Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
for the onion pickles:
1 ½ tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 dried red chile
½ star anise
1 (1-inch) piece ginger
2 cups|390 grams granulated sugar
1 ½ cups|375 ml rice wine vinegar
¼ cup|40 grams kosher salt
2 medium red onions, diced
for the cheese corn:
12 whole corn on the cob, shucked
1 pound|454 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
1 ½ cups|345 grams soybean mayonnaise
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons|200 grams pickled red onions
1 bunch Thai basil leaves, thinly sliced
kosher salt, to taste
grated parmesan cheese, to serve
lime wedges, to serve
- Make the onion pickles: Using a Y-shaped peeler, remove the peel from the lemon. Tie the lemon peel, peppercorns, chile, star anise, and ginger in a piece of cheesecloth. Transfer to a small saucepan along with the sugar, vinegar, salt, and 2 cups|500 ml water. Bring to a boil over high, then remove from the heat. Add the onions and cool completely.
- Make the Korean tajin: In a small bowl, combine the gochugaru and tajin. Store at room temperature.
- Make the miso sauce: Place the mirin in a small saucepan over high. As it starts boiling, set it on fire using a lighter, taking care not to burn yourself. Whisk in the misos and set aside.
- Make the soybean mayo: In the bowl of a blender, purée the mayonnaise, miso, miso sauce, and lime juice until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the corn cheese: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Working in batches, cook the corn until bright and glossy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Heat a grill over high. Add the corn and cook, turning as needed, until charred all over, about 8 minutes. Alternatively, grill directly over gas or under the broiler. When cool enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cob.
- Heat the oven to 500°F. Toss the corn, half of the mozzarella, the mayo, pickled onions, and basil in a large paella pan, skillet, or baking dish. Season with salt and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the top and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 15 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle with the tajin and parmesan and serve with lime wedges.
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This is part of a special series, Indulgence, which explores extravagant living in a time of restraint. It’s also in the September 2021 VICE magazine issue. Subscribe here.