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Jul 11, 2007 04:12 PM

Farmer's Market: sticky corn

Our farmer's market opened today, and the Korean farmer was selling "sticky corn," which he also described as "waxy." I've googled and only found two references. One was a paper on a trial of the growth in China of various varieties--Yunuo, Endeavor, Ears from Dazzle(!), Cabaret, Meccer, and Shimmer. The other reference was on a travel blog by someone who heard vendors shouting it for sale in Manila, no other details. Oh, and I found something about the Hmong growing it in California, I think it was. I asked the farmer but his English isn't so good, and all I got from him was that it's edible. I wish I knew Korean!

Does anyone know a good use for this in cooking? I assume it's more glutinous than sweet corn, and might be good in fritters or maybe desserts with coconut milk, sort of a southeast Asian style pudding...Any ideas?

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  1. My mother grew up in China and sticky corn is what she loved the most. I think she ate it just like regular corn on the cob - by steaming. Unfortunately, now in the US, she cannot find it at her local markets. Lucky you!

    1. Oh yes, sticky corn is an acquired taste and can be addicting even though it's not sweet (which is why my parents love it). When cooked, it's really chewy! My mom usually just boil or steam it (for 45min-1hr because it's more glutinous). Sometimes, she'll boil a pot-full and let it sit on the counter until its cool, then she bags them and freeze them. She especially does this when the end of the season is nearing so that she can eat sticky corn all year long. Also, the kernels can be removed from the cob really easily without popping (before or after cooking). My boyfriend's mom mixes sticky corn with sticky rice to make rice patties (wrapped w/ banana leaf or aluminum foil). From what I've heard, she boils the sticky corn (plain) and steam some stick rice--both done separately. Once the sticky corn cooks, she breaks each individual kernels off the cob (by hand using thumb) and blends the kernel. She then mixes the blended sticky corn with sticky rice (may add a little bit of sugar for flavor) and wrap 'em up to eat it like a snack. she makes a whole bunch of them and freezes whatever that can't be finished. Freezing the patties doesn't change the taste of the sticky corn as much because the goal is to cook the sticky corn as fresh as possible, otherwise the milk in the kernel will dry up and become tasteless, dry, and will take even longer to cook.

      These photos were taken at the farmers' market in Union City, California. The purple one you see is a different kind of sticky corn. The kernels are white, but the cob and husks are purple. In addition, there's even the purple sticky corn (even stickier than the white sticky corn!)--kernels are purple w/ regular, green husks (sorry, I don't have pictures of 'em).

      1. A great use is to boil them (I do about 15 mins in a bowl of water in the microwave), then let them cool to touch. Use a grater to grate the kernels off, then cook with some thinly chopped onion, garlic and ginger and some tomato, add a bunch of water and cook it like a porridge with salt and pepper.