I found corn in the husk for the first time this year in our grocery store. I asked the woman, stocking the shelf, where the corn came from (thinking it must have come from a foreign country like Mexico). She showed me the mark on the crates they came in. It was clearly stamped “U.S.A.” but she did not know where in the U.S. It appears that seasonal items become available earlier and earlier every year. So I bought 8 ears (less than $2). They were white corn and rather small but the kernels were full and sweet when I tasted them raw. So I decided to make kakiage tempera かきあげ. Kakiage is a version of tempera where small items (sliced onions, julienned Burdock roots, small shrimp or fish etc are fried with a batter as a binder).
The “corn kakiage” appears on Mark’s book p47, but it is a rather standard recipe except the use of corn is a bit uique. I made my tempura batter with cake flour (1/2 cup), potato starch or “katakuriko” (1 tbs) and egg yolk (1/2) and mixed in ice cold water (about 1/2 cup) to a desired cosistnecy. For Kakiage, I made it to the consistency of a loose pancake batter. I removed the kernels from the cob (one ear of corn yielded about 1/2 cup) using a knife and placed them in a bowl. I added enough tempura batter to coat every kernel and a bit more. Using a soup spoon, I slipped the batter and corn mixture into hot oil (170C or 340F) and fried until crispy and lightly browned, turning once (about 2-3 minutes on each side). I drained and served while hot and crispy. I also made my usual green beans and shiitake mushroom tempura. I served this with green tea salt and wedges of lime. The corn was very sweet with a nice light tempura crust. The lime juice added a nice citrus acidity and made the salt stick better. We had a bit of red wine left but switched to cold sake for this dish.