Sweet corn is not sold by variety, but classified by the kernel (or corn-on-the-cob) colour – either white, yellow or mixed. Corn cobs are encased in smooth threads, called corn silk, and flat, green, papery leaves, or husks. The rows of white to-bright-yellow edible kernels should have a crisp texture, sweet taste and smooth consistency.
Look for corn with light brown corn silk and fresh green husks that tightly hug the cob. Gently peel back the husk and ensure that the kernels are well coloured, plump and firm to the touch without any loose, missing, or black kernels.
While sweet corn should be cooked and eaten as soon as possible, it can last for up to 3 days while still in its husk.
Corn can be barbecued, roasted, boiled or grilled and eaten straight off the cob. Slice cooked kernels off the cob to add to salads, stir-fries, casseroles, souffles, muffins, fritters and pasta bakes.
4 quick ways with sweet corn
- Barbecued sweet corn is perfect in summer. Remove and discard husks and silk. Spread cobs with 1 teaspoon reduced-fat table spread and season with any spices you like. Wrap cob in foil and crimp ends to seal. Place on a low to medium heat barbecue and cook for 20–25 minutes, turning occasionally.
- This yummy salsa is perfect with pita chips. In a bowl, mix 2 diced avocados, cooked and cooled kernels from 3 corn cobs, 3 finely chopped green onions, 1/4 cup chopped coriander and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Mix well and season to taste.
- Let corn be the star of your next meal. Boil or barbecue 4 corn cobs, then remove kernels once cooled. Mix kernels with 2 x 400g cans rinsed kidney beans, 1 diced red onion, 1 sliced capsicum, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and the juice from 1 lime. Spoon into warmed corn tortillas and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and avocado.
- Whip up a batch of fluffy corn cakes. Combine cooked kernels from 3 corn cobs with 1 egg, 2 eggwhites, 1 cup self-raising flour and 1/2 cup skim milk. Drop heaped spoonfuls of batter into a lightly oiled frying pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook until edges brown. Serve with reduced-fat sour cream and sweet chilli sauce.
Did you know? Sweet corn is high in fibre, with about 4g fibre per corn cob, and low in energy, at around 350kJ per mediumsized cob.