Two days ago, celebrity chef David Chang, of Momofuku fame, shared a summer corn recipe on his Instagram and thousands of his followers lost their collective sh*t. Chang’s recipe was insanely simple — husk some corn and toss it in the microwave for 2:30 seconds. Season with butter, salt, and MSG. That’s literally it. But he was confident enough that he laid the gauntlet down for all comers, “Dare you to find an easier fresh corn recipe.”
Chang’s followers know enough about food to not get tripped up by the inclusion of MSG, do some research if that bit troubles you. But there was still something in that simple set of directions that caught them off guard. To paraphrase scores of commenters: “Seriously bro… a microwave?”
I’ll readily admit that I was among that group. I almost never use a microwave. My aversion to them borders on zealotry — only breaking it out to warm up butter on cold days, I don’t even do microwave popcorn (anymore) preferring to pop my kernels stove top like some sort of hippie jackass. How could anything cooked in a microwave ever taste good? How could its flavors endure being zapped?
“What’s that you say? A baked potato will take me 1:00 minute? I’m good fam, I’ll spend an hour baking that baby in an oven instead! That makes perfect sense!”
Truth be told, it makes me sick to even look at the microwave. With its myriad buttons and digital clock, it’s so… un-kitchen-like. Some sort of Boomer nightmare device that sacrifices love and craft for machine-driven efficiency. “Show me a person who uses a microwave and I’ll show you a person who doesn’t know how to cook,” is what I’ve always said.
But uh, David Chang is David Chang. So that’s obviously not true. I mean one of us is a world-renowned chef and the other is the founder of Momofuku and Lucky Peach, you know? The guy appears to have some cooking skills, is my point. So I decided to give the recipe a try.
I hit up the market, picked up some corn (I already had MSG, salt, and butter because I’m dope), husked it, and I even put it in a white bowl — just like Chang. I had to follow his recipe to a T, no extra variables, no deviation, no Tajín, even though I KNOW it would make it better. Just butter, salt, MSG, and the f*cking microwave.