This spicy charred corn dip is just like your favorite festival snack, only easier to make and great for a crowd.
This weekend was pretty rad. We road-tripped to Cleveland, ate some delicious stuff, cooed at an adorable baby, visited with friends, and oh yeah, one of my blog posts went viral. That last part was definitely not the highlight of the weekend (spoiler alert: it was the baby). But it sure didn’t suck. Now for clarification, I’m not pulling down bigtime numbers or anything, so viral for me is not like viral for grumpy cat (may he rest in peace). But yesterday as I gracefully shoveled fries into my face, the internet was buzzing away about this everything bagel pull apart bread. Of course, now that it’s Tuesday things are back to business as usual – nearly like it never happened at all. But it was cool while it lasted.
Even after all the excitement wore off though, it’s back to the drawing board. Recipes still need to be tested, photos must be taken, and although not every post will shoot straight to the moon they all deserve to get the chance to.
So whether this one gets one page view or thousands, I still think it’s the best. Hope you do too!
Fresh and Spicy Charred Corn Dip
Now that summer is heading into its last glorious flash I’m all about quick, easy, refreshing grub. Also anything that goes with chips is high on my radar. This one combines fresh, summer corn, lots of jalapeno, and all the flavors of that tasty snack on a stick you get on the festival circuit – but just a bit lighter.
It’s incredibly easy to throw together, and even if it’s not high summer you can always make this with frozen corn and just pretend that you’re poolside.
How to Make Charred Corn Dip
The key to this dip is the charred corn. And if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’re probably familiar with my growing obsession, which has been documented here, as well as here, and for good measure also here. Charring those little kernels not only brings out their sweetness but also lends a subtly smoky quality that gives this dip a depth that most picnic apps just don’t possess.
How to Char Corn
Procure corn. Apply heat. Really, that’s all there is to it. You can char it directly on the cob (shucked and de-silked of course), on a grill, under a broiler, or even over an open flame. But my preferred method is actually to cut the kernels off, and pop them all into a lightly oiled, cast iron skillet. Mostly because I’m totally impatient and hate chasing corn cobs all over the grill grates.
But regardless of the method you choose, you’re looking for a deep, chestnutty brown, just shy of black, on about half of the kernels. You want that smokey flavor, while maintaining the juicy sweetness of the corn, so don’t take it too far.
What Else is in Spicy Charred Corn Dip?
Once the corn is charred, the rest of this comes together lightening fast.
First, mince up a couple good-sized jalapenos. If you want this to be fiery AF then leave the seeds and ribs in, if not, feel free to take them out. The rest is some finely chopped red onion, a dollop or two of creamy yogurt, a handful of crumbled cotija cheese, salt, pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce.
One In One Out – Suitable Substitutions
Can you substitute something else in for corn? Well not if you want it to be charred corn dip. But there are some other totally acceptable swap outs to be had. Feel free to cut back on the jalapeno, or if you’re totally anti-spice then sprinkle in some diced red bell pepper instead.
Can’t find cotija (which is a fresh, Mexican cheese, btw)? Crumbled feta is a perfectly good stand in. And traditionally this type of street corn is slathered in mayo, but to lighten things up a bit I went for yogurt instead.
How to Serve Spicy Charred Corn Dip
This is best enjoyed lightly chilled and with all the chips. Friends definitely make it better, but I’m not above a dip party for one.
Scratch that, DEFINITELY call up some friends. Because you know what? It’s the end of the summer and you should get as much fun stuff in as you can.
Spicy Charred Corn Dip
This fresh and spicy charred corn dip is sweet, smokey, and refreshing. Scoop it up on a chip and serve it at your next party. It’ll be a total hit.
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 10 Minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 Servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Mexican
1 T canola oil
2 C corn kernels
2 jalapenos, minced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 C plain yogurt (greek is also fine)
1/2 C crumbled cotija cheese
Juice of half a lime
5–6 dashes hot sauce
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet, over medium heat. Add corn kernels and spread into one even layer. Let cook for a few minutes, undisturbed, or until some of the kernels take on a deep, golden brown color. Stir and pack down into one layer again and repeat. Transfer kernels to a large bowl and let cool for five minutes.
Add jalapenos, red onion, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, yogurt, cotija cheese, lime juice, and hot sauce. Mix to combine and season to taste.
Serve at room temperature or chilled, with chips and veggies.
Corn may be charred on the cob, or off. Either in a skillet (as directed above) or under the broiler. If you’re grilling, you can also feel free to throw the cobs directly on the grates to pick up some color, although this isn’t my favorite way to do it.
Leave the ribs and seeds in the jalapenos for more of a kick.
If you can’t find cotija cheese you can substitute crumbled feta
Keywords: street corn dip, elote dip, charred corn dip, summer appetizer, summer corn dip