Crank Up The Umami Levels In Corn Pudding With Miso

The only thing worse than a bad dish is a predictable one. When a succulent chicken breast comes out of the oven, tummies are rumblin' and ready — but seeing potatoes on the table is all too familiar. Cozy comfort foods are beloved for a reason and definitely have a unique appeal all their own. But when you want to wow dinner party guests, keep it interesting. In the kitchen, one of the quickest, most impactful ways to create a memorable dish is by parking perhaps unlikely flavors together. Enter, miso and charred corn pudding.

The recipe by Tasting Table recipe developer Miriam Hahn stars salty, funky, tangy miso paste as the quintessential umami ingredient. If you've never worked with it before, miso is a Japanese condiment made from fermented soybeans with a rich peanut butter-like texture. White miso is milder than red, and either will work in your corn casserole. (We prefer the red stuff for extra funky flair).

Why does it work? Corn pudding is a savory, creamy, mild custard. You know it, you love it — now, up the ante and add earthy depth to this glossy casserole. Salty, umami-froward miso meets naturally sweet corn for a complex, dimensional profile, and it couldn't be easier to incorporate. Simply add a generous spoonful of miso to your regular corn pudding custard ingredients and bake as you normally would. That's it — a quick addition that makes a world of difference.

Sweet-savory is star of the dinner table

Even for the infrequent miso eater, this is an ingredient you can keep on hand and forget about until the next time you need it. Feel free to get creative with flavorful garnishes, too. Black and white sesame seeds, chopped chives, or pickled jalapeno slices would all work super well on a miso corn pudding.

To keep your dinner party guests on their toes this holiday season, pair this dish with barbecued short ribs for an unexpected Christmas Eve meal. Miso corn pudding is also great at fall tailgates and backyard barbecues alongside a pulled pork sandwich. It would pair great with roasted squash, maple-glazed pork chops, or any other sweet-savory side. For sweet-toothed foodies, serve this miso and charred corn casserole as the prelude to an equally sweet-savory dessert, like salted caramel pralines or salted caramel and toasted white chocolate apple bark.