Sunday, September 21

Edible Red Corn On The Cob

red corn

Notice anything unusual about this corn? No, it's not some nifty Photo-Shop-Curves technique. It's real red you're seeing. That's no ordinary ear of corn. That's an ear of edible red corn.

In the U.S. we typically refer to colored corn as "Indian corn" since Native Americans were the first people to grow corn in the New World. When European colonists came to the New World, they referred to corn of all colors as "Indian corn" to differentiate it from other grains such as wheat and rice. Over time, white, yellow, and bi-color corn replaced colored corn in people's diet, and colored corn became ornamental.

red corn

So what makes red corn red? Like red pomegranates and purple grapes, red corn derives its color from anthocyanins, or health-promoting antioxidants. This means that it's both more visually appealing and healthier than traditional corn.

As for texture and taste, red corn has slightly crunchier kernels and an earthier flavor. That's why in this recipe for Red Corn with Cilantro and Cotija Anejo Cheese, I added a touch of sugar. Acidic lime, salty Mexican cheese, and savory cilantro add complexity without masking the corn's unique flavor.

This red corn is from Henry's Marketplace, a popular market here in Southern California, but you might find heirloom varieties of corn at organic markets such as Whole Foods or online. If you ever find it, I definitely recommend trying it. And if you don't like it, then just dry it and hang it on your front door.

red corn with cilantro and Cotija Anejo Cheese

Red Corn with Cilantro and Cotija Anejo Cheese
Serves 2
Print recipe only here.

2 ears of red corn, kernels removed from the cob
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons crumbled cotija anejo cheese**
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Cut off the corn kernels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt olive oil. Add corn and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add lime juice and salt & pepper. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. The corn should be cooked through yet still firm. Sprinkle with cotija anejo cheese and cilantro and toss gently until well combined and serve immediately.

** Cotija anejo, a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, can be found in Mexican markets or in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets. Queso fresco, another mild Mexican cheese, is a good substitute and also can be found in most major supermarkets.

Note: This dish can be made with traditional white, yellow, or bi-color corn, though you many want to omit the sugar.

Click here for a quick tutorial on safely and easily removing corn kernels from the cob.

You might also like:

Elote, or Mexican Grilled Corn

Sweet Corn and Honey Muffins

Chipotle Barbecue Bean and Corn Salad

I am sending my red corn to Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, this week's host of Weekend Herb Blogging, created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen.

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Heather said...

ohhh! beautiful! i love the colors!

Anonymous said...

Neat. I've never seen red corn before.

Anonymous said...

Now that's pretty cool looking corn! I love how it just glitters in the bowl looking for all the world like a stripped pomegranate.

Mishmash ! said...

WOW ! Pretty like jewels!!

Kalyn Denny said...

Wow! I've never seen red corn before. It is just gorgeous. I love the combination of flavors in this dish too, sounds great.

Manggy said...

Oh!! I've seen those in books and such!! I never thought they were edible, haha :) I dunno, I've only seen them dried before. They do lend a very dramatic look-- beautiful!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Beautiful, and new to me. It's the time of year when Indian corn is appearing on people's front doors, but I never considered that some of it just might be edible!

Sarah R said...

That corn is just too cool! I wish we had that up here... beautiful!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Really pretty! Here, we only can find the yellow kind... A delicious salad!



Deeba PAB said...

This is just what I love about food...colour & endless colour. I've seen this sorta thing in magazines, hanging by doors, Susan. It's beautiful! I'm still trying to catch up with yellow corn...thankfully we won't get red corn for another decade, so I just might catch up when I'm older & greyer!! the flavours!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

What a visually stunning dish Susan...a great salad!

Ivy said...

I never knew there was other corn than the yellow one. Do they make pink corn flour? Lovely salad.

Anonymous said...

I used to string it up and make necklaces out of I will look for the kind I can eat! Thanks Susan!

NĂºria said...

Wow! It does look like pomegranade!!! Beautiful colours! First time I see it :D

Darius T. Williams said...

I love Latino inspired dishes...this looks great!


Cris said...

Oh I have never had red corn before... our corn is not good Susan, I miss the US corn...

Anonymous said...

How lovely for the first day of autumn.

RecipeGirl said...

What a fun discovery! I'll have to take a peek at our Henry's to see if they're carrying any. Love the lime and cotija additions too.

ames said...

That corn (and salad) are just *gorgeous*! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for it at the markets. Though once my brother scavenged our decorative dried corn and planted everything. We ended up with a few ears of blue corn, so who knows?

The Italian Dish said...

Wow, this corn would make any corn dish beautiful. I'd love to taste it!

Anonymous said...

Love seeing a Rhode Island girl discover the native cuisine. You are on a roll!

Anonymous said...

Susan, this red corn is so beautiful, and the dish you made with it sounds deliciously refreshing!

Deborah said...

I've only seen red corn dried, never fresh. Gorgeous!

Katie Zeller said...

I've never seen edible colored corn... Of course, here, one can't even buy the yellow - except in a Green Giant can (Or my garden)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

heather-Thank you!

arugulafiles-It is neat, huh?

kate-It really does, doesn't it?

shn-They do!

kalyn-It's good with traditional corn too. Thanks!

mark-They're pretty sassy!

lydia-I know! Ornamental Indian corn is so New England. I love it.

sarah-It is nifty!

rosa-It's not easy to find here either.

deeba-Well, you've have to visit California before then!

peter-Many thanks.

ivy-I've never seen it.

maryann-Jewelry? Who knew?

nuria-It is a pretty ruby color.


cris-That's too bad. :(

lousie-My favorite season.

lori-Hope you find some!

ames-Now, that's cool!

italiandish-It's wonderful!

marc-Gee, thanks!

miri-I'm glad you like it!

Simona Carini said...

Last year we planted some Ruby Queen corn in our tiny community garden. The plants were a pleasure to see grow and the color of the corn was beautiful. I have never seen it at the market. Your photo is so appetizing!

FOODalogue said...

Great presentation, visually as well as the application you chose to prepare it. Never tried red corn but sure would love to.

Jennifer said...

That looks so good. I love corn and I love cilantro. Living in the midwest corn belt, it's too bad the red corn is not available here.

(Oh, and I noticed you mentioned Southern California. I used to live in Ladera Ranch, CA. Very near Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano. Lovely area.)

Gretchen Noelle said...

Beautiful, beautiful corn! I have never seen it fresh like this, only dried and ready to be popped in Peru. Lovely!

Caviar and Codfish said...

Nice... I think I saw some red corn at a farm stand the other day... I'll have to go back and check after your great recommendation.

Burcu said...

Beautiful; I love corn in every form, but this one is amazing. I lived several years in the corn capital, never seen red corn even once.

Johanna GGG said...

wow that corn looks amazing - never seen anything like that before - I can't help wondering how it would look in your corn muffins

Elle said...

Way too pretty to dry and hang on the thats no way to get your antioxidants! Love the flavors of the recipe, too. Lovely photos!

Susan @ SGCC said...

What a lovely dish! That corn is so pretty! I saw some red corn at the market one day, but I was in a hurry and didn't buy any. When I went back the next day, it was gone. :( I've been looking for some ever since.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

This is sobeutiful, Susan. Never seen ruby red corn ever.
Roasted corn on the cob last week, the usual kind.

My Sweet & Saucy said...

I have never seen anything like this beautiful is that!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

OMG! That red corn is stunning. I've never seen it before. I'm always so jealous of the produce you find in the farmers markets in Southern California.

Debbie said...

Have never heard of red corn but we have a Whole Foods here and I would like to try it sometime....

glamah16 said...

Oh My! I have never seen this vairety before.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That's so cool. Other than the occasional blue corn chip, I don't think I have ever seen anyone do anything other than hang red corn on the door. I'm very intrigued.

Nic said...

Wow! Amazing. I love that.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, definitely didn't know you could eat red corn. It's so pretty!

Deborah Dowd said...

This corn looks great-what a cool variety- it does look like Indian corn.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

What fun. I'd try this in a minute if I saw it in the store.

Pip said...

I've never seen red corn in Italy, it must be delicious! :P

Pille said...

Never seen red cob either - looks beautiful!

LyB said...

Oh, that is spectacular! That dish sounds delicious, I love how you describe the corn's taste. :)

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bee said...

we discovered indian corn last year. try making popcorn with it (we add olive oil and rosemary). awesome.

Annie said...

Susan, How great ~ you taught me something I didn't know... Again!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

I've never seen red corn before. So pretty.

Anonymous said...

Never seen anything like this before. The corn looks like pomegranates in the bowl.

Jaime said...

wow, that red corn is so beautiful. i've never seen it before

Anonymous said...

unbelievably beautiful pictures. this just brings a corn dish to another level.

Cynthia said...

I wish I could have gotten some of that corn. Just look at the beautiful colour!

Anna (Morsels and Musings) said...

these photos are beautiful.
i have never heard of red corn before so your post has been very enlightening!
i thought my australian native finger limes would be one of the strangest entries to WHB this week, but there were so many unique ingredients. this red corn is certainly one!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

I usually just see the red corn dried for decorations. Not sure if I've seen them fresh for eating.

Cotija anejo makes me think of anejo tequila. Is this anejo cheese aged longer than queso fresco?

Cheesy said...

Cilantro?? How much and were does it go in// Thanks!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

simona-I wish I had access to your garden. :)

foodalgue-Thank you so much.

jennifer-I haven't heard of Ladera Ranch but Mission Viejo is lovely.

gn-Thanks so much!

candc-Hop you find it!

burcu-Really? Looks like a trip to California is in store then. ;)

johanna-Hah! That would be pretty!

elle-So true! ;)

susan-Good luck!

aparna-It's not very common.

ms&s-I'm glad you like it

tw-Come out for a visit to get some for yourself!

debbie-Check it out!

glam-Pretty, huh?

tsdc-I love blue corn chips too.



deborah-It really does, I know.

tanna-I know; it is fun.

pip- it is!


lyb-I appreciate it.

ile de france-thank you.

bee-That does sound awesome!

annie-I love learning something new. :)


Jude-Amazing resemblance, huh?

jaime-Hope youfind some.

wanf-Thank you so much.

cynthia-It is beautiful. Thanks.

anna-I love the unusual ingredients that have been appearing in WHB too!

nna-I believe the "anejo" means it's been aged a longer time.

cheesy-Oops. Just added it. Thanks!

SteamyKitchen said...

that is the coolest corn ever!

Jeanne said...

Oh, what absolutely beuatiful corn! Like eating a bowl of pomegranate seeds :)

wholesale nurseries said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The Sweet Red Corn comes from the produce comapny Colorful Harvest in Salinas, CA. We are the only company who can grow and market it. It's currently in Henry's, SaveMart, Raleys, Nob Hill, Bell, Air, Safeway and a few other select markets. It's a limited growing season, usually coming off late June/Early July and runs thru October. Enjoy it while you can!

Renie said...

I just found this corn last week at a local Asian market. Discovered that for corn on the cob, it's definitely not very sweet. Needed a recipe, found this and it's perfect for my taste! Great job and thanks so much!