Recipe courtesy of JJ Goode

Khao Phot Ping (Grilled Corn with Salty Coconut Cream)

When I decide to try to recreate a Thai dish in the States, I'm presented with a familiar problem. The ingredients here aren't quite as flavorful, pungent, or spicy, and I need to figure out a way to compensate. Then there are those rare occasions when the opposite is true. To my tastes, the corn in Thailand is, to be charitable, not awesome. But as soon as I tried this preparation from a vendor on the grounds of a Chiang Mai temple, I couldn't wait to try it back home. The combination of rich, salty coconut cream infused with pandan leaf and America's stunning sweet corn is so good it gives the mayo- and cheese-covered Mexican stuff a run for its money.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 to 12 servings
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Ingredients

6 large ears of corn, husks removed

Coconut Cream:

1 cup unsweetened coconut cream (preferably boxed)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 fresh or frozen pandan leaf (optional), tied into a knot

Rice bran oil (or other mild oil with a high smoking point), for oiling grill

6 lime wedges (preferably key lime), for serving

Directions

  1. COOK THE CORN
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the corn, and cook until it's tender and no longer raw, about 8 minutes. Drain well. (You can boil the corn up to several hours before you plan to finish cooking it on the grill or even a few days in advance; just make sure to shock the corn in ice water as soon as the ears leave the boiling water.)
  3. MAKE THE COCONUT CREAM
  4. Combine the coconut cream, sugar, salt, and pandan leaf in a small pot. It's fine if the pandan leaf isn't completely submerged. Set the pot over high heat, bring the mixture to a simmer (don't let it boil), then decrease the heat to low. Cover and cook until the cream has thickened slightly and is infused with pandan flavor, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the pandan leaf.
  5. GRILL THE CORN
  6. Prepare a grill, preferably charcoal, to cook over medium heat; oil the grates. Or preheat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium heat on the stovetop.
  7. Pour the cream mixture onto a large plate or platter. One or two at a time, add the corn, and rotate the ears to lightly coat them in the mixture. Grill the corn until it's lightly charred in spots, occasionally turning the ears and brushing the corn with the cream mixture (or transferring the corn to the plate with the cream mixture and rotating it again), 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Serve the corn with a drizzle of the remaining cream mixture and lime wedges for squeezing.

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