Aug 4, 2022

Corn Ribs

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
I love finding new ways to enjoy sweet summer corn at its peak.

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One of my favorite things about summer is savoring sweet New Jersey corn! In this recipe corn cobs are cut directly down the middle, then into “ribs”, then baked and seasoned with lime juice, Tajin and dipped in a creamy cilantro sauce. The seasoning for this dish is inspired by Mexican elote, like this classic recipe served on the cob here

Momofuku has laid claim to inventing this preparation of corn “ribs”, also called corn “riblets”, in 2017. They are served deep fried with squid ink aioli. Corn ribs may have gone viral on tiktok but I had them at a bar in New York and found it to be such a great way to enjoy corn. I find it easier to eat the kernels off the corn ribs than you would off the cob. Serve this oven baked corn recipe as an appetizer or side dish to your favorite BBQ recipes. 

Corn Ribs 

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Corn – When buying corn, look for a bright green husk tightly enclosed around the corn. Feel the kernels through the husk, they should be plump. (I like to peel back a section of the husk to double check the kernels.) Look at the tassel (the strings at the top), it should be yellow or light brown – it should have a sweet smell. Make sure all the small stringy pieces are discarded before cutting the corn into “ribs”. As the corn cooks they will curl slightly.
  • Tajin – Tajin is a Mexican seasoning blend made with chili powder (a combination of chiles de arbol, guajillo and pasilla peppers), dehydrated lime and salt. Because it already has salt in it,  I don’t add any additional salt to the corn in this recipe. 
  • Lime – The lime brightens this dish and helps the Tajin adhere to the corn ribs. 

How to Make Corn Ribs

Corn Ribs cilantro sauce
Step 1: Make the cilantro sauce. 

In a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, cilantro and garlic until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance. 

corn cobs for Corn Ribs
Step 2: Cut the corn cobs. 

Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Place a dish towel under a cutting board to keep it from slipping. Hold the corn cob on its end securely and use a sharp knife to make 4 vertical cuts into the corn cob so it breaks into 4 “ribs”.

baked corn
Step 3: Cook the corn. 

Arrange the strips of corn in an even layer on a baking sheet and drizzle or brush with the oil, turning to coat. Bake the corn until the kernels are tender and the corn is slightly charred, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Corn Ribs with sauce
Step 4: Assemble and serve. 

Arrange on a serving platter and squeeze lime over the top. Season the corn with the Tajin and serve with the cilantro lime sauce.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

How to Cut Corn Ribs 

Because the cob can be tough to cut through I recommend first having a sharp chef knife handy on a stable surface. I place a towel underneath a cutting board to keep it from slipping. As you’re cutting the corn, hold the cob on its end and rock the knife back and forth. 

How to Make Air Fryer Corn Ribs

Toss the corn in oil as directed below. Heat the air fryer to 375ºF (190ºC). Working in batches, add a few corn ribs to the air fryer basket, leaving enough room between them so they aren’t touching. Fry for 10 to 12 minutes, turning half way through. 

Other Spice Ideas
  • Instead of seasoning this corn recipe to taste with Tajin and serving with cilantro lime sauce, try sprinkling the ribs with smoked paprika and paring it with ranch. 
  • For elote style corn riblets slather the cooked ribs with a bit of mayo and top with chili powder, cayenne, cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime.
corn meal

Other Recipes to Try 

If you enjoy this corn ribs recipe, I recommend giving these other corn recipes a try and follow me on Instagram for more updates: 

Corn Ribs

corn ribs with tajin and cilantro lime sauce
Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the cilantro sauce:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

For the corn ribs:

  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 teaspoon Tajin

Instructions:

For the cilantro sauce:

  • In a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, cilantro and garlic until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance.

For the corn ribs:

  • Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  • Place a dish towel under a cutting board to keep it from slipping. Hold the corn cob on its end securely and use a sharp knife to make 4 vertical cuts into the corn cob so it breaks into 4 “ribs”.
  • Arrange the strips of corn in an even layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil, turning to coat. Bake the corn until the kernels are tender and the corn is slightly charred, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Arrange on a serving platter and squeeze lime over the top. Season the corn with the Tajin and serve with the cilantro lime sauce.

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