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7 Creative Corn on the Cob Toppings

7 Creative Corn on the Cob Toppings
Dress up corn on the cob beyond the usual butter and cheese.

“It's corn! A big lump with knobs. It has the juice. I can't imagine a more beautiful thing. I mean, look at this thing! When I tried it with butter, everything changed,” said an American seven-year-old boy named Tariq, now dubbed the “Corn Kid.” His TikTok video has since trended globally, capturing the hearts of many corn lovers and converting nonbelievers. Because, really, what can be more beautiful than freshly cooked corn on the cob?

Probably if it gets a thick coating of grated Parmesan and a sprinkling of smoked paprika? Or a drizzle of mayo, honey, or sriracha, perhaps? Maybe when you add a topping of chopped herbs, nori, or lemon zest? The possibilities are endless! Soon, Corn Kid (and his followers!) will discover the many ways to enjoy his favorite treat beyond the usual buttered corn recipe. Take the following ideas, for example – and try them yourself! But first, pick your preferred method of cooking corn.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob

Corn cooks faster via wet methods like boiling and steaming.

How long to boil corn on the cob? Will steaming result in mushy kernels? Can you also prep it in the microwave? Time to learn the answers to all these corny questions! Here are the cooking techniques you can rely on for sweet, juicy corn.

Boiling

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the corncobs. Bring this to a boil, then add the shucked ears. Lower heat and cook for seven minutes. That quick!

Steaming

Place shucked ears on the steamer basket. Cook over high for five minutes. Even quicker! But be careful not to overcook your corn so it doesn’t get mushy.

Instant Pot

Two minutes are all you need for this method. Except you can only cook about four cobs at a time.

Microwaving

Cook an unshucked ear for four minutes in the microwave. Let it cool before peeling. This method is fast, but you can only prepare one serving per cycle.

Grilling

Grill shucked and oiled ears over high or live coals for 10 minutes, turning every time a side becomes charred (about two minutes). Perfect for cooking a big batch of corn!

Roasting or air-frying

Wrap oiled corn in aluminum foil, then roast for 30 minutes in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven or air-fryer. Let cool before unwrapping.

7 Creative Corn Toppings

Prepare Mexicon elote corn with just five ingredients.

Buttered corn with cheese is already soul-satisfying, but you can still level up your cobs with extra toppings. Take your pick from these easy ideas using pantry staples.

1. Cheesy Mexican

Here’s a simplified version of the classic Mexican elote corn recipe. Mix Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise, chopped garlic, chili powder, and cilantro leaves in a bowl. Spread mixture on corn, then top with crumbled feta and more chili powder.

2. Inasal na mais

Can’t get enough of inasal? Try the flavor on corn! Spread atsuete oil on corncobs before grilling or roasting. Mix butter, Knorr Liquid Seasoning, grated ginger, Knorr Chicken Cube, and pepper in a bowl, then spread the mixture on hot corn.

3. Turning Japanese

Give your corn a Japanese flair by dressing up your treat with takoyaki toppings. Prepare the sauce by combining oyster sauce, ketchup, honey, and curry powder. Drizzle over the cobs, then top with mayo, chopped nori, and bonito flakes.

4. Vietnamese scallion oil

TikTok user @gaming_foodie shared how her Vietnamese mom usually prepares corn. You just need to prepare a scallion oil you’ll pour over the cobs. Make this by heating ¼ cup oil in a saucepan. Add chopped scallions and cook them until bright green. Season with 3 tbsp patis and 2 tsp sugar and cook for two minutes.

Love spicy flavors? Try the Korean yangnyeom sauce on corn.

5. Korean yangnyeom 

Love yangnyeom chicken? Take its well-loved sauce and use it to dress up corn! Combine gochujang, ketchup, soda, honey, soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar, and chopped garlic, then season with garlic powder, chili flakes, and sugar.

6. Honey butter

Try something sweet for a change! Prepare a quick honey-butter sauce by combining softened butter, honey, and salt. Spread on hot corn and enjoy.

7. Bang bang

Another trending sauce you can try on corn is bang bang. For this, you just need to combine mayonnaise, sriracha, vinegar, honey, and sweet-chili sauce. It’s sweet, spicy, and creamy all at once!

Mix and match the ingredients you have on hand to zhuzh up your corn on the cob! Take inspiration from your favorite chicken wings and try flavors like salted egg, lemon pepper, and garlic Parmesan. You can also simply sprinkle sinigang powder or taco seasoning over the boiled ears. If you want a dessert treat, drizzle brown butter salted caramel over roasted or grilled corncobs. Have fun with it and make Corn Kid proud!

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