Summer Season with Spice - a Spice Blend for Corn on the Cob

spice seasoning for corn on the cob

Malaysia is one hot summer year-round, but that summer feeling doesn’t hit me until June 1st, when I imagine the snow finally gone in Minnesota (it’s gone now, right?), the sprinklers and lawn mowers out of the garage, people fishing and waterskiing, and grilling meat and gorging on ice cream, and my mom’s garden full of life, with all the vegetable plants and flowers sprouting up.

June 1st reminds me of my favorite summertime meal – corn on the cob. Slathered in butter, and heavily coated with salt and pepper.  What kernels didn’t end up in my belly, stuck to my face. I know, I must be the real stereotype of a Midwest boy surrounded by cornfields…

Sweet corn didn’t reach the dinner table until later in the summer, but since summer never begins or ends in Malaysia, any day is a good day to relive my favorite childhood meal.

fresh corn on the cob from malaysia

Corn on the cob is another simple way to experiment with spice blends. Not just for flavor, but for health. Spices themselves have innumerable health benefits, and by adding them to your meals, you gain one more important advantage – less salt.

Spices can’t entirely replace salt – which enhances the flavors in your dish, including the spices – but you will notice when you add spices, your taste-buds won't miss the salt you cut down on (and in the case of corn, the butter too).

spice blend for corn with paprika, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, garlic, and lime

To get the most flavor out of spices, it is best to use the whole form, and then grind the spices with a mortar and pestle. After grinding whole spices, you will notice the bottom of the mortar is moist. This is from the oil of the spice, which gives each its distinct aroma and taste.

While pre-ground spices are drier and less flavorful than the whole form, they are more convenient. So in my spice blend recipe for corn, you can use ground cumin and ground black pepper, as well as ground cayenne instead of crushed red pepper.

spicy twist to corn on the cob

Unlike many recipes, spice blends are meant to be adjusted and experimented with until it tastes just right for you. If you don’t like the burn, leave out the red pepper. Want even more flavor? Add another spice, or herb or vegetable seasoning, to the mix. Just have fun and you’ll be surprised what you come up with (but go easy on the cayenne pepper, or you will be really surprised).

spice seasoning and fresh lime on corn on the cob
Spice Blend for Corn on the Cob  
by Season with Spice

1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of Season with Spice's Sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp of black peppercorns
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of crushed red chili flakes
Salt to taste

The process:
1.  In a mortar, grind the spices and the garlic powder into a fine powder.
2. Sprinkle the spice blend and a little bit of salt on the sweet corn, and add butter and a squeeze of lime. 
3. And enjoy your summer!