I can’t help myself, when I go to the farmer’s market and see the piles of freshly picked sweet corn, I always buy a sack-ful. Sweet corn season is short, and laden with good memories of corn feasts of the past. The sunny yellow kernels, bursting with juicy corn flavor, just demand my attention.
And once you’ve had corn on the cob three nights in the week, you might want to branch out and try making something a little different. That’s when I like to make this quick and easy Chinese-inspired dish. It’s a brilliant idea, really. If you are thinking about canned creamed corn, banish that from your mind. When you puree fresh corn, season it with lots of fresh ginger, garlic, and chilis, it has much more pizzazz.
Watch Me Make Cantonese Style Creamed Corn and Tofu
It’s Whole Grains Month!
As you probably know, I’m all in on whole grains. September is Whole Grains Month, a good time to take a look at your cupboards and ask yourself, “Where can I switch to whole grains?” If you normally eat white rice or noodles with Chinese food, please try this dish with black rice. Chinese black rice is beautiful, and has a nutty, sweet flavor that will make you forget about white rice. Are your breads, crackers, and other grain products whole grain, or mostly whole grain? Look for the whole grain stamp, and make sure a whole grain or whole grain flour is first in the ingredients list.
This dish is really easy to make, and is a delicious way to eat tofu. Silken tofu is the underappreciated tofu, for people who didn’t grow up eating it. Americans have adopted the chewier, extra firm tofu as our go-to tofu, and we like it marinated, baked or fried, to give it as much seasoning and texture as possible. Silken tofu, by contrast, is delicate and smooth, and is traditionally served bobbing in soup or simply cubed and sprinkled with soy sauce. Silken tofu is perfect in this dish, floating softly between the chewy rice and the creamy, crunchy corn.
If you have bought a dozen ears and can’t eat them all, you can make a double or triple batch of the creamed corn part of this recipe and freeze it. Then, in the coming months, you can thaw it and cook some black rice, cube some tofu, and enjoy the harvest. Come December, a taste of the sweet corn of September will be pretty darn sweet.
Cantonese-Style Creamed Corn with Tofu over Black Rice
- 12ouncessilken tofu, firm
- 2cupsfresh corn kernelsfrom 2 ears corn
- 1tablespoonavocado oil
- 1tablespoonminced fresh ginger
- 3largescallionsdiagonally sliced, whites and greens separated
- 1cupvegetable stock
- 1/2teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
- 1cupChinese black ricecooked
- fresh cilantro leaves
- sesame oil or chili oil
- Carefully pat the tofu dry with a clean kitchen towel, and cut into cubes, reserve.
- Place the corn in a steamer and steam for about 5 minutes, until tender.
- Place half the corn kernels into a blender or food processor, add 1/2 cup of the stock and process until creamy but still chunky.
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high. When hot, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the ginger, garlic and white parts of scallions, and cook until fragrant.
- Add the remaining corn kernels, along with the pureed corn and remaining vegetable stock, add salt and black pepper, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to bring the mixture to a boil. Stirring constantly, slowly add the cornstarch slurry, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened.
- Divide rice among bowls. For each serving, lay several cubes of silken tofu on top of the rice and top with a few spoonfuls of the creamed corn. Finish with scallions, cilantro and drizzle with sesame or chile oil.