These corn ribs are super simple and really addictive! Ready in just 20 minutes with just a handful of ingredients, they make a wonderful side dish or a simple snack. Flavoured with harissa, it gives the ribs a lovely warming heat to them so you get all that BBQ flavour, just without the BBQ!
You are also probably wondering why they are called ribs? And it’s because of the way the corn curls when it is cooked in the air fryer, it kind of curls so it takes on a rib like form. Honestly try them and I promise you’ll make them many times more!
What you need to make these corn ribs
Corn on the Cobs: if corn is not in season (which it most definitely isn’t at the time of writing this in March), you can use frozen corn cobs, just make sure they are full defrosted before you use them and pat them dry with a towel before you apply any marinade.
Olive Oil: or any other neutral tasting cooking oil.
Dried Chilli Flakes: this is an optional ingredient. If you aren’t a fan of spice you can leave them out, or tone it down. But they do add a lovely heat to the muffin.
Harissa Paste: adds a lovely fiery heat to the ribs, but if spice is not your thing feel free to reduce the quantity you add to the marinade to get a more mild effect.
Salt, Herbs and Spices: I’ve added smoked paprika and ground cumin as they work really well with the harissa.
How to cut the corn ribs
Cutting the corn into ribs is the hardest part of the recipe and needs a bit of care and attention. You are going to need a large sharp knife and enough arm strength to cut through the core. If you aren’t the most confident when it comes to knife skills you can also keep the corn whole and get a similar effect, just the cooking time might take a little longer and you won’t get the curling effect.
You want to start by chopping the corn in half, by placing it vertically on a table with the widest part in contact with the table. Then once you have two halves, use the same method to chop in half again.
Just make sure to hold the knife firmly in one hand and using the other hand to guide. Always keeping your hands above the knife to avoid injury.
If this all sounds too much for you…just chop the corn in half first so you have shorter lengths, this way it will be easier to control the corn and the knife. You will just end up with 8 shorter pieces rather than 4 longer ones.
If you love these corn ribs, why not try these other side dishes?
Popular questions when making these ribs
The ribs are best eaten fresh and warm, but if you find yourself with leftovers store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. You will just want to warm them through again in the oven or air fryer so you aren’t eating them cold.
The beauty of these ribs is their versatility for flavour, there are so many options. Why don’t you try a satay version, or garlic and fresh herbs or even maple & soy sance.
If corn on the cob is not in season and you still need your corn fix, try using frozen cobs. Just make sure they are fully defrosted first and pat them dry with a towel before adding the marinade.
The thick corn core isn’t edible purely because it is so tough you wouldn’t be able to bite through it. Once you have finished the ribs, just place the core in the compost bin or give them a rinse and use them as part of a homemade vegetable stock.
How to Make Spicy Corn RibsCourse: Snack, SideCuisine: American, BBQDifficulty: Easy
A super simple yet flavourful recipe that can be ready in just 20 minutes. These corn ribs are not only fun to make, but they can be made in the oven or air fryer, making them really versatile.
- Corn Ribs
2 Corn on the cob (fresh or frozen **if frozen see note below)
1 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Ground cumin
1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
1 tsp Harissa paste
Salt and pepper
- Dipping Sauce
100ml Dairy free unsweetened yoghurt
1 tsp Harissa paste
Chilli flakes (optional and leave out if you aren’t a fan of spicy food)
- Chop the corn into ribs.
Having done this now a number of times, I have found the best way to do this is to stand it vertically on the chopping board and using a large sharp knife, use a rocking motion to CAREFULLY cut through the centre of it. Then repeat with the same technique, cutting it in half again so you get quarters. Doing it this way ensures you don’t squash the corn kernels.
- Next, in a small bowl mix together the remaining ingredients to create a marinade. Brush this over the pieces of corn so the corn kernels are fully coated in the sauce.
- To cook the corn you have two options. The preferred method is to air fry the corn, but if you don’t have an air fryer you can do them in the oven to get a similar effect.
Place the corn ribs as a single layer in the air frying basket with a little bit of space in between. Cook them at 190oc for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
Place the corn ribs as a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 190oc for 25 – 30 minutes turning halfway (the duration will vary on the efficiency of your oven but they will be done when they are crispy). Using an oven to cook the ribs just means it is trickier to get that curl, so you might end up with straighter looking pieces.
- To make the dipping sauce, mix the harissa and dairy free yoghurt together to form a sauce
- Enjoy the ribs dipped in the sauce whilst they are fresh and warm.
- Please be CAREFUL when cutting the corn. You are going to need a large sharp knife and quite a bit of arm strength to push down to cut through the corn core.
- Recipes are always going to taste their best when the produce is in season. But if you are looking for your corn fix when corn is not typically around, try using frozen corn cobs. Just make sure they are fully defrosted first and pat them dry with a towel before you apply the marinade.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these Spicy Corn Ribs so please leave a comment below and tag me in your wonderful creations! I’m @fortheutterloveoffood on Instagram and use the hashtag #fortheutterloveoffood. I’m also on Facebook – please say hello!