2 Sweet Corn Soup Recipe Ideas Using Corn on the Cob and Corn Kernels 玉米汤

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Chinese corn soup uses sweet corn in generally 2 ways. A simmered soup will usually use corn with the cob while thickened soups tend to use loose corn kernels. 

Sweet corn is high in sugar and therefore has a short shelf-life. It must be eaten fresh or should be quickly canned or frozen for storage.

My appreciation of sweet corn came pretty late in life. Perhaps it has to do with how it was first presented to me. Over-steamed (is there such a word?) and served in a paper cup. Anyway, I know they can be added to soups to provide more nutrients and (more importantly) more crunch, so I have warmed up to them.

Speaking of nutrition, according to scientists from Cornell university, when sweet corn is cooked, it releases a phenolic compound called ferulic acid. This is a well-known anti-oxidant which bind to cell walls and insoluble fibers. All the more reason to add corn to soups.

Idea 1. Corn Kernels and Thickened Soups

Corn chowder is a famous creamy and thick soup made with corn and cream or milk.

The Chinese thickened corn soup resembles corn chowder except it doesn't use cream or milk to thicken the soup.

The Chinese prefers to thicken soup with starchy powders made from grains or tubers. For example, cornstarch, potato starch, sweet potato starch or arrowroot. It is lighter and less fattening.

The nice thing about corn is that it lends itself to creaminess easily because it can be pureed. A modern short-cut is to use cream corn in a can. :)

Ingredients commonly paired with corn in Chinese thickened soups are eggs, chicken and crab. Check out the corn egg drop recipe below. 

 Recipe 1. Chinese corn soup with eggs

This is a quick and easy sweet corn soup. The corn kernels are freshly taken from the cob although I think canned or frozen corn might be better.

Turn this into a vegetarian soup recipe by replacing the chicken stock in the ingredient list with a vegetarian one.

The portion here should serve about 2 based on my appetite (^-_^)

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 100g fresh sweet corn or half a cob
  • 1 small purple onion
  • 500ml soup stock
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch mixture
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Remove the corn kernels from the cob and wash them thoroughly
  2. Peel and chopped the onion into small cubes
  3. Bring the soup stock to a boil in a pot
  4. Add the corn and purple onion
  5. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer till the corn is soft
  6. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken the soup
  7. Beat the egg lightly
  8. Lower the heat and do the egg drop
  9. Give the soup a few quick gentle stirs to spread out the egg flowers
  10. Remove from heat
  11. Serve with pepper

Idea 2. Corn on the Cob and Simmered Soups

Corn on the cob is commonly paired with pork ribs and chicken carcass to make simmered soups. Carrot, onion, and mushrooms are complementary ingredients. Your soup won't go wrong if you add 1 corn, 1 carrot, and 1 onion to either chicken or pork ribs. 

Chinese herbs like goji berries and red dates are also compatible. Both can make the soup sweeter. 

Recipe 2.  Chinese corn soup with pork ribs

This is a very simple sweet corn soup recipe with only 2 key ingredients: sweet corn and pork ribs. If you are new to Chinese soups, this is a good recipe to start with. Although this is a broth it can be quite filling especially if you chomp on the corn.

The instruction calls for a thermal cooking pot. The cooking time is about 4 hours. A normal soup pot on the stove or a crock pot can also be used if you don't have the thermal cooking pot. 

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 3 ears sweet corn
  • 10 cups pork soup stock
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Parboil the pork ribs with the ginger, trim off any excess fats
  2. Wash the sweet corn and cut into big pieces
  3. Add the soup stock, pork ribs and sweet corn into the inner pot of the thermal pot
  4. Bring to a boil
  5. Lower to medium heat and simmer for about 20 minutes
  6. Cover the pot and remove from heat
  7. Place the inner pot into the outer pot, seal and leave it to cook for 4 hours
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving

Recipe 3. Sweet corn soup with fresh coconut and chicken

This is a refreshing soup using fresh coconut flesh, fresh chicken and corn on the cob. It is a nourishing broth suitable for a hot and heaty summer.

Ingredients

  • 1 small chicken
  • flesh of 1 fresh coconut
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 10 cups or 2 litres of water

Directions

  1. Clean the chicken and cut into smaller pieces
  2. Parboil the chicken pieces
  3. Cut the coconut flesh into strips
  4. Cut the corn into several sections
  5. Bring the water to a boil in a pot
  6. Add the chicken, coconut strips, corn pieces and ginger
  7. Bring back to a boil and cook for 20 minutes
  8. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours
  9. Bring to a boil and add salt before serving

Apart from the first recipe, the other 2 are broths, which makes Chinese corn soups quite different from Western chowders. 

The sweetness of corn in a broth enhances the appetite usually during the sweltering summer heat. 

I hope you will try the recipes listed and let me know how it went. Don't forget my chicken sweet corn soup recipes and the crab corn soup recipes

Happy Souping, Phoebe