Tuesday, January 17, 2006
In the city of Taipei, near where I grew up, this guy has been on the same street corner selling grilled corn since before I was born. These are not your run of the mill, american back yard bbq corn on the cobs, these are the most delicious corn you can find, on either side of the pacific. There are probably a dozen similar street venders selling similar preparation of corn just in the city of Taipei, but his shit is easily the best, according to me and like two other people in taipei who still recognized me as friends.
So here is the deal, he takes fresh white corn, first boils them in water, drain them, and the put them over hot coal. He has four jars of sauces in front of him that he applies to the corn with a brush. First, it was a brownish sauce probably consist of soy sauce, sugar, garlic, shallot, some spices, and a bunch of untold ingredient (of course he won't tell me what the fuck they are). The second sauce is simply pork fat. The third is a chili sauce, which is optional. And this is the only point where he will ask you a question (you want it hot or not?), the rest of the time while you are waiting for your corn, silence. In the very end, right when the corn reaches a beautiful dark brown, he brushes on egg wash, grills it for another 15 seconds, puts it in a paper bag, and it is yours.
This is no turduken or foie gras, but simple food done well can often time brings just as much pleasure as luxurious dishes. It has to be true, because he has been doing it for more than 30 years.