As the end of summer looms, we’re finding every excuse to eat fresh, sweet corn on the cob. For tonight’s dinner, we’ll be serving the eight-ingredient masterpiece that is gochujang butter charred corn with parmesan from Lara Lee’s new cookbook, A Splash of Soy: Everyday Food From Asia.
“Rich and spicy butters are my favorite way to upgrade a classic dish,” writes Lee. “It is why I love gochujang butter, a funky, spicy and indulgent pairing that works triumphantly with the sweetness of grilled corn, whose smoky fragrance stimulates the appetite, the blackened kernels a feast for the eyes.”
You can certainly prepare the side in a cast iron skillet, a heavy frying pan or a grill pan. But of course, we’d recommend firing up the barbecue if the weather permits. ’Tis the season, no?
Excerpted from A SPLASH OF SOY: Everyday Food From Asia. Copyright © 2023 by Lara Lee. Photographs © Louise Haggar.
4 cobs corn
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed, or 1 teaspoon garlic paste
4 teaspoons gochujang paste
Neutral oil, such as canola
Flaky sea salt, to taste
Lime wedges, for serving
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Remove the outer husks of the corn, along with any silky threads. In a bowl, combine the softened butter with the garlic and gochujang and stir to combine.
2. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over high heat or light a barbecue. Rub the corn with oil and salt all over, then place it on the hot pan or grill. Turn the corn every 2 to 3 minutes so that it chars all over. Alternatively, if you have a kitchen torch, char the corn on a baking sheet by rotating the kitchen torch around the cob until the kernels turn black.
3. If you feel the corn needs further cooking (or if your cobs are on the large side), add ¾ cup water to the pan and steam the corn with the lid on until the water has evaporated. If you’re using a barbecue, simply close the lid of the barbecue for 2 minutes until the corn is cooked through.
4. Baste with the gochujang butter using a pastry brush and cook for 1 minute more on each side. Remove from the heat and baste again with more gochujang butter.
5. Transfer the corn to a serving platter, then generously squeeze lime juice over the corn. Season with flaky sea salt and dust with the grated Parmesan. Serve with extra lime wedges and any remaining gochujang butter on the side for extra dipping.