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Put a twist on the usual grilled street corn recipe by topping it with fresh and spicy Aji sauce and crumbly, salty cheese. This super simple Peruvian Corn on the Cob adds South American flavor to all of your favorite summer meals.
Peruvian Corn on the Cob – a Twist on Mexican Street Corn
As a Jersey girl. I personally think New Jersey corn is the best there is. When summer arrived and Jersey corn tasted amazing, I’d eat corn on the cob every day as long as it was simply boiled, slathered with butter, and sprinkled with salt. It was so good that I was a long-time corn purist.
Over the years, I’ve seen it grilled and covered with sauces and cheeses and even wrapped in bacon. And you can’t forget the popular Mexican Street Corn or Elote. Finally, I gave in and started getting more creative with my ears. Including this delicious recipe.
Peruvian-Style Grilled Street Corn is a fun and easy way to kick up basic corn on the cob. Grilling the corn gives it that lovely bit of char, then you add the Peruvian staple known as Aji sauce to give it a little fresh and spicy flavor. A sprinkling of queso fresco or cotija cheese (or feta if you can’t find those) gives it a bit of salty punch.
There’s a lot going on here, but it all balances perfectly – crispy, creamy, rich, and fresh, all playing off of each other. It’s definitely a great way to add something new to the same old barbecue menu.
What You’ll Need
If you’ve already made a batch of Aji sauce, then you just need a few additional ingredients to make this Peruvian-inspired corn recipe. Here’s what you need to know about the ingredients. The full amounts and detailed recipe is in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Corn on the cob: You want it shucked with the silk removed as best as possible. You can also peel back the husks but leave them attached for a nice presentation and something to hold on to when you wat it.
- Olive oil: For brushing on the corn.
- Aji sauce: How to make this sauce is included in the recipe card, but you can also find all the details in my Aji sauce recipe post.
- Cotija cheese: This is a crumbly, salty, fresh South American cheese. You can substitute queso fresco or even crumbled feta if it’s all you can find or is more affordable.
How to Make Peruvian Corn on the Cob
After you’ve blended together the Aji sauce, set it aside in the refrigerator to make the corn.
Grill the corn: Preheat your grill to medium. Shuck the corn, either peeling back the husks and leaving them attached or removing them completely. Brush each ear with a little olive oil and place them on the grill for about 10-12 minutes, turning frequently until cooked and slightly charred.
Add the toppings: Remove the corn from the grill and place it on a platter. Then drizzle with the Aji sauce and top with the cheese. Or let everyone top their own!
Tips for Success
- Prep ahead: The Aji sauce can be made the day before and kept covered in the refrigerator. You can even peel the corn early in the day so that all you have to do is grill it at the last minute.
- Make it in bad weather: If you can’t get outside to grill, you can always make Air Fryer Corn on the Cob or roast it in the oven.
- Remember your substitutions: As I said, if you can’t find cotija cheese, queso fresco or feta are great substitutions. For something a little different, you can even try parmesan, cheddar, or Monterey Jack.
- Try a different sauce: Swap out the aji sauce for Avocado Crema, Creamy Southwestern Dressing, or Avocado Ranch Dressing.
Make it a Meal
This grilled Peruvian corn on the cob is the perfect side dish for so many amazing summer meals. If I like to keep the South American inspiration, I’ll serve it with Peruvian Pulled Pork or alongside an Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken (much like the traditional Pollo a la Brasa). But there are many other options.
- Grilled Steak Dinner: Pair it with a grilled flat iron steak and some grilled asparagus.
- Delicious Barbecue Meal: Pile some Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken on a bun and add a side of Pineapple Coleslaw.
- Serve a Salad: Shrimp Cobb Salad is a meal on its own, but adding grilled corn on the side truly completes it.
- Burger Night: Grill up some Peruvian Turkey Burgers and don’t forget the Air Fryer French Fries to dunk in the extra sauce.
More Delicious Corn Recipes
- Chili Lime Corn
- Corn Pudding Casserole
- Chicken Corn Chowder
- Grilled Corn Salsa by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Sweet Corn Ice Cream by Baking Sense
Peruvian-Style Grilled Street Corn
For the corn
- 6 ears corn on the cob
- olive oil
- Aji sauce see below
- 1/4 cup queso fresco, cotija cheese, or feta cheese
For the Aji sauce:
- 2 jalapenos roughly chopped (ribs and seeds removed unless you want it extra spicy)
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro including the leaves and stems
- 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the corn:
- Preheat your grill to medium. Shuck corn, either peeling back the husks and leaving them attached, or removing completely.
- Brush corn with a little olive oil and place on the grill for about 10-12 minutes, turning frequently until cooked and slightly charred.
- Remove from the grill, drizzle with Aji sauce, and top with cheese.
For the Aji sauce:
- Combine the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in the refrigerator.