Pickled Corn Is The Tangy Ingredient You'll Want To Put On Everything

From grilled corn on the cob to popped kernels, there are endless ways to enjoy corn. One method of preparation that might not have crossed your palate yet is pickled corn. Bold and briny, pickled corn is a creative means to extend the sweetness of corn season just a touch longer. All you need is a jar, some vinegar, and a few cobs of fresh corn!

While recipes can vary, the easiest way to go about the process is to follow the steps for making a quick pickle. Ready in next to no time at all, quick-pickled corn is also super delicious. Balancing the honeyed quality of the kernels with a zesty, vinegar-based brine, the condiment is capable of upgrading any and every recipe. By adding a pop of acidity, the pickled corn can balance out overly rich or sweet dishes in addition to adding another dimension of flavor.

Pickled corn can be the star of a corn-based relish or a welcomed addition to classic Texas caviar. Likewise, it can elevate condiments like salsa and guacamole or jazz up a dull pasta or potato salad. The tangy delight can also be used as a flavorful garnish. Just add a spoonful over the top of grilled shrimp, a tray of loaded nachos, a chilled corn soup, or even a flatbread that's lacking a certain something. With the potential to be used in so many dishes, pickled corn could become your new favorite ingredient.

Tips and tricks to achieve the tastiest pickled corn

When it comes to crafting pickled corn, there's room for interpretation. You can swap out neutral white vinegar for other liquids, like floral Champagne or fruity apple cider. For a sweeter brine, increase the amount of sugar or swap in an alternative sweetener like maple syrup. You can boost the complexity of your pickled corn by including spices and aromatics. Add chili flakes or sliced jalapeños for heat, garlic or shallots for umami, and thyme or cilantro for depth. You can even add other produce like radishes for more texture.

Once you've gathered all of your ingredients, the pickling process is fairly straightforward. Start by adding fresh corn kernels, cooked kernels, and even broken cobs to a jar along with other seasonings. In a saucepan, whisk together water, vinegar, salt, and sugar over medium heat. After reaching a boil, pour the brine into the jar and close the lid. Let it cool completely before storing it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can also ferment kernels with salt and water, but this requires more time and produces a slightly funkier result.

A jar of pickled corn will last for several weeks. Just remember to close the jar well each time and not cross-contaminate it with dirty utensils. That said, should you notice signs of mold or any foul smells, it's best to discard pickled corn and whip up another batch!