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Fried Corn on the Cob Recipe

Golden and crispy on the outside, sweet and tender on the inside, fried corn on the cob is nothing short of a delight. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any main dish.

When fresh corn enters my home, fried corn on the cob is a must. A particular fast-food chain has made it famous, but I prefer to make it myself because I can fry as much as I want for the price of a 10-piece with extra butter on the side for dipping.

This side dish is an experience. Although the most essential thing is crisp, juicy corn, the butter takes it over the top. It’s garlicky and super savory, with spices, herbs, and a bright citrusy acidity. Once you bite into a piece, the corn’s juices and butter dribble down your chin, the flavors take over your taste buds, that happiness kicks in, and you get to enjoy it again with the next piece. At least that’s been my experience, so I had to share the recipe!

Fried Corn

Why You’ll Love Fried Corn on the Cob

If those two words aren’t enough to sell you, below are a few reasons you’ll fall hard for this recipe:

Super flavorful – Fried corn delivers a little bit of everything. There is no shortage of seasoning here.

Easy – Corn on the cob fries quickly, and the butter is easy to prepare. The most challenging part is shucking the corn; sometimes, those little stringy bits are annoying. However, you can skip this step altogether and buy shucked cobs!

Excellent texture – The kernels are snappy and golden yet not overly so, retaining that juicy quality. The contrast plays a significant role in why fried corn is so incredible.

Great for preventing food waste – Fresh corn is the best corn. That said, once you bring it home, you only have a day or two before it goes bad unless you freeze it. If you’re like me and tend to buy more than you need when it’s on sale, you must do something with it. Fried corn on the cob is an excellent go-to.

Fried Corn Ingredients Notes

To make fried corn, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Corn: Look for ears of corn that are closed tightly with bright green husks and little to no signs of wilting. I also like to give the ears a firm yet gentle squeeze to ensure they feel full and juicy instead of soft and mushy, indicating that they have rotted. Lastly, the ear should feel heavy for its size when you pick it up. As mentioned earlier, shucked corn is an option. If you go this route, look for plump, firm kernels that are bright in color. Remember that the extra handling means they are further away from their harvest time and considerably less fresh.
  • Butter: I recommend unsalted since it allows complete control over the salt level. If you only have salted, that will do. However, it’s important to taste as you go to ensure the butter isn’t overly salted.
  • Garlic: Smash the cloves before you mince to release the cloves’ powerful oils.
  • Spices: Chili powder, black pepper, and paprika add complex flavors, smokiness, and a pleasant heat.
  • Herbs: Dried oregano brings an earthy flavor with minty notes. I think it works particularly well with lemon juice. As for the parsley, the green flecks it adds are incredible, and the herb acts as a balancing agent that rounds out the other flavors.
  • Lemon juice: The acid adds a bit of brightness and balances all the delicious fat from the butter.

Find the complete ingredients list with measurements in the recipe card below.

Fried Corn Ingredients

How To Make Fried Corn on the Cob

  1. Prep: To shuck corn, start by removing the outer leaves. Next, expose the tip of each ear of corn until you can see the first few rows of kernels. Then, grasp the top of the leaves and tassels, pull them down with one firm tug, pull them to the bottom, and break off the leaves and silks. Once done, cut each cob into 1-1 ½-inch pieces.
  2. Make the butter: Melt the butter, add the garlic, leave it to infuse the butter with its delicious flavor, then stir in the remaining spices and herbs.
  3. Fry: Transfer the corn to hot oil to fry until golden and crisp. If you’re the type to try to get everything done at once and overload the skillet, avoid the urge. Oily corn isn’t very appetizing.
  4. Toss: Toss the fried sections of the corn in some flavorful butter, much like when saucing hot wings.
  5. Serve: Plate and serve alongside any extra butter for dipping.
Fresh Fried Corn

Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips

Go dairy-free – Use Earth Balance in place of butter. This swap also adapts this fried corn recipe for vegan diets.

Air fry instead – When I don’t feel like frying, I toss the sections with oil and air fry until golden brown.

Change up the herbs – Cilantro can be used instead of parsley, as can basil. Alternatively, dried parsley is a good substitute for fresh. The only thing I strongly advise against is dried cilantro. The stuff is pretty terrible tasting.

Serve with sauce – Some like cool ranch on the side for dipping instead of extra butter. You can also go with a spicy sauce or even an avocado-based one.

Fried Corn

Fried Corn Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

Golden and crispy on the outside, sweet and tender on the inside, fried corn is nothing short of a delight. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any main dish.


  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Carefully cut each corn cob into four sections about 1-1 ½-inch thick.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low, and leave on the heat for 3-5 minutes or until the garlic is softened and fragrant and the butter turns golden yellow.
  4. Transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent it from browning or burning.
  5. Stir in the parsley, chili powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  6. Add enough oil to a deep, heavy frying pan to completely submerge the corn. The amount of oil will vary depending on the pan selected. Heat to 350°F.
  7. Pat the corn dry with paper towels, then use tongs to transfer them to the hot oil. Fry for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through for even cooking/browning. Fry in two batches if your pan isn’t large enough.
  8. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  9. Add about half of the butter mixture to a large heat-safe bowl along with the corn. Toss to coat the corn evenly.
  10. Plate and serve with extra butter on the side.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 525Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 302mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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Monique McArthur
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