This is the second article in a series about corn. Find the first here.
This time we will make corn milk, a delicious drink for summer. Children just love this drink. It’s sweet, buttery and smells lovely. I first tried this drink in Hochiminh city. They sell this drink along with street food, just like in Nha Trang where they sell Pho AND soy milk.
Before we delve into how to make corn milk, let’s talk a bit about corn.
Corn is really a sweetheart. Not only it contains lots of vitamins et minerals (Vitamin C, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, etc), the corn silk that seems like a random useless beard is also very beneficial (Vitamins K, A, B1, B6, Calcium, Kalium,…). In summer Vietnamese people drink corn silk tea to help regulate body temperature and keep the kidney and bladder healthy. Just a word of caution here: don’t abuse this tea or your bladder will work too much and as a consequence, you’ll lose too much water.
For this corn milk recipe, we will use the whole sweet corn: corn ears and corn silk, and get the benefits from them all.
First we need to choose good corn as it’s crucial for any corn recipe. How do we know which corn is good to use?
The corn cover should look fresh and new, the corn beard not too dry or too dark. The cut at the end of the corn should still have a white color and not brown. You should also spread the corn cover a bit to look at the corn inside, if it’s shiny, has no corn gap or any abnormal color and spot, it’s good. I suppose these days it’s harder to find bad corn than good corn, but this tip can come in handy from time to time. Choose the corn that has a delicate long shape rather than round, for the sweetness is distributed better with a long shape.
Alright now that we have good corn, let’s make the corn milk.
(I don't have a pot that is big enough so I cut the corn in half)
Put in whole ears of corn with their silk and cover in the pot along with 1 litre of water, add a dash of salt. The sweetness of corn needs a salty contrast to stand out. Boil the corn for 15 minutes then take off the heat. Put the ears of corn on a plate to cool down and keep the water. This corn tea is crucial for the success of corn milk so don’t throw it away.
When the corn is no longer too hot, discard the cover and silk, use a knife to trim the meat off the cores. This step can be messy as the corn is squishy with water now. There are versions that recommend you to do this step before boiling corn, feel free to choose the version that you like.
After this step, the cores can retire: we won’t need them anymore. Put the corn meat, the corn tea (its time to shine is here) in the mixer and mix it well.
Transfer the mixture to a pot using a strainer to separate the tiny corn meat, keep only the liquide to make corn millk. You don’t have to strain the corn meat if that’s what you want but I really recommend you to try and strain the meat off for the corn milk to look good.
Add the milk and sugar or condensed milk to the pot. You can add in water if the milk is too thick for you. Put it on medium heat, keep stirring until the mixture is simmering. And it’s done! It’s very easy, isn’t it?
This drink is yummy serving cold, so let the corn milk completely cool down and then store it in the fridge. It’s good up to 3 days.
Corn milk is not only beneficial but also a great delicious drink with the color of happy summer. It’s no wonder that it’s my favorite corn recipe. Do you like corn? Do let me know your favorite corn dish. I’d like to try out your recipe. Happy corn season!
Cover photo: Thao Uyen
A melting pot experience, in more than one way. Welcome to our Epicurean adventure!