Grilled Corn With Sesame-Soy Butter
Mark Twain advocated for boiling corn — preferably right in the corn field. But there’s no better way to cook corn than by grilling. The high dry heat of the fire caramelizes the natural plant sugars, intensifying the corn’s natural sweetness while adding a beguiling smoky flavor. The key is to brown the kernels on all sides. To form a convenient handle for eating the corn, fold the husk back below the stem end. In this version, the corn is seasoned with sesame, soy, mirin and butter.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1tablespoon soy sauce
- 1tablespoon mirin or honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil, for the grill grates
- 4ears corn in husks
- 2tablespoons black sesame seeds or toasted white sesame seeds
- 1tablespoon minced fresh chives or scallion greens
Step 1Make the sesame soy butter: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin and several grinds of pepper until well-blended. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Step 2Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high (450 to 600 degrees). Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it with a tightly folded paper towel dipped in oil and drawn across the grate with tongs. Fold a 12-by-18-inch sheet of aluminum foil in thirds like a business letter to make a grill shield.
Step 3Meanwhile, cut the tapered end off one ear of corn. Pull the husk back over the stem end as if peeling a banana to expose the kernels. Rotate the corn as you peel it and gather the husks together below the stem. Tightly tie the husks with butcher’s string or a strip of corn husk to form a handle. Discard the silks. Repeat with the remaining corn. Breathe a sigh of relief: The hard part is over. Brush each ear of corn on all sides with some of the sesame-soy butter.
Step 4Arrange the corn on the grate, sliding the folded aluminum foil grill shield under the husks to keep them from burning. Grill the corn, turning the ears so they roast evenly and basting the corn with some sesame-soy butter, until darkly browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. (If you are using a gas grill, close the cover while grilling.)
Step 5Transfer the corn to a platter. Brush one final time with any remaining sesame-soy butter. Sprinkle the corn on all sides with sesame seeds and chives.