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Apr 7, 2003 12:35 AM

Glutinous Corn (korean and Vietnamese)

  • h

I just started seeing the Glutinous Corn this year. First in the Korean food market(yellow, frozen), at the fruit stands in Flushing, Queens(white, frozen) in NYC, and then now in the neighborhood 24 hour food market(white, vaccuum packed, not frozen). When cold they are very hard, the kernels peel-able. When warmed, some are chewy and sometiems gummy.

This type of corn is probably not enjoyed by the western culture but I was able to re-live my Taiwanese childhood when I took one of the vaccuum packed, unfrozen corn to the Corn man(Galley girl's Octopus man), and asked him to grill it for me. For those who don't know, he grills all sorts of meats and corn with 3 or 4 layers of various sauces over charcoal outside of a restaurant at night, much like the vendors in Taiwanese night markets. I was very excited when I first found this guy in Flushing, Queens, even though the corn used here in the US is limited to the sweet corn that, to me, is lacking in flavor. You just don't find many vendors who grill like this.

Well, he graciously grilled it for me, and didn't take extra money for it since my friend bought a regular grilled corn. I was so happy! This glutinous corn had been the missing ingredient. It wasn't too hard, but had texture and corn flavor. It is quite like sticky rice with its chewiness. The sauce taste so much better on this type of corn.

Now I'm curious how the Koreans and the Vietnamese eat them. Anyone?

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  1. ahh, glutinous korea we usually eat them steamed or boiled (in sugared, salted water for flavor). they're a really popular street food, esp. in the wintertime (home-made never tastes the same). very chewy or "gummy" as you aptly described, with sturdy, sweetish kernels. when i was little my girlfriends and i would pluck the kernels off and chew on them, one by one, row by row. it may sound strange, but the kernels really are that firm. it sometimes takes some coaxing to twist the kernels out of their sockets, but that's part of their charm.

    1 Reply
    1. re: apple

      Thanks for the info. It's exactly how we as little kids eat these corn steamed in Taiwan. I'm surprised you didn't mention grilling, since Koreans seem to be really good at grilling. Anyhow, now I wonder how much sooner I could have found this corn if I had known to look in the Korean markets.

      The Peurvians also enjoy the giant corn that are similar in texture. I have not been able to find any frozen ones anywhere, though.

    2. I've seen some of the frozen corn which didn't seem very frozen and thus worse for the wear and not tempting. Now I will look for some of the vacuum packaged. Perhaps the Prince street grill man will add this to his selection.



      2 Replies
      1. re: wrayb

        You can get the yellow corn warm, ready to eat, from the Korean supermarket in the Assia Plaza on 37th ave, off College Point Ave. They're either at the steam table near the right of the market, or at the little lunch counter center way way back by the bulk panchan section.

        Or, you can get the vaccuum packed, but non-frozen, also ready to eat white corn from Cherry Farm Market on Skillman Ave between 45th and 46th street. They're in the aisle across from the tea section. (This place also has pretty good beer selection. I never knew that there was an Anchor Porter)

        I'm not sure you'll like them much plain, though. Grilled, maybe. Perhaps we can figure out a way for the Corn man to accommodate us: maybe purchase a stick of grilled octopus as he grill one "Bring Your Own" glutinous corn?

        1. re: HLing

          Thanks for the info.

          I don't know if this discussion will be carried further but if anyone wants to make additional comments specific to finding/eating this corn in the NY outer boroughs area, follow the link below.

          Info about ways this corn can be prepared and eaten should be kept as a reply to HLing's messages here on the gerneral topics board.




      2. I've seen corn here in Saigon grilled, and boiled. The boiled corn is taken off the cob and put in a plastic bag for takeaway. It smells delicious and I've yet to try it but --- I don't like the grilled corn at all. Maybe it's not the same type of corn as that which you write about, but it's hard and chewy with no discernible corn taste at all.

        2 Replies
        1. re: foodfirst

          "...The boiled corn is taken off the cob and put in a plastic bag for takeaway..."

          How do they take the corn of the cob? I get the feeling that if they're able to take the kernel off the cob, it's probably the same kind of hard and chewy corn that they use to grill.

          Can you describe the sauce, if any, they put on the grilled corn?

          1. re: HLing

            I didn't get any sauce on my grilled corn, but it looked like one had a choice of nuoc cham or a dark brown sauce that was perhaps soy-based, with some crushed red chiles (the longish ones) floating in it, to add after the grilling was done.

            Boiled corn is stripped from the cob quite efficiently with a plain knife.

            BTW I also remember eating this hard corn kernel by kernel, both grilled and boiled, in northeastern China ... not a sauce in sight for either one, though.

        2. Hey, so I just signed up to CHOW for this reply.
          I just wanted to say that Glutinous corn is not only limited to Korea and Vietnam, but it is widespread throughout east Asia.
          In my homeplace of Sechuan, China- the mountain villages in Summer are abundant in this corn. The farmers usually sell a cob for less than a dollar American. We eat it just cooked without any dressing, as the sticky kernels are delicious by themselves!