Peanut and Grilled Corn Salsa recipe is a delicious mess

Roasted corn with peanut sauce

active time:15 minutes

total time:45 minutes, plus grill prep time


active time:15 minutes

total time:45 minutes, plus grill prep time


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This is one of those recipes that appeals to me by name alone, and I hope it will do the same for you: Grilled Corn with Peanut Sauce. I adore the former, and I adore the latter, so put the two together, and I am in heaven.

Cookbook author Rukmini Iyer writes that she got the idea from Indonesian gado-gado—particularly a sauce based on peanut butter, coconut milk, and chili. “It occurred to me that the sauce, slightly adapted, would work beautifully with roast corn on the cob—and happily, it did!” She wrote in her latest book “Green Roast”.

The heavy-clothed corn on the cob always reminds me of the staple Mexican fish, also known as elote, but in this case the flavors are distinct from Southeast Asia. It hardly gets any easier: After chopping up the ginger and chili, whisk the sauce together, grill the corn, and pour the sauce over the cobs before serving (or letting the guests do it themselves).

If you want to cook the corn inside, by all means, do so – either in a grill pan or under the grill. And if you find that peeling is causing you a lot of pain, you should try my favorite microwave method, which I seem to refine almost every year. Just this month, I read a clip from America’s Test Kitchen: I cut the cobs off at one end, submerged them in water, microwaved them for several minutes, and then easily scraped off the husks. When you grab them at the end of the silk to do so, the silk comes off so easily and cleanly that you might never have prepared the corn otherwise.

Summer roasting corn. Here are four ways to do this.

Of course, when you make this recipe, those clean cobs make a lot of mess again from the sauce — but who cares? When it tastes good, and you have napkins at the ready, mess just means fun.

Roasted corn with peanut sauce

moving forward: Prepared sauce can be refrigerated up to 5 days before grilling corn.

Storage notes: Place the corn and sauce in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat the corn in the microwave before serving.

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  • 6 ears of corn in their husks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup canned full fat coconut milk
  • 1 fresh red chile (such as Thai bird’s eye or Fresno), shelled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct heat, medium to high (400 to 450 degrees; see note).

Cut the stalk end of each cob (the end opposite the silk) through the first row of beads. Run water over the ears to soak them well, put three of them on a plate in the microwave and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Grab each ear by the silk tip and rock it up and down, letting the ear fall loose, twisting and pushing off the silk tip if it needs some help. Repeat with remaining ears of corn.

In a large bowl, coat corn with oil and season with salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, coconut milk, cayenne pepper, lemon, soy sauce, chives, and ginger.

When grill is hot, grill the corn, flipping often, until browned or charred to your liking, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (If using a grill pan, heat over medium-high heat to smoking before cooking corn, stirring frequently and working in batches if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes per side. If using grill, place rack in nearest position, transferring corn Transfer to a plate and grill, flipping often, 5 to 6 minutes per side.)

Transfer the grilled corn to a serving platter and top with the sauce, or divide it among plates and serve the sauce side by side, allowing guests to spoon the sauce over it.

Note: To prepare the grill: If you are using a gas grill, set it to 450 degrees. If you are using a charcoal grill, fill the chimney starter with charcoal, light it and when the charcoal turns gray and turns ash, pour it into the grill. Add more charcoal if needed and cover it. When all the coals are hot, about 10 minutes, the grill should be medium heat. (Use a grill thermometer or test the heat by holding your hand, pressing your palms about 5 inches from the grill. If you can hold it for 4 to 5 seconds, the heat should be at medium-high, or between 400 and 450 degrees).

Per serving (1 corn + 2 tablespoons sauce)

Calories: 228 Total Fat: 14g; saturated fat: 4 g; cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 367 mg; carbohydrates: 24 g; Dietary fiber: 2 g; sugar: 7 g; Protein: 6 grams

This analysis is an estimate based on the ingredients available and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietician or dietician.

Adapted from “Green roast” Written by Rukmini Eyre (Countryman Press, 2022).

Tested by Joe Yonan; Email questions to

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