Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob

Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob 01

Many years ago, I came across a recipe for grilled corn on the cob and it was something of a revelation to me as I had never really considered any other ways of cooking cobs other than by the traditional method of boiling it. There are plenty of ways of cooking corn on the grill, of course, and the preparation featured in today’s post, with its roots in the cuisines of South-east Asia,  reproduces the first recipe I came across as best as I can remember it… 

Corn on the cob can be grilled inside its natural outer casing, wrapped in foil, or ‘naked’ over a direct flame. Today, I will be using the latter method (chiefly as my cobs are pre-shucked) and, while this requires a bit more attention, it has the advantage of allowing to see how things are going during the cooking process.

Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob 02

For basting the corn, you need to blend together the following:

  • 1 clove of Garlic, minced;
  • 1 tbsp. chopped Scallion;
  • ½ tsp. chopped red chili;
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper;
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar;
  • 2 tbsp. Fish sauce;
  • 1 tbsp. Oil;

Beyond these ingredients, you will also need a bit of extra oil to brush on the cobs before putting them on the grill. For the direct grilling method, it is advisable that you not marinate, or even pre-baste, using the above mix. Marinating for any length of time would tend to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the corn and the salt component may draw out some of the juices making it too dry when grilled. Even pre-brushing would cause the sugars to darken the cobs excessively and so the mixture will only be used towards the end of the cooking time.

Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob 03

Pre-heat your grill and, after brushing the cobs with oil, pop them on over a medium flame. The cobs will only take 10 or 15 minutes at most to cook (depending on size) and you need to keep turning them as brown spots appear where the grains contact the grill. Towards the end of cooking time, brush the flavoring mix liberally over the cobs and give them a few more seconds on each ‘side’. You can brush on one last coat just before serving or, alternatively, make enough ahead of time so that you can serve small bowls to each diner to apply more as desired.

The Verdict

Well, my wife said she could eat this every day and I really enjoyed it myself. I love boiled corn on the cob with butter but I think, given the choice, I’d take the grilled variety any time. You really must give this one a try!



I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

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