© Denzil Green
Corn Husks are the outside green leaves on a cob of corn, that we usually peel off and discard. You can use them, fresh or dried, as packages to wrap food in for cooking — usually steaming. They give the food a wonderful corn flavour.
Normally the husks are dried and stored for cooking. You can buy the dried husks at ethnic markets and stores. Or should you happen to have a corn field in your back yard, you can dry your own quite easily. Spread them out in the sun on hot, sunny days until the sun bleaches them (always bringing them in at night.) It can take up to two weeks. Before you store them, make sure they have completely dried out or they will develop mould spots.
To use the dried husks, soak them first in hot water for 30 minutes, or warm water for an hour. Drain them.
Generally, you would then take a Corn Husk, and with a pair of scissors trim a ¼ inch (½ cm) wide strip from it along its length. Lay the corn husk out, pat it dry with a paper towel or tea towel, fill with your food, fold and then secure with the strip that you cut.
When you steam your food, line the steamer with extra Corn Husks, and then place your corn husk food packages inside to steam.
If you end up with Corn Husks still hanging around after your big Mexican meal, use them to steam fish in (or barbeque fish and veg in, with the corn-husks well soaked, and the food placed high away from a low flame.)
Banana leaves; tin foil
18 to 20 husks = 1 pound (450g)
Store in a cool, dark, dry place for 6 months to 1 year.