Elote Corn Ribs Offer Savory Handheld Satisfaction Without The Meat

Chowing down on ribs that have been smothered with barbecue sauce is an extremely tactile experience that can be hard to replicate. Ribs are also a staple at many a summer cookout. If you're avoiding meat for whatever reason, it can sometimes feel like you're missing out on some of the most iconic and satisfying foods, like ribs. Luckily, there is a vegetarian alternative to ribs that are just as tasty and fun to eat, and even easier to make: elote corn ribs.

If you regularly seek out non-meat snack options, chances are you've come across corn ribs before. The recipe is very straightforward — just find some quality ears of corn, shuck them, and then cut off the ends and cut the cobs into quarters to create rib-like pieces. Then just toss them onto a grill with medium to high heat for a couple of minutes, turning them occasionally until they develop a nice char. To transform the corn ribs into elote corn ribs, cover them with butter after you pull them from the grill. Follow that with a layer of mayonnaise and sour cream (or if you want to be more authentic, Mexican crema), and cotija cheese, chili powder, cilantro, and lime to taste.

Elote corn ribs are a modern twist on a classic snack

This variation of corn ribs is inspired by the classic Mexican street food elote, which translates to "corn" in Spanish. While the tangy mayo mixture is definitely one of the best ways to replicate the messy, finger-licking savoriness of barbecue ribs, there are tons of other ingredients you can use to customize your corn ribs. Before serving your corn ribs hot from the grill (or straight from the air fryer), consider smothering them with chili-infused hot honey. Or, you can buy or whip together a chipotle aioli. Basically, anything you would use to season corn on the cob can be applied to corn ribs.

Taking the dust cover off the grill is one of the hallmarks of the summer season. Cookouts and barbecues are all about enjoying one another's company, which is why it's important to have plenty of menu items for those who don't eat meat. Elote corn ribs are not only a delicious option for vegetarians, but they are the perfect flavorful, hands-on snack for the whole crew. The next time you're thinking about cooking up some barbecue ribs, try making elote corn ribs instead for a different kind of meal.