I’m always guaranteed two things while eating dinner at my in-law’s. 1) I’ll be stuffed with food, but won’t be able to resist one more bite and 2) I’ll get to hear some awesome anecdotes about my mother and father in-law’s lives back in Vietnam. One of my favourites is about my mother-in-law’s green onion corn stand.
When she was a young girl, my mother-in-law would sell corn from a corn stand much like a hot dog stand. Instead of hot dogs, she’d grill corn over charcoal and instead of ketchup and mustard, folks would get to slather on as much green onion oil as they wanted. My father-in-law used to visit her while she was working, but he wasn’t the only one. Lots of boys talked about the cute girl selling corn, but whenever my father-in-law heard, he’d tell them, “Oh, no, not that one, she’s mine. You’d better stay away.”
I guess it worked because they’ve been happily married for over 35 years.
I heard about green onion corn before I ever tasted it, so I really built it up in my head. Even so, when I finally got to try it, it was mind boggling. The sweetness of the corn contrasted with the savoury onionness of the oil was fantastic. As we were eating, my in-laws were commenting on how the corn wasn’t as good as it could be because it was grilled on a propane barbecue. I was too busy stuffing my face to contradict them, but if my mouth was free, I would have told them it was the best barbecued corn I had ever tasted in my life. It was so good that I resolved to try to make it indoors. Two days after first tasting it, I did.
2 ears of corn
1/4 cup oil
1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
1 red chili, finely diced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
Heat up the oil in a small deep sauce pot over medium high heat until the oil is hot and shimmery. Move the pot off the burner and add the green onions. Be careful! The onions will spit and splatter! Add the chili and stir in the fish sauce. Set aside.
Using a cast iron grill pan, grill the corn over medium to medium high heat until the corn turns deeper yellow and some kernels are toasted. Immediately spoon over the green onion oil to taste while the corn is still hot.
You can enjoy the corn on the cob, or you can cut the kernels off. Just make sure to spoon the oil onto the corn while it’s hot.