Trinidad Boiled Corn

26.11.14 | Recipe by Renz
Thinking of having a batch of boiled corn for dinner? I urge you to try this flavorful dish of fresh ears of corn simmered down in some coconut milk and spices. This Trinidad boil corn is a staple, and this recipe teaches you how to make this corn from scratch.


A big pot of finished boiled corn in a white bowl.

Trinidad Boiled Corn



I am an avid corn lover. I love corn very much. LOVE!!

I am always ready to indulge in some corn in some kind of way.

If it's not corn soup, or roast corn or boiled corn. At any time, at any gathering.

But boiled corn might just be the top one.

This Caribbean-style corn dish is very popular street food for us. You can find it being served at a lot of stage shows and open-air events as it's an easy-to-eat dish.

Ears of corn are simmered in a bath of coconut milk with some herbs and spices till it's nice and tender.



What is Caribbean-styled boiled corn?


You're probably wondering what is this boiled corn and why am I saying "Trini".

We Trinbagonians do not do things the normal way. We think we need to create a whole other flavor to the most basic thing.

We don't just drop our corn in a batch of salted water to have it boil. What fun or flavor is there in that?

We instead have it simmer away in a bath of coconut milk, water, and spices. At the simplest form (basic seasoning) it is a delight to eat.

Boiled corn is another one of our street foods. Like our corn soup, you can find it being sold at a lot of events: festivals, carnivals.

It is also common to find it at a house lime where there's partying and food.

Ingredients for boiled corn


These are your major ingredients:

Ingredients used to make trinidad boil corn.


  • corn - getting fresh corn really gives you the best boil corn.
  • green onions.
  • onion.
  • coconut milk - fresh coconut milk is a plus, but if not you can use tinned or the powder.
  • a hot pepper.
  • sugar.

People also add other ingredients. See my additions below to make this more than basic.

Me, I just like it basic.

 

How to select the best fresh corn.


a bussel of corn on the cob in husk

I do not like using frozen packaged corn to make my boiled corn at all. I don't find they have any kind of taste.

So that means I've had to go find corn and husk it. I have picked a few bad ones along the way.

Sometimes I am able to husk at the store so then I know that it's bad and can pick another one. Some roadside vendors would not let you do that.

This is a very easy recipe. Here's a video to show you through the process.

So here are some tips to make sure you don't select a dud.

  • Color is important. Is the husk bright green? And if it's also tightly wrapped then we know it's fresh. 
  • Is it damp? I used to think those were about to go bad but learned that they actually mean they are fresh. Damp.. not wet from water or something. 
  • Look at the tassels. (or hair as I call them). You want to make sure they are brown and kind of sticky when you touch them. Dry or black ones usually the corn is starting to get old. The kernels close to the top might already be dry and hard. 
  • Feel the kernels through the husk. We want to make sure they feel plump and plentiful. Getting a cob with kernels missing is most annoying. If you feel any kind of hole in the cob, put it back sis.
  • Avoid those with holes that look like it could be from worms or some pest. AVOID

How to make boil corn


After selecting your best corn options we need to clean them up for us. We want to take remove as much corn silk as possible.


Cleaned corn on the cob, peeled and cut up and silk removed.


Depending on how big your husks are or how you plan to serve you can leave them full length or you can cut or break them into sizes that are better to hold or if you have a lot of people coming over.

I cut each piece in half. They fit better in my pot that way.

Now I need to mention that the order I do in this post does not have to be the order you do it. In fact, I sometimes do a drop and boil and will mention that process in the notes below.

A pot of coconut milk and spices for the corn to be boiled in


In a large pot, add the can of coconut milk, onion and bring to a boil. I also add a little bit of brown sugar to my mix. It helps to heighten the flavors.


A spoon of brown sugar being added to some coconut milk and spices for boil corn.

Then add corn to the pot, about 4 cups of water, green onion and my hot pepper.

Give it a mix and also taste for salt and black pepper.

You need to have enough liquid to cover the corn so that it can boil in the water.

I don't suggest adding more coconut milk. It makes the corn very oily.


A full pot of corn and milk and pepper about to be boiled.


Let boil for about 15 mins. The liquid will evaporate to about 1/4 of the original amount. Make sure corn is at the tenderness that you want.

During boiling taste the liquid to ensure that it's flavored as you want.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO POP THE PEPPER!!

After the corn is boiled and to the tenderness you like, transfer to a container and get ready to dive in!!

Serve warm or at room temperature.


FInished corn boiled in an orange pot.


What to eat with boiled corn


Boil corn is not usually paired with anything. It's street food that we just usually get from a vendor. You can get corn pieces served in the husk of the corn as a natural cup or in a styrofoam cup. These are the things that make up the experience.

Or if you are at a little house gathering, usually the big, deep steel pot has either the boiled corn or the corn soup.

But don't be surprised to see it sometimes on the Sunday lunch menu though. WIth some stewed peas, rice, and lamb.


A bowl of corn on the cob already simmered and ready to serve.



Additions


My recipe is very basic but people also go all the way out to build a flavorful broth.

Additional herbs and spices: You can add pimento pepper or pimento sauce. Other fresh herbs include green seasoning or some bigleaf thyme.

Meat: You can also add some pigtail or smoked bone to boil in the liquid


How to reheat boiled corn


You can easily reheat corn in your microwave, in a container. Give it 15 seconds period. You just want to get it warm all over, especially if you had it in the fridge overnight.

You can also warm it up on the stovetop. If your leftovers are a lot, put the corn cobs in a large pot on the stove, add some water, then bring to a boil. Cover and lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally till warmed through.

Tips


  • Do not keep fresh corn too long before using. It's best to buy as close to use and use right away.
  • If you do store in the fridge for a few days, leave in the husk until ready to use.
  • If you decide to use frozen corn, know that it will be soft and not like fresh kernels.


Here are some other worthy street foods:









An image for pinterest of Caribbean styled boiled corn.



Comments

  1. this was Delicious. Thanks for the samples

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tried this a few weeks ago...I have been looking for a decent recipe for boiled corn Trini-style for a while...the search is over...looking for more corn presently to repeat recipe...thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stephen for taking the time to let me know. If you took pics send me some nah.. homemadezagat@gmail.com I love showcasing recipe attempts.

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  3. Years ago I went out with a guy from Trinidad and he made corn and sold it on the streets I'm Italian-American and I love the West Indian food to today I haven't made it a long time I decided to make it but I put the shadow Benny which is cilantro not sure if you put sugar in it like this recipe but I'll try it

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