Step 1: Husk the corn, stripping the husks back as though you were peeling a banana, leaving husks attached at the base. Tie the husks back below the corn to make a handle, using a strip of husk or a string. (Alternatively, strip off the husks altogether and impale the grilled corn on sturdy wooden skewers or chopsticks.)
Step 2: Make the sesame soy butter baste: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds, garlic, and scallions and cook until the garlic and scallions just begin to brown, 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and pepper. Simmer for 1 minute.
Step 3: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.
Step 4: Lightly brush the ears of corn with Sesame-Soy Butter Baste. Grill the corn until nicely browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side, 8 to 12 minutes in all, rotating the ears so they grill evenly. Position the corn so that the tied husks hang over the edge of the grill or away from the hot coals, or slide a folded sheet of aluminum foil under them so they won’t burn. Continue to baste the corn with the Sesame-Soy Butter Baste as it grills. Leave the grill on.
Step 5: Transfer the corn to a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle it with the flaked coconut; gently pat it on with your fingertips. Return the corn to the grill just long enough to lightly toast the coconut. Transfer to a platter and serve.
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Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2017 Barbacoa, Inc.