Corn on the Cob with Nori Butter

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50% would make again
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Photo: Brendan McHale/Tasting Table

Corn on the cob: Give it enough attention, and it can go from forgettable side dish to star of your summer cookout. So instead of just boiling it and calling it a day, we're topping ours with a savory compound butter made with toasted nori and bonito flakes, before finishing the whole dish with a bright punch of grated lime zest.

Trying to make the most of corn season? Try our version of grilled Mexican elotes.

Corn on the Cob with Nori Butter

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


For the Nori Butter:

2 cups seasoned and toasted nori* (approximately 20 grams)

1 cup bonito flakes, packed

2 sticks softened, unsalted butter

1 tablespoon gochugaru, or Korean chile flakes

Salt, to taste

For the Corn:

4 ears of fresh corn

Nori butter

2 limes


*The type of nori we prefer is Yangban Dentou Nori, which is a seasoned and salted brand from Korea. If you can't find it, you can substitute any other type of seasoned and toasted nori.


1. Make the nori butter: In a blender, purée the nori and bonito flakes on high. Use the plunger stick attachment to agitate the flakes as they are being processed. Buzz them for roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the flakes get broken up into small pieces. Remove and transfer the nori-bonito flakes to the bowl of a food processor.

2. Add the butter and gochugaru. Purée until the nori is completely incorporated, making sure to stop halfway through to scrape down the sides. Season with salt.

3. Transfer the butter to a sheet of wax paper and spread into the shape of a long log about 1 inch in diameter. Roll the paper tightly around the butter and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

4. Make the corn: Fill a large pot two-thirds of the way up with water and bring to a boil. Clean the ears of corn by removing their husks and any fine yellow strands.

5. Once the water is boiling, add the corn, cover and return to a boil. Cook the corn for 6 more minutes, or until the kernels are tender, then remove.

6. Slice the butter into ½-inch-thick coins; spread the butter over the corn. Grate fresh lime zest on top of the corn and serve. (Reserve your extra butter; it's delicious on toasted corn bread.)

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