Recess Therapy Got You Craving Corn? Have a Corntastic Day in PDX!

Where to find the best dishes featuring corn. Because corn. Is. Awesome!

By Katherine Chew Hamilton and Matthew Trueherz

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of watching the viral CEO of Corn video, we recommend you drop everything you’re doing now and watch it. Like most of the videos from Recess Therapy, a web series in which host Julian Shapiro-Barnum interviews New York City kids, it’s sure to bring a smile to your face—and cause intense cravings for corn. This is the kind of joy that only good food can spark. And there are plenty of creative ways to enjoy corn in our fair city—not just during the summer, but all year round. Here are our picks.

Corn pizza from Lovely’s Fifty Fifty


You might think of chanterelles as a fall-only deal, but you can actually find them in Oregon starting in midsummer. Earlier this week, we stopped by for a chanterelle and sweet corn pizza, an ideal crossover episode between summer and fall. It was topped with plenty of umami-filled mushrooms and super-sweet corn. (It has the juice—it’s the part that mostly makes me like the corn.) Spinach provides a little bitterness for contrast, with blistered shishito peppers adding zest atop that always-lovely sourdough crust. Offerings change frequently—right now you’ll find the corn paired with peaches and prosciutto, while the chanterelles are paired with sweet onion. 4039 N Mississippi Ave 

Corn fritters at Oma’s Hideaway


What would hush puppies taste like if they went on vacation in Malaysia? Find out at Oma’s Hideaway, where corn fritters are a perennial staple on the menu. These crunchy, golden orbs are fluffy inside and filled with plenty of kernels, then bathed in a sweet-spicy peanut chili sauce and showered with scallions. They’re also a must-have side at chef Thomas Pisha-Duffly’s family barbecues at his sister’s house during the summer, where they’re served with the likes of pork satay, grilled salmon, and the must-have salad, gado gado. 3131 SE Division St 

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta from Malka  


The Country Comfort from Malka


If your panna cotta isn’t slumped in the shoulders like a cozy sweater, you’re doing it wrong. Recently reopened as a prix fixe spot, Malka nails the texture of this corn-centric dessert, which is silky smooth, wobbly, and holding on to its shape for dear life. Every dish at Malka is a collage of infinite ingredients, and this corn, rosemary, salted caramel, and marionberry number is actually one of the more restrained items on the current menu. Corn seems to serve double duty: sweetening the custard itself (It has the juice!), and providing texture with chewy candied kernels on top. It went on the menu titled “Captain Fantastic,” à la Sir Elton John, but later took on the name of perhaps his more fitting tune, “Country Comfort.” And that kind of works; somewhere between knighted and homesteading is where we’d place this dessert that we can’t get enough of. In the words of Corn Kid: I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing. 4546 SE Division St 

Esquites at Güero  


Elotez—the mayonesa, cotija, and chile-slathered corn on the cob—is a Mexican street food staple, and so is its easier-to-eat off-the-cob cousin, esquites. Güero has been bringing street food classics into its cacti-filled modern Mexican restaurant setting since day one, and the sweet and spicy esquites, served in an enameled tumbler to mirror the Styrofoam cup you might get from a streetside cart, lives up to the same standards as the impressive spread of tortas and hamburguesas. As for you mayo haters? Just remember this bit of wisdom from Corn Kid: not everyone has to like it to be the best. 200 NE 28th Ave