old cobs, some vegetable trimmings and maybe some chicken bones, boiled in a pot for an hour – by the end of it you’ll have enough flavorful broth to keep the corn fest going well into the fall. I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing.