The ultimate Trinidad boil corn recipe with coconut milk

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 in coconut milk and spices. This Trinidad boil corn is a staple, and this recipe teaches you how to make this version from scratch.

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

I really love corn. As an avid corn lover eating some kind of corn at outside events was always a must-happen for me. A cup of hot Trinidad corn soup or crispy roast corn.

And well boil corn. A well-seasoned pot full of corn simmered in some coconut milk with fresh herbs like thyme and chadon beni, with pepper and sometimes salt meat like pigtail. The coconut milk boils high and leaves a froth of goodness coating the corn cob. Delicious!!

This Caribbean-style corn dish is a 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.


What is boiled corn?

Boil corn, also known as trini boil corn, is a popular street food and a beloved dish in Trinidad and Tobago.

This mouthwatering corn recipe is made by boiling fresh ears of corn until they are tender and bursting with flavor. The corn is seasoned with a blend of aromatic herbs and spices, including green seasoning, garlic cloves, pimento pepper, and scotch bonnet pepper, which add a delightful kick of spice.

Boil corn is often served with chopped green onion and Chadon beni (also known as shado beni), which add a burst of freshness to the dish. The corn kernels are crisp and juicy, making each bite of boiled corn a true delight.

Whether enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or side dish, boiled corn is an absolute favorite for avid corn lovers and a must-try during the summer corn season.

Popularity of boiled corn in Trinidad

Boil Corn holds immense popularity in Trinidad, making it a beloved cultural staple. This delightful street food is widely available throughout the island and is cherished by locals and visitors alike.

Trinbago's vibrant culinary scene showcases boil corn at various occasions and events. It is a common sight at street food festivals, where vendors serve up steaming ears of corn coated in a tantalizing blend of flavors. Boil corn is also a must-have delicacy at family gatherings, picnics, and beach outings, adding a touch of Caribbean flair to these special moments.

The traditional method of preparing and serving corn involves boiling the corn on the cob in a pot of seasoned water until it reaches the perfect tenderness. The liquid is filled with a mix of fresh seasonings and hot peppers, creating a mouthwatering blend of flavors. This irresistible snack is typically enjoyed by holding the cob of corn with its husk, taking a bite, and relishing the explosion of tastes.

Boil corn’s popularity lies in its ability to capture the essence of our vibrant culinary culture. Its widespread availability and presence at various festive occasions make it an integral part of the island's street food scene. Whether you're strolling through a bustling market or attending a lively event, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in the enticing flavors.

a bussel of corn on the cob in husk.

How to select the best fresh corn

When it comes to making the perfect boiled corn, using the right type of corn is essential.

Fresh corn on the cob is the recommended choice for this recipe, while frozen corn should be avoided if possible. Fresh also works best because it retains its natural sweetness and crisp texture. It adds a burst of flavor to the dish that cannot be replicated with frozen corn. Additionally, fresh corn cooks more evenly and maintains its bright yellow color, making it visually appealing.

When it comes to making this perfect, one of the critical factors is selecting the best fresh corn. The sweetness and juiciness of the corn kernels will greatly influence the overall taste and satisfaction of this popular street food. To ensure you choose the best corn for your boil, there are a few things to consider.

First, look for corn with bright green husks that tightly wrap around the cob. This indicates that the corn is still fresh. Avoid corn with dry or brown husks, as these are signs of age.

Secondly, gently peel back a small part of the husk to check the corn kernels. They should be plump, bright yellow, and tightly packed together. If the kernels are shriveled or have spaces between them, it may be an indication of poor quality.

Lastly, give the corn a gentle squeeze. Fresh corn should feel firm and be slightly heavy for its size. Avoid corn that feels soft or has mushy areas, as this can be a sign of over-ripeness. By following these tips, you'll be able to select the best fresh corn and take your Trinidad Boil Corn to the next level of deliciousness.

Ingredients for boiled corn

To make a delicious pot of boiled corn, you don't need a lot of ingredients to enhance its flavor and make it truly irresistible.

Ingredients for boiled corn in a tray.

The star of the show is, of course, fresh corn. Opt for plump and firm corn on the cob, as it will provide that satisfying crunch and natural sweetness we all love.

Next, green onions will add a subtle yet refreshing taste to the dish. Chop them up and toss them into the pot to infuse their unique flavor.

For that touch of creaminess and richness, coconut milk is a must. It not only adds a delectable tropical taste but also helps to elevate the overall texture of the boiled corn.

To give your corn a kick of heat, a hot pepper can be your best friend. Whether you prefer scotch bonnet or another variety, adding some hot pepper in moderation will bring that extra level of spice to your dish.

Lastly, a hint of sweetness can take the flavors of the boil corn to new heights. A sprinkle of sugar can balance out the flavors and enhance the natural sweetness of the corn.

Incorporating these key ingredients - fresh corn, green onions, coconut milk, hot pepper, and sugar - will elevate your boiled corn to a whole new level of flavor and enjoyment.

So gather your ingredients, and get ready to savor the mouthwatering goodness of this classic dish.

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

How to make boil corn - Trini style

After selecting your best corn options we need to clean them up. We want to remove as much corn silk as possible. Peel back the husks and remove any excess silk. Rinse the corn under cold water to ensure it is clean.

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.

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

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.

In a large pot, add the can of coconut milk, and onion and bring to a boil. I also add a little bit of brown sugar to my mix. It helps to heighten the flavors. I don't suggest adding more coconut milk. It makes the corn very oily.

Then add in the fresh herbs.

Coconut milk with scallion and peppers about to be boiled.

Add corn to the pot, about 4 cups of water, and the hot pepper. You need to have enough liquid to cover the corn so that it can boil in the water.

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

Bring the pot to medium heat, and let the corn boil. This usually takes about 10 - 12 minutes, but you can adjust the cooking time based on your personal preference of how tender you want the corn. Don't boil it for too long. The liquid will evaporate to about 1/4 of the original amount.

Corn ready to be boiled in coconut milk with fresh herbs.

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


Once the corn is cooked to perfection, remove it from the pot and serve it 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 a 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.


To take your Trini-style boil corn to the next level, consider adding some flavorful additions to the pot. In addition to the basic ingredients listed above, here are some additions to make your own version.

  • Additional herbs and spices: You can add pimento pepper (which are seasoning peppers) or pimento sauce which adds a hint of spiciness and a touch of smokiness to the dish. Other fresh herbs include green seasoning or some fresh thyme - either fine or big leaf. This aromatic herb contributes a unique earthiness that complements the sweetness of the corn.
  • Meat: it is not uncommon to find pieces of pigtail or smoked bones with some boiled corn. Desalt your meat by soaking it for 30 minutes, then add it into the pot with the coconut milk and corn and continue to boil. This addition adds a rich, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the corn kernels.

By incorporating these flavorful additions, you can create a mouthwatering Trini-style boil corn that will leave you craving for more.

So, next time you're preparing this Caribbean-style corn dish, don't be afraid to get creative with your choice of additions.

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 deep pot on the stove, add some water, then bring to a boil. Cover and lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally till warmed through.

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


  • Do not keep fresh corn for too long before using it. It's best to buy as close to use and use right away.
  • If you do store it in the fridge for a few days, leave it 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. And I honestly do not suggest it.

Here are some other worthy street foods:

And some great corn recipes:


  1. this was Delicious. Thanks for the samples

  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!

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

  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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