Cook the Book: Corn Brushed with Soy Sauce and Mirin 


Fire up your grill and get ready for some serious smoke.

Cook the Book: Corn Brushed with Soy Sauce and Mirin\u00a0

[Photographs: Hawk Krall]

When corn season rolls around, I like to think the fans fall into two factions: the butter and salt purists, and those who see corn as a blank canvas. Personally, I fall into the later category, preferring a crema and queso slathered elote or a dressed-up corn and tomato salad to simply grilled or boiled cob.

Corn Brushed with Soy Sauce and Mirin from The Japanese Grill by Harris Salat and Tadashi Ono is the best of both worlds, the simplicity of grilled corn combined with a handful of subtle but intriguing tastes. Cobs of sweet corn are grilled, husk intact until sweet and juicy. The husks are then shucked, the corn is placed back on the grill, then basted with a mix of soy sauce and mirin, the sweet rice wine. The sweet-salty profile complements the corn perfectly, with the soy accentuating the corn's natural sugar and the sweet, sake-like mirin rounding out the sweetness.

Easy yet very exciting, this is the sort of recipe that gets the wheels turning, thinking about what other Japanese pantry ingredients would pair well with corn. Sesame oil and ground sesame seeds? Miso butter? A sprinkling of shichimi togarashi?

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Japanese Grill to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from The Japanese Grill by Harris Salat and Tadashi Ono. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:4
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 4 ears corn, in their husks


  1. 1.

    Mix together the soy sauce and mirin in a bowl to make the marinade; set aside.

  2. 2.

    Preheat a grill to medium. Place the corn directly on the grate. Grill for about 20 minutes, turning about every 5 minutes. Transfer the corn to a cutting board. When the husks are cool enough to touch, shuck them. Return the corn to the grill and brush with the marinade. Grill for about 2 more minutes, turning the corn every 30 seconds, and brushing with more marinade. The corn will begin to caramelize and brown; be careful not to burn. Serve immediately.