Corn Silk Tea is a Refreshing Non-Alcoholic Option at Atoboy
At Atoboy, Junghyun “JP” Park, a 2017 Chef to Watch, reimagines the idea of banchan with his three-course tasting menu dinners. To go along with the food, manager Ellia Park offers a beverage menu that’s nicely succinct but wide-ranging, with two soju cocktails, sparkling wines, cider, draft beer, sake, and a few non-alcoholic options. The standout non-alcoholic beverage is the corn silk tea, which works as a pairing across the meal, from a truffled sunchoke and orange dish to chicken with spicy peanut butter and garlic.
“There's a natural nutty flavor with some sweetness [in the tea],” Park says. “It's a very classic drink in Korea. Once upon a time, Korea's water conditions were not very good so the water had to be boiled. The corn husk was added for flavor. You can also make it with corn too, but the flavor is different and distinct when you only use the corn husk."
To make the tea, Park says she dries clean corn silk for three to four days, then places it in empty tea bags. She steeps the tea bags in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, and serves both hot and iced versions of the tea.
Though the tea works well across the entire meal, Park loves it with the sujeonggwa granita, a dessert that reworks the traditional Korean punch with cinnamon and ginger by freezing it into granita and serving it over creamy burrata with yogurt and candied walnuts. The warm flavors in the dessert work well with the nutty flavors of the corn silk tea. “It's a great combo,” Park says.