What Is Corn Coulis?


Used as either a sauce or as an ingredient in other foods, corn coulis resembles creamed corn, but varies in texture from silky smooth to a thick puree. The consistency depends on how you want to use the coulis. Full of sweet flavor, corn coulis benefits from being served with foods that have sharper flavors to balance its sweetness, or from additional ingredients with sour or bitter flavors, such as herbs or aromatics, added to the coulis itself.

Culinary Origins

  • From the French word for "couler," meaning "to flow," coulis originally meant the juices flowing from cooked meat. In the modern culinary world, it is a general term for a sauce made from any fruit or vegetable, such as tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries or raspberries. Some coulis recipes call for raw ingredients, but corn coulis works best if you use cooked corn, either fresh, frozen or canned.

Making Corn Coulis

  • For corn coulis with fresh corn, begin by cutting corn kernels off the cob. Then, for all types of corn, saute the kernels about 4 minutes with ingredients such as a bit of chopped shallot, garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Puree the ingredients in a blender or food processor to the consistency you want. Some recipes call for a completely smooth coulis, while others need a chunky texture.

Using a Coulis Sauce

  • Corn coulis pairs well with the flavors of poultry, fish -- especially salmon, scallops and shrimp -- and some meats, such as beef and ham. Serve the coulis on top of the protein or alongside as a vegetable course if the coulis is chunky. The coulis also works as a topping for soup, particularly cream soups, such as red bell pepper soup, where its bright yellow color contrasts vividly with the soup.

Coulis as an Ingredient

  • When you add corn coulis as an ingredient into other dishes, you deepen the flavor of those dishes, adding sweetness and the taste of corn. For example, Chef Vitaly Paley of Paley's Place restaurant in Portland, Oregon, makes a risotto using corn coulis, mushrooms, crab and pesto. The coulis also adds flavor to plain risotto, polenta, mashed potatoes or clam chowder. It can even form the base for a tart ice cream, such as black raspberry.

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