Corn milk is a refreshing, creamy drink enjoyed in at least a few ESEA countries. Try it yourself with this easy vegan corn milk recipe, with an additional recipe for vegan cheese foam.
More traditional methods for preparing corn milk utilise whole corn cobs, where the kernels are cut away and the cobs are boiled in the water (sidebar: corn cobs are excellent in vegetable stocks), which is then blended with the kernels. In my recipe I reach for the ease of frozen sweetcorn because I couldn't be arsed to go to the store. Anyway, both methods work great.
But seriously, save your corn cobs for stocks and you won't regret it.
Ways to enjoy corn milk
As well as drinking corn milk cold as a salve for sweltry weather or siping it hot to warm up in winter, corn milk also happens to pair well with coffee.
In fact, corn is a typical ingredient in olieng, a popular Thai coffee powder made from around 30% robusta beans and various other ingredients to flesh it out. Further ingredients in olieng might include heavily toasted sesame seeds, tamarind seeds, and soybeans, as well as margarine and sugar.
When I drink corn milk with coffee, I fill a glass with ice, pour in somewhere between 160-180 millilitres corn milk, and top with 50-60 millilitres espresso. You can also top this drink with cheese foam.
What is cheese foam and how should I drink it?
Cheese foam is a Taiwanese invention, a sort of cold drink answer to milk foam. This creamy, slightly salty and sweet topping adds texture to a drink. I like that, unlike with many other comestibles, drinks with cheese foam require end users to stop and pay attention to what they're consuming. In other words, it's not a to go item.
The best way to consume drinks topped with cheese foam is to toss the straw aside and sip. The trick is to get a mouthful of the drink underneath, whether it's the more conventional iced tea or corn milk, along with a bit of the foam. You'll know if you're drinking it right by your milky cheesy moustache. Don't try to be pretty about it.
Keep your corn milk in a clean jar in the fridge. It should last for around a week, perhaps longer (mine never stays around that long).
As for the cream cheese foam, it should also be kept cool in the icebox. Note, however, that it will stiffen up to a non pourable consistency when kept cool. It makes a lovely sort of of dessert with this texture, but you may want to whip it up again or add another splash of cream to soften it before use.
How to use the leftover corn dregs
As a homage to kanom kai nok krata I used the strained corn dregs in a similar, though less sweet preparation. Add 60 grams of tapioca starch, 1 ½ tablespoons rice flour, 1 tablespoon (or maybe more) granulated sugar, and ⅛ teaspoon baking powder along with the corn mash, to a bowl. Mix into a dough and deep fry per same instructions as the kanom kai nok krata.
Corn milk with vegan cheese foam
- hand mixer
- 225 grams frozen corn 1 ¾ cup
- 500 millilitres water
- 325 grams oatly barista 300 millilitres
- Slightly heaped ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 30 grams
Whipped cream cheese foam
- 40 grams vegan Philadelphia cream cheese
- 60 millilitres Oatly or elmlea whipping cream
- 30 millilitres Oatly barista
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 pinch salt
To make corn milk
- Boil the corn in the water for 5 minutes. Tip everything into a blender, along with the remaining ingredients, and blend.
- To strain the milk, you can either use a very fine mesh sieve or some kind of fabric that is porous enough to catch sediment and allow mostly only liquid through (muslin cloth, nut milk bags, or even the foot of clean pantyhose/thin tights can work).
- Strain using the mechanism of your choice, pressing the corn sludge to extract as much liquid as possible. You should end up with around 800 millilitres of milk.
- Add the now strained milk back to saucepan and bring to the boil (this will aid in a smoother, richer drink by ensuring the starches are cooked through). Knock heat down to a low simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Allow the milk to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to use.
To make cheese foam
- Whip cream cheese with a hand blender. Add remaining ingredients and whip until a little set (but still runny).
- Pour on top of iced teas or milky drinks, or just eat it with a spoon because it's moreish as hell.
- Fill glass with ice, add approximately 160 millilitres corn milk, and then top with 3 tablespoons of cream cheese foam.