Flavoursome on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, these Corn Ribs can be made in under 30 mins and enjoyed as an appetiser, snack or side dish.
What are Corn Ribs?
Corn ribs, also known as corn riblets, are fresh corn cobs cut into quarters, lengthways, seasoned and then cooked to tender perfection. They can be cooked in the air fryer, oven or grill and during cooking, they curl slightly to resemble a curved rib shape.
Eating corn ribs with your hands is essential! Eat them just like pork ribs and discard the bone (centre of the cob).
Reasons To Love Them
- FUN - Serving food in different ways keeps our kids interested and eating with your hands can be a lot of fun for kids, especially when served with dips.
- VERSATILE - Season the corn ribs any way you wish and either air fry, oven bake or grill on the BBQ.
- EASIER TO EAT - Cutting corn into ribs makes it easier to eat, especially for little kids. They are also smaller for those who get overwhelmed with bigger portions.
- VEGAN FRIENDLY - Corn ribs are a great alternative to meat ribs for vegetarians and vegans.
Watch How to Make Them (Video)
Ingredients (with Alternative Suggestions)
- Corn - make sure it is fresh, not only will it taste better but fresh corn is easier to cut.
- Herbs and Spices - smoked paprika, garlic powder and oregano are added for flavour. You can experiment with the seasoning or leave it plain.
- Olive Oil - Can be replaced with any neutral-tasting oil or melted butter.
For the full recipe, with ingredient amounts, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Process Shots and Cooking Tips
The cutting of the corn is undoubtedly the hardest part of this dish. It can be quite dangerous and isn't something you want the kids to help with.
For easier cutting make sure you have a ...
- super sharp knife
- stable surface
- fresh corn.
If you find you are still nervous cutting the corn, or it is just too difficult to cut through, then you can cut the corn in half first so you have smaller pieces to stand vertically. Alternatively, you can boil the corn cobs for 5-10 mins which will soften the corn centre.
Cutting the Corn
- Cut in Half Vertically
You can cut the corn standing up vertically or laying flat, everyone has their own preferred way. I find it much easier to cut through the core when the corn is standing up. It also stops you from squashing any of the kernels and it rolling away as you chop.
Cut off each end of the cob so you have a flat base and top to cut through.
Stand the corn up and carefully cut through the core by rocking your knife back and forth.
- Cut each Half in Half Again.
Again, you can do this with the corn standing up vertically or laying flat. Vertically is easier to cut through the core but I'm more comfortable with it laying flat, it just feels a lot safer.
After cutting the recipe gets a lot easier! Simply mix the oil and spices together and brush all over the corn pieces.
Once seasoned you can either air fry, bake or grill. I find air frying is the best for getting the corn ribs to curl up. I needed to add more time, when baking in the oven, to get that curved appearance.
- AIR FRY: Lay the corn ribs in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Cook at 190ºC/375F for around 15 minutes, flipping them over halfway.
- BAKE: Line a baking sheet with baking paper and add the corn pieces cut side down. Place in a preheated oven (190ºC/375F) for 25-30 min
- GRILL: Place the corn ribs, kernel side down, on a hot grill and close the lid. Cook for about 6 minutes and check. Removing when the ribs are caramelised and crisp-tender.
Make Ahead/Storage Instructions
Corn ribs are best served immediately. However, if you have leftovers they do keep well refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.
If you wish to make ahead then cut the corn ribs and season. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 day. Cook when you are ready to eat.
Corn Ribs for Babies
Because of their size and firmness, whole corn kernels are a potential choking hazard for babies younger than 12 months of age. However, serving corn on the cob, like these corn ribs, can reduce the risk as the baby’s gnawing will mash the kernels and change their shape. If you choose to serve these to your baby 6 m+ make sure to create a safe eating environment and closely observe at all times.
Other Side Dishes to Try
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Sautéed Broccolini
- Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower
- Baked zucchini (courgette)
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- 1 Large Sharp Knife
- 2 Corn on the cob
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Oregano
- ¼ teaspoon Salt Do not add if serving baby/toddler
Cut the Corn into Riblets
- Cut off each end of the cob so you have a flat base and top to cut through. Stand the corn up vertically, with the widest end on the surface. Carefully cut through the core, using a large sharp knife, by rocking your knife back and forth.
- Cut each half in half again to make 4 ribs. You can do this with the corn half standing vertically or horizontally, cut side down. (I find it much safer to cut horizontally at this stage) . Repeat with the second corn cob making a total of 8 ribs.
Season the Corn
- Add the oil, spices and salt to a small mixing bowl and stir until combined. Brush the corn rib pieces with the oil mixture.
- Lay the corn ribs in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Cook at 190ºC/375F for 13 -15 minutes, or until the corn is cooked and has started to crisp and curl.
- Preheat oven to 190ºC/375F. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and add the corn pieces cut side down. Bake for 25-30 min or until the corn is cooked and has started to crisp and curl.