Flavor Corn on the Cob with Miso Paste

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Miso paste, be it red, white, or yellow, is a powerhouse of flavor. It’s salty, earthy, and complex. And while you might not think to spread it on your corn on the cob, it makes for one unexpected topping that absolutely works.

Why This One Topping Is Enough

The fermented soybean paste works well with corn because it not only complements its sweetness, but also contrasts and balances that sweetness with its salty, earthy, and savory flavor. Choose your favorite miso paste to spread over corn on the cob. Just remember that a little goes a long way — a small amount packs a serious umami punch, and any more might overwhelm the corn.

How to Cook Your Corn

Before you can utilize the miso paste, you of course have to have some perfectly cooked corn on hand. Here are three ways to make it happen.

1. Boil it.

The most classic way to cook corn — boil for three to five minutes in a big pot of salted water.

2. Microwave it.

This mostly hands-off method calls for leaving the corn in their husks and microwaving them on high power for four to six minutes.

3. Grill it.

If you already have the grill going, toss your corn cobs on for about 15 minutes, turning frequently for smoky, charred results.

One-Ingredient Upgrades

This series shows you how to use a single store-bought ingredient — one you often wouldn’t expect — to liven up your food. To celebrate the sweet summer corn that’s taking over the market, we encourage you to go beyond butter and use one of these ingredients to give your corn on the cob a jolt of flavor.