Trinidadian Boiled Corn
Trinidadian Boiled Corn

Ready for a corn on the cob recipe like no other? Trinidadian boiled corn is simmered in a flavorful broth of coconut milk, fiery habanero peppers, and fresh herbs until it sticks to every kernel.

Trinidadian boiled corn is a favorite of my husband who is from Trinidad and Tobago. It is more of a snack and is often enjoyed on its own, but sometimes served as a side dish. I was introduced to this way of flavoring corn after we got married, and I began learning how to cook many of his favorite Trinidadian dishes.

The subtle flavor of corn on the cob is enhanced with a powerful hand of earthy fresh herbs like culantro (a herb similar to coriander known to the Trinidadians as shado beni), thyme and chives. Lots of garlic and little Scotch Bonnet or Habanero take this corn to new heights.

Eating Trini boiled corn is an experience. Enjoying the delicious coconut milk broth with every bite of corn is part of the fun of this dish. And you shall only eat this corn with your hands; licking your fingers afterwards is absolutely necessary.

We always have Trini boiled corn at our house!

You won’t find boiled Trinidadian corn in a restaurant. It is always made by a street vendor or at home. It’s common to find a pot of boiled corn at a casual gathering, or a “corn man” outside of local festivals and parties in Trinidad serving hot spiced corn on the cob or corn soup (which is just what you need after a late night meal). .

On the weekends, my husband would say, “I’d like some boiled corn, how about you?” He didn’t ask for corn boiled in water and doused with some butter, he craved Trini-style boiled corn. I love spiced and cooked corn in any form, so making this recipe is always a pleasure.

Cooking boiled corn from Trinidad

You need a pot that is wide enough to hold the corn but deep enough to allow room to turn the corn while it cooks. You can leave the corn whole or halve or even quarter it.

The corn found in Trinidad and Tobago is a bit tougher and needs to be boiled for about 1 hour to soften it. However, the corn here in the US from grocery stores or farmers markets is soft and juicy even without cooking, so it doesn’t need to cook as long. About 30-40 minutes is enough for the flavors of the flavors to blend in the broth.

How to choose the best corn

Fresh corn on the cob works best for this recipe. Frozen corn retains moisture after thawing, which means the corn lacks that nice, crispy exterior. I like to buy corn at a farmer’s market because I can always find the best prices. If you can’t reach a farmers market, the grocery store is the next best thing for fresh corn.

When picking out corn at a market or grocery store, you will usually find a large garbage can next to the corn. This allows you to peel the husk off the corn to make sure it isn’t old, has worms, or has mold in it. Here are my tips for choosing the best corn:

  • The corn should feel firm and heavy for its size. That’s how you know it’s full of juice.
  • The husk should be light green and slightly damp or damp to the touch, especially near the top where most of the tassels (aka silk) are located.
  • Look for corn with husks that tightly enclose the kernels. The tassels at the top should be light to golden brown. If they are black and particularly wet, pick another ear of corn.

What kind of coconut milk to use

Trinidadian boiled corn is usually made with fresh coconut milk, but for convenience, canned coconut milk works perfectly. I do not recommend using light or sweetened coconut milk. Try to find ones that are full-fat and contain the least amount of additives. Some of my favorite brands: Chaokoh, Grace, Trader Joes, Arroy-D and Thai Kitchen.

It’s corn season!

  • Grilled corn on the cob
  • Caprese Corn Salad
  • Grilled lamb’s lettuce
  • Lobster and Grilled Corn Panzanella
  • Corn Gnocchi Skillet

Boiled corn from Trinidad

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
40 minutes

total time
50 minutes

5 servings


  • 5 ears Cornpeeled and broken in half

  • 2 (13.5ounce) cans of full-fat coconut milk coconut milk

  • 1 Cup water

  • 1 tablespoon Salted butter

  • 6 Garlic cloveschopped

  • Leaves from 8 stems thyme

  • 2 culantro leaves 4 branches corianderleaves only, finely chopped

  • 20 chivesfinely chopped

  • 2 small Habanero peppersstems removed

  • 1/2 teaspoon Saltplus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Hull corn:

    Remove the husk from the corn by holding the corn firmly in one hand and pulling back the leaves and silk fibers firmly from the pointed end to the stalk end. Pull the shell off the bottom and discard it. Keep shelling until you can see the corn kernels. Repeat for each ear.

    Rinse each ear under running water and remove any silk fibers that are still hanging.

  2. Halve corn:

    Using a large chef’s knife, cut the corn in half on a cutting board. If the corn is small enough, you can even just cut it in half with your hands.

  3. Bring the liquids to a boil, then simmer:

    Place coconut milk and water in a deep and wide saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

    Add butter, garlic, thyme, culantro, chives, habanero, salt and black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.

    Simple tip!

    Stick wooden toothpicks through the peppers to make them easier to find and fish out later if you like. Note that piercing the peppers adds more heat to the broth. If you are a fan of spicy food then go ahead!

  4. Cook Corn:

    Add the corn and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Using metal tongs or a fork, turn the corn every 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to burst the peppers in the boiling liquid if you don’t want it spicy.

    You’ll know it’s done when the coconut milk has reduced enough that it’s thick and heavily coating the corn. You don’t want it like a soup, but rather reduced with some sauce.

  5. Surcharge:

    Divide corn and coconut milk among bowls. This can be served alone or as a side dish.

    Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

    To reheat, place the corn in the same pot it was cooked in and add 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and heat for 5-10 minutes.

    Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes until warmed through.

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nutritional information (per serving)
409 calories
36g Fat
24g carbohydrates
6g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!