Ginataang Mais (Sweet Corn in Coconut Milk)

I just want to share a funny experience on my early days of being FOB (“Filipino on bacation” according to Rex Navarette) here in the U.S. In early 1980’s, my first job was an order taker at Kentucky Fried Chicken before they called it KFC. There I said the word “FRIED!” Anyway, I started the job a week after I arrived here from the Philippines while I was still going through culture shock. What’s worse was the store manager assigned me to the drive-thru window on my first day.

Back in those days, one of KFC’s popular items on their side menu was corn on the cob. So, I had one customer who ordered fifteen corns on a cob. I put all the orders in a big bag and gave the customer what he ordered. After about half an hour, the phone rang and my manager picked up the phone and all I can hear was him apologizing. He told me that the customer was very upset and thought that we were making fun of him. I asked him why did he say that? He said the customer found each corn inside a cup. I told the manager that I thought the customer was asking for corn in a cup. I thought I was going to get fired but the manager found it very funny!

I embedded a clip of Rex Navarette’s comedy on “English as a Second Language.” So, enjoy the Sweet Corn recipe and enjoy the clip.


Ginataang Mais (Sweet Corn in Coconut Milk)
  • 2 cans of 13.5 oz coconut milk
  • ½ cup sweet rice (malagkit)
  • 1 can of 15 oz sweet corn kernels - drained
  • ½ cup thinly sliced canned jack fruit
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup condensed milk
  • ¼ cup sugar (more if you prefer)
  • water

  1. Place casserole over medium heat.
  2. Add coconut milk and sweet rice.
  3. let it boil then turn heat down to low.
  4. Keep stirring to prevent rice from sticking.
  5. Let it simmer for about 12 minutes.
  6. Add corn kernel, jack fruit and vanilla extract.
  7. Let it simmer for another 4 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.
  8. If the rice is still not fully cooked, add ¼ cup of water at a time.
  9. Add condensed milk.
  10. Add sugar (more if you prefer sweeter flavor)
  11. Serve hot.




Your comment is always appreciated.





  1. says

    My mom used to make something similar to this when I was a kid, but using cantaloupe and sweet potatoes. Might have to try it with this sweet corn next time =)

  2. says

    Oh my gosh I wasn’t expecting corn in a “cup” was coming when I started to read! Oh I had a great laugh in the morning, thanks! I still have heavy accent and my 5 year old started to speak much better than me. Grrr… I enjoyed the video clip too. We go through same/similar experience and we can relate and laugh about the mistakes and hardship.. :-) Now this sweet corn in coconut milk – how delicious looking! My son keeps asking to drink corn soup and eat corn all the time (and I just made corn soup not a while ago). He’ll be very happy with this recipe. By the way, Happy Birthday! Enjoy your special day. :-)

  3. says

    How punny naman Ray. That made me LOL. Who’s he? Anyway, the ginataan looks great. I don’t know why we don’t do it that way in Marikina. We always have mongo with it. I love corn so I’d prefer it the way you made it. Tama ba ang Ingles ko? Nakakalito.

    • says

      That is Rex Navarette – a Filipino-American stand-up comic here in the U.S. Always making fun of Filipinos and our thick accents and culture. Very funny guy! Good to see you dropping by, Adora. :)

  4. says

    What a funny story, Chef Ray! And I love the video clip. But the ginataang mais just made my day! I loved the addition of langka. So many favorite flavors in there. I must make this for my family, they’ll surely enjoy it. Thanks for sharing & Happy Thanksgiving in advance !

  5. says

    LOL! I was roaring with laughter, Ray. What a cute story of your experience at KFC…I’m glad your manager had a good sense of humor. “Corn in a cup” – :)

    I watched some of the Rex clip you’ve included, he’s so funny! I’m gonna send a link to my Mom, I think she’ll get a big laugh from it too. She’s had family visiting all week from Hawaii and the Philippines so she will especially enjoy.

    Lovely soup with sweet corn and coconut milk, what a delicious combination of flavor. The image is gorgeously lit and composed…

    • says

      Oh I’m glad I made you laugh with this experience, Cristina. Until this day, it makes me laugh everytime I remember it. Thank you for a very nice compliment. :)

    • says

      Jack fruit has a unique flavor that I don’t think can be substituted with something else. However, you may just eliminate it. Thank you for your comment, Jo. :)

    • says

      Hi Lassa, If you are worried about fat contents of coconut milk, there are lower fat contents coconut milk but substituting it with other products like whole milk might produce a different flavor. Thank you for commenting. :)

  6. says

    Congratulations for being on Foodbuzz Top 9, Ray! So well deserved! Your ginataang mais looks spectacular! This is a favorite dessert of mine, especially if cooked with jackfruit like yours! Super sarrappp!

    Btw, you crack me up with that “corn in a cup” story! I’m sure it’s one of your most unforgettable memories at KFC!

  7. says

    Your story and video are hilarious! Thanks for a laugh to end the day! :) I love your recipe! I’ve never used jack fruit so I find this recipe a good reason to start looking for it. I thought it was mango at first. Does it taste anything like mango? Going to have to make this!

  8. says

    You made me laugh with your corn in a cup story and that video :) Rex does a pretty good Scotsman imitation :) Congrats on the Top 9, Ray – I’ve never had corn with sweet rice and coconut milk – but it sounds delicious!

  9. says

    Corn on a cup, that is so funny!
    Anyways this dish you posted is not common to our household but I’ve seen it, we make a different version and its using red beans instead. This is a good merienda indeed!

  10. says

    Hi Ray, really funny story. I think we all have some crazy stories from working at fast food places as teenagers (I worked at Dairy Queen for a year when I was 16).

    Recipe looks delicious. I probably wouldn’t have said that before I moved to Malaysia. I was shocked to find corn (and beans) in my ‘ais kacang’ dessert in Penang, but after a awhile, like every dish here, it grew on me and now I can’t get enough. Nothing like corn in a cup!

  11. says

    I really enjoyed the video Ray! I think all of us first generation Asians can relate to the jokes. I love this type of comedy! And I wouldn’t have guessed that the KFC story ended up being about corn in a “cup”! I was going to guess that the customer got too much or too little of the corn. How funny! And this corn in coconut milk sounds really good! I’ve been seeing so many corn recipes around lately that I am getting a craving for corn too!

  12. says

    I swear you could hear me making a skidding stop and doubling back to this one. Corn…and coconut milk….how can this be? I have to try this. Two of my fave things in one dish. If this is wrong I don’t want to be right.

  13. Lori Identicon Lori says

    your corn story is definitely one for the laughs! i love your pictures and your recipes. my first time to visit your blog actually and i think i’ll drop by often. cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 1 = eight