Vegan Corn Ribs with Aleppo Chili Butter & Lime Zest Cream Cheese

All About the Veg! is a bi-weekly recipe column in which Best of Vegan contributor Seiran Sinjari breaks down one amazing plant at a time. In today’s column, she talks about golden corn, a sweet and juicy end-of-summer treat. Her recipe for Vegan Corn Ribs takes this plant to a whole new level with sophisticated perfectly balanced creamy, spicy, tangy flavor pairings.

It’s late summer, you can feel it in the air, there’s already been a shift. And end-of-season produce is like an extra gift of summer to make it easier to move towards fall. One of these gifts is the sweet, juicy, and beautiful golden corn. It’s definitely a gift to enjoy and appreciate!

You know the feeling when you get your first summer corn and pull back the husk to reveal those golden kernels. Fresh corn on the cob just makes summer feel complete. They don’t require much work, simply grilled or blanched with some vegan butter and salt and I’m already happy! But they do pair beautifully with so many other flavors so we really can get creative in the kitchen here if we want.

All About The Veg: Vegan Corn Ribs with Aleppo Chili Butter & Lime Zest Cream Cheese

In terms of flavor pairings, think; creamy and buttery, herby (most fresh herbs will work well), tangy, savory, smokey, and a little bit spicy (different kinds of chilies and peppers). I’ve incorporated most of these elements into this week’s recipe ‘Corn Ribs With Aleppo Chili Butter & Lime Zest Cream Cheese’ and honestly, it’s an absolute treat for your taste buds! You have moderate heat from the Aleppo chili butter which is also savory and buttery, the contrasting, tangy, and cooling lime zest cream cheese, crunchy pine nuts, fresh herbs, some sharpness from green onions, and of course the perfectly crispy and juicy air-fried sweet corn (yes, we’re air-frying them but you can also bake or grill them).

All About The Veg: Vegan Corn Ribs with Aleppo Chili Butter & Lime Zest Cream Cheese

Now add to that that we’re also jumping on the ‘corn rib’ trend which will make the whole eating experience much more fun, a little messy, and totally enjoyable plus, it leaves you with less corn stuck between your teeth too. How great is that? Let’s enjoy this end-of-summer gift to the fullest.

All About The Veg: Vegan Corn Ribs with Aleppo Chili Butter & Lime Zest Cream Cheese

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All About The Veg: Vegan Corn Ribs with Aleppo Chili Butter & Lime Zest Cream Cheese

Vegan Corn Ribs with Aleppo Chili Butter & Lime Zest Cream Cheese


Ingredients

Scale

For the corn:

  • 3 ears of corn (pick longer ones if you can), husks removed, and ends trimmed
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder (you can also use smoky paprika powder if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the Aleppo Chili Butter:

  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp Aleppo chili flakes (can usually be purchased at Middle Eastern grocery stores or online, can also be substituted with other mild chili pepper flakes)
  • salt to taste if you’re using unsalted butter, Aleppo Chili also has some savory notes

For the Lime Zest Cream Cheese:

  • 125 g vegan cream cheese
  • zest of 1 lime
  • ½ lime juiced

Other:

  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (or parsley)
  • some lime zest for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. To prepare the corn ribs, mix olive oil, paprika powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set to the side.
  2. Rinse the corn and pat dry. When it comes to cutting the corn, if you’re not used to handling sharp knives or experienced, please be careful and consider just skipping this step and keep the cob as is or just chop the cob in half, it will definitely still be as delicious. If you have a sharp knife and a stable surface that you feel comfortable with, cut the corn in half then cut each half in halves lengthwise by standing it vertically and carefully push the knife down through the cob.
  3. Brush each piece with the oil and cook them in 2 batches (or more depending on the size of your air-fryer) in the air-fryer at 180° C / 355° F for 15-20 minutes, flipping them halfway, or until they start to turn golden brown and curl a little. Alternatively bake in the oven at 180° C / 355° F for 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway, or until they turn slightly golden brown. 
  4. To prepare the Aleppo Chili Butter, add all ingredients to a pan, let butter melt on low heat then mix well and set pan to the side. (Heat again just before serving if needed).
  5. Add vegan cream cheese, lime zest, and lime juice to a small bowl and mix well. Cover and store in the fridge until serving.
  6. Plate the corn ribs and spoon little dollops of the cream cheese on top, drizzle some of the chili butter on top and finish by sprinkling it all with the pine nuts, green onions, coriander, and lime zest.
  7. Serve as a snack or side dish.

Notes

Find more of Seiran’s recipes at @legallyplantbased.

Recipe, text, and photography by Seiran Sinjari.

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