Poat Dot – Cambodian Grilled Corn

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I realize this post is slightly cruel.  After all, the vast majority of you don’t have access to sweet Kahuku corn year round, and, furthermore, the next corn season will not be for many, many months.  But this recipe is just too good to not share immediately.

Popular street food in Cambodia, grilled corn gets slathered in a salty and sweet fish sauce mixture punctuated with fresh scallions and red chile.  If you’ve never used fish sauce before, this would be a great introduction to the stinky liquid gold; it single-handedly adds a sweet, salty and umami quality.

Intrigued but can’t bear to wait until next summer to try out this recipe?  I’m thinking the sauce could also be used for a corn side dish or corn salad.  Just make the sauce as written below and pour it over some defrosted frozen corn for a side for your next Southeast Asian meal.

Poat Dot – Cambodian Grilled Corn

Yield: 6 ears of corn


* 6 ears corn, silk removed and husked pulled back and tied to form a handle
* 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
* 1 Tablespoon water
* 1 1/2 Tablespoon palm sugar (can substitute regular sugar)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 hot red chile pepper, seeded and minced
* small bunch scallions, thinly sliced
* 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil


In a large stockpot, bring several inches water to a boil over high heat and then add the corn. When the water returns to a boil, cook for another 5 minutes. Remove with tongs and drain off excess water. Remove to a plate and pat dry.

Over an open gas-stove flame char one of the ears of corn, rotating it every so often until slightly blackened on all sides. Remove to a serving platter and repeat with the remaining ears of corn.

Combine the fish sauce, water, palm sugar, salt, chile pepper and scallions in a small bowl and stir until the palm sugar is dissolved.

Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the fish sauce mixture, bring to a boil and let simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Remove from heat and brush the mixture over the corn. Serve immediately.

Note: Feel free to prepare the corn on the grill or just use steamed corn. Above is the method I use when I want the taste of grilled corn but don’t have access to a grill.

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