Japanese Miso Grilled Corn on the Cob 味噌バターコーン

grilled corn 2

It is no secret – I love Japan – food, culture, people…I have visited several times and have always been delighted  A couple of friends over there led to more friends and I was invited to all kinds of meals and occasions.  But in Japan, I have had one major disappointment – corn.  Yes, corn トウモロコシ(toumorokoshi).

One smells it cooking on the street – sweet, smoky, exotic seasonings.  One purchases an ear with nice bits of char and dripping with butter.  Then the first bite:  like a waxy, starchy, tough satire of itself.  It is not the fault of the cookers, it is the corn.  And the Japanese enjoy corn, even to having sweet corn soup in vending machines at internet hangouts.

The corn had a lovely caramelized coating seasoned with miso.  Out of sight of the proud vendor, I licked the flavor off the ear of corn and tossed into a trash can.  I had been teased by the potential of this food.   But Japanese corn is best fed to farm animals, not people.  A friend of mine had fallen in love with fresh summer corn when he came from Japan to live here for awhile.  When he returned to Japan, I would receive sad emails asking me about the summer crop of corn.

When I returned home from my trip, I made the miso corn with fresh pulled, tender summer sweet corn.  All I can say is “yowzer!!”  The result of some experimentation was a grilled corn coated with a caramelized layer of earthy miso and rich butter.

I wowed some friends last week with the corn, my favorite sunomono, ginger/garlic/sesame grilled chicken wings.  Green tea ice cream for dessert.  I think you will like it as much as we.  Easy: two minutes to prep and about 10 minutes to cook.  One ear is one serving. NOTE: I keep a tube of miso paste in my fridge for frequent use and convenience and instant miso soup or udon noodle soup, or a miso baked chicken.

4 ears sweet corn
3 tablespoons butter – unsalted softened
3 tablespoons white miso paste
3 tbs honey
1 small clove garlic grated

Peel away the husks and silk of the corn, leaving the stem attached to the cob. Use a damp paper towel to rub off any stray strands of silk. Put the corn on a hot grill or in a hot broiler, turning periodically until there are some charred specs on every surface of the corn. In the meantime, add the butter, miso, honey and garlic. Use the back of a fork to mash the mixture together. When the corn is done, spread a generous amount of miso mixture onto each ear of corn and return to the grill. Grill, rotating regularly until the miso has caramelized onto the outside of the corn. Remove from the grill to serving dish and chow down.   Note: I place a piece of pierced foil under the corn at this point to keep rolling the ears around in the good stuff that drips off. I use tongs so as not to burn myself.

fresh cprn


26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mustang.Koji
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 23:12:42

    Yowza is right! I love this stuff… I also just use shoyu.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 01, 2014 @ 23:14:47

      And that is good too. I had this version in Hakone and fell in love with it. I can make a meal off it. and with green tea ice cream and a good slurp of sake, I’m good to go. I just really like miso and any excuse to use it, I do.


  2. huntmode
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 03:38:39

    Sounds wonderful, Kanzen! And so good to hear your voice again! xxoo Huntie


  3. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 05:30:34

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    This has got me thinking about lunch already – sounds delicious and all the more so for the story that accompanies it.


  4. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 07:58:43

    Sounds yummy. I love corn anytime and any way. It’s too early for corn here at 7:58 a.m. Sigh.


  5. FlaHam
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 08:50:15

    Kanzen, If I had known you 20 years ago I would weigh 400 pounds now. But I would be worth it to have you as a friend. Please take care, BIll


  6. SirenaTales
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 20:57:49

    Oh, please invite me for that dinner! I am salivating. Thank you, as always. Xoxo


  7. Bernice
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 21:36:36

    Miso – how interesting!!


  8. M-R
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 00:50:15

    Miso. NB, M-R – must get !


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 03, 2014 @ 11:16:12

      Good stuff! Like I said, I keep it on hand always. There is red and there is white. I prefer the white. Some veggie broth, a few cooked noodles or rice, some sliced green onion, some miso and presto!!! Miso soup! I use it on a recipe for baked chicken but I don’t see why it could be purposed to tofu or eggplant. In fact, I’ll give it a try and post the results.


  9. sb2711
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 01:01:18

    We roast corn, put some lemon and rub black salt with red chilly powder a bit and enjoy them in Monsoon 😀


  10. machinist
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 01:06:33

    You have such a gift! I think I gain weight just reading your wonderful posts, even when talking about foods I don’t eat. You make them sound wonderful. Thank you for that!


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 05, 2014 @ 10:49:22

      Thank you! It’s been awhile since I’ve heard your voice. Mrs. E and I were concerned because neither of us had heard anything in awhile. I enjoy writing about food almost as much as eating it. I hope you are well and that you won’t be so long a stranger in the future. Mrs E said she had not heard from gentle Mac in quite awhile and we both hoped there was no trouble with you.

      Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2014 05:06:36 +0000
      To: thspencer51@hotmail.com


  11. kanzensakura
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 21:20:35

    Reblogged this on kanzen sakura and commented:

    IT’S THAT MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!!!!! Fresh, sweet corn on the cob. I am reposting one of my favorite and one of the favorite recipes of followers of this blog….Eat up and enjoy!!!!!


  12. lightwalker1
    Jun 04, 2015 @ 21:43:00

    Sounds so Yummy. Yes, there at least two types of corn, Cow corn and Sweet Corn. Saddly so many people have never had the pleasure of the succulent flavour and juice of the sweet corn. As kids in the 60’s or 70’s we would go camping with other families. Saturday night we would eagerly await the return of our fathers who had gone out to raid a nearby farmers corn field. Ahhh the joy of fresh picked corn, boiled then slathered with butter, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Childhood memories. Have a wonderful day In love and light Cheryle


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 04, 2015 @ 22:48:15

      And this brings up a fun memory from my childhood, this story of yours. Out in the country are fields of corn with little narrow roads between. I am sure the farmers are used to folk stopping and raiding the corn on the sides of the road. I was with my father and uncle one night when they decided to stop. the next day for dinner….oh my! wonderful fresh sweet corn swimming in butter. thank you for reminding me of this. And the sweet corn with the miso is to just swoon over.


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