6 Spicy Ways to Dress Up Your Corn This Summer

Add a kick to your corn on the cob with these spicy toppings!

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Grill It: Grill shucked corn on oiled grates over medium heat, turning, until tender and charred, 8 to 10 minutes.

Boil It: Cook shucked corn in salted boiling water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Japanese Spice (Recipes pictured above, starting at far left.)

Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon wasabi paste and the zest and juice of 1/2 lime. Brush on 4 grilled ears of corn and sprinkle generously with shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice mix) and sliced scallions.

Hot Honey and Peanuts

Combine 2 tablespoons honey with 2 teaspoons hot sauce and a pinch of salt. Melt 2 tablespoons salted butter with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, then brush on 4 boiled ears of corn. Sprinkle with chopped salted peanuts and drizzle with the spicy honey.


Puree 1 cup each fresh cilantro and parsley, 2 chopped serranos (1 seeded for less heat), 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander. Pulse in 1/2 cup olive oil, then 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Spread on 4 grilled ears of corn. Season with salt.

Pimiento Cheese

Mix 1/3 cup mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons finely chopped pimientos (drained), 1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and a pinch of salt. Spread on 4 boiled ears of corn. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 more cups cheddar and 2 tablespoons chopped chives, pressing to adhere. Sprinkle with more cayenne.

Cacio E Pepe

Combine 1/3 cup each finely grated parmesan and pecorino with 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper. Brush 4 boiled ears of corn with melted butter and season with salt. Sprinkle with the cheese mixture, pressing to adhere.

Harissa Butter

Toast 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and crush with a heavy skillet. Combine with 2 tablespoons softened salted butter, 1 tablespoon harissa and a pinch of salt. Spread on 4 grilled ears of corn. Sprinkle with chopped mint.

Photograph by Ralph Smith

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