A cast-iron skillet and some high heat add a crispy element to fresh sweet corn.
When the sweet corn first comes in, steamed or boiled or grilled on the cob is the only way I want to eat it. As summer progresses, however, even a corn-lover like me starts looking for other ways to make use of this seasonal treat. First up, I make salads using the raw kernels, cut from the cob. Eventually, however, I turn to giving it a quick turn in a hot frying pan—cast iron is best—with a few aromatics to change up the texture a bit and play around with its sweetness.
I call this a stir-fry, but the key to success with it this recipe is to not stir the corn too frequently—you want to give it a chance to really brown along the way.
Sweet Corn Stir-fry
- 4 cobs sweet corn
- 1 jalapeno or serrano chile (more to taste)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Salt to taste
- Shuck the corn, removing as much of the silk as you can stand. Cut the kernels from the cobs: working one at a time, put the pointed end of the cob down into a large bowl, hold the stem end, and use a sharp knife to cut down the cob to remove the kernels, which will fall into the bowl.
- Remove and discard the stem and seeds from the chile, finely chop the chile. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and finely grate the ginger. Remove the leaves from the cilantro stems and tear them into big pieces or roughly chop them.
- Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom with the oil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chile, garlic, and ginger. Stir to combine in the pan and quickly add the corn. Stir to combine everything and then let it sit until the corn starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir, scraping up any browned bit from the pan, and repeat 3 or 4 times until the corn is as brown as you'd like it.
- Remove from the heat and add the cilantro. Add salt to taste and serve.
Looking for other non-cob-based ways to enjoy sweet corn? Try this fresh corn cake.