This viral TikTok dish can now be seen in restaurants all over the country. Our Air Fryer Corn Ribs version is fast and packed with delicious Mexican-inspired flavors.
Corn ribs are popping up on restaurant menus all over the United States. They're often on bar menus and happy hour menus, served as appetizers.
This Air Fryer Corn Ribs recipe lets you enjoy this viral TikTok dish at home! It's SO tasty, but please do read through all of the prep instructions and cooking tips very carefully before starting to make the dish.
🌟 Why you'll love this recipe
I could devour an entire plate of these corn ribs on my own. I love the big flavors for this vegetarian side dish, and hope you do, too!
- You only need 2 ears of corn, but you can double the recipe to make more.
- The Mexican-inspired sauce gives this dish tons of flavor.
- Yet the sauce is also very flexible: use your favorite herbs and spices!
- It only takes 10 minutes in the air fryer!
- These are fun finger foods: they're meant to be eaten with your hands, like ribs. No forks required!
🛒 Ingredient notes
Corn - You'll need two corn on the cobs for this recipe. Try to choose thicker cobs and avoid really thin corn on the cob, which might be trickier to cut and won't give you as much corn per riblet.
Herbs and spices - I love this particular combo of herbs and spices. It gives the air fryer corn ribs an elote (or Mexican corn) flavor. You can use other herbs, such as rosemary and tarragon, if you prefer.
Mayo - I use my favorite dairy-free vegan mayonnaise, but you can use any mayo. You can also use a Mexican crema, which would be super tasty!
✅ Step-by-step instructions
While this dish is easy to make, prepping the corn requires some safety checks and may take some practice. Please be sure to read all of my tips very carefully before starting this recipe.
- Microwave the corn for 2 minutes.
- While the corn is in the microwave, whisk together the olive oil, butter, paprika, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
3. Using a very sharp knife, carefully slice the ends off of each corn cob.
Safety check: Now comes the potentially tricky part. Take your time and make sure you have a sturdy cutting board and very sharp knife. For added safety, you can place a thin kitchen towel underneath your cutting board to keep it from sliding around while you cut the corn.
4. Holding the corn upright with one hand, with the widest base of the corn on the bottom side touching the cutting board. Then with the other hand, use a very sharp knife to carefully cut the corn in half, rocking the knife back and forth with some force to ease it down through the center core of the corn cob.
Note: If the center core is still too tough to slice through, microwave the corn cobs for another 30 seconds, then try again.
5. Lay the corn halves flat on the cutting board, cork kernel side up. Then carefully cut each into half again. You will have 8 corn riblets total.
6. Baste the corn ribs with the seasoned sauce and place into the air fryer basket(s) or tray(s).
7. Air fry at 400°F for 5 minutes. Use tongs to flip the ribs over, then air fry another 5 minutes.
8. Drizzle mayo over the corn ribs and sprinkle with remaining chopped cilantro.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
No. Corn ribs are meant to be eaten like meaty ribs. Hold the sides with your hands and then eat the corn kernels off of the "rib," leaving the center core like you would leave the bones of meat ribs.
Yes. You can bake the sliced and basted corn ribs on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil at 375°F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Allow the corn ribs to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
🍽 Serving ideas
These corn ribs are delicious when served at any barbecue, picnic, party, or any dinner!
🍷 Best wine pairings
Enjoy these air fryer corn ribs with a glass of unoaked Chardonnay, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or dry Riesling.
More air fryer recipes
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Air Fryer Corn Ribs
- 2 corn on the cob
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup mayonnaise, for serving
- lime wedges, for serving
- Microwave the corn for 2 minutes.While the corn is in the microwave, whisk together the olive oil, butter, ½ Tablespoon of the chopped cilantro, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Using a very sharp knife, carefully slice the ends off of each corn cob.
- Take your time and do this part very carefully. Holding the corn upright with one hand, use a very sharp knife carefully cut the corn in half, rocking the knife back and forth with your other hand to ease it down through the center core of the corn cob. If the center core is still too tough to slice through, microwave the corn cobs for another 30 seconds, then try again. Repeat with the other corn rib.
- Lay the corn halves flat, then carefully use your knife to cut each into half again. You will have 8 corn ribs total.
- Baste the corn ribs with the seasoned sauce and place into the air fryer basket(s) or tray(s).
- Air fry at 400°F for 5 minutes. Use tongs to flip the ribs over, then air fry another 5 minutes.
- Drizzle mayo over the corn ribs and sprinkle with remaining chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.