Flavor Corn on the Cob with Harissa

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Harissa, the spicy and aromatic chile paste that’s commonly found in North African and Middle Eastern cooking, is often stirred into soups and stews or used as a marinade for meat and fish when a fiery kick is needed. So when corn on the cob needs to be kicked up, look no further than this red-hot stuff.

Why One Topping Is Enough

This single topping perks up corn on the cob and makes for something you just might not expect. But let’s cut to the chase — sweet corn season is short, so we recommend not wasting another second. You can skip the butter, and instead add this one ingredient upgrade to the hot kernels, then dig right in.

How to Cook Your Corn

Before you can utilize the harissa, you of course have to have some perfectly cooked corn on hand. Here are three ways to make it happen.

1. Boil it.

The most classic way to cook corn — boil for three to five minutes in a big pot of salted water.

2. Microwave it.

This mostly hands-off method calls for leaving the corn in their husks and microwaving them on high power for four to six minutes.

3. Grill it.

If you already have the grill going, toss your corn cobs on for about 15 minutes, turning frequently for smoky, charred results.

One-Ingredient Upgrades

This series shows you how to use a single store-bought ingredient — one you often wouldn’t expect — to liven up your food. To celebrate the sweet summer corn that’s taking over the market, we encourage you to go beyond butter and use one of these ingredients to give your corn on the cob a jolt of flavor.