A platter with corn ribs on a tablecloth.
Photography, Janette Downie

Curly Corn Ribs With Fresh Zhoug and Shishito Peppers

Deirdre Buryk shares her delicious new take on classic corn ribs in her cookbook Peak Season.

Deirdre Buryk’s curly corn “ribs” are made with a simple marinade of puréed garlic and fried until they curl like the limbs of an octopus. They’re served with cilantro-heavy zhoug, a hot herb sauce common in Yemen that’s similar to chimichurri but made with spices familiar to the Middle East.

A platter with corn ribs on a tablecloth.

Curly Corn Ribs with Fresh Zhoug and Shishito Peppers


  • 4 cobs corn husked
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 shishito peppers seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt approx


  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp kosher salt approx
  • 1 shishito pepper seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil



  • In a mortar, add cilantro, garlic, cardamom, cumin and kosher salt; press and grind with a pestle until a rough paste forms. Add shishito pepper; continue grinding. Pour in olive oil; press and stir until mixture forms a pesto-like consistency. Season with salt, to taste; set aside.
  • Rub corn cobs with garlic until coated. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut cobs lengthwise into quarters. Marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  • In a deep fryer or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat oil until a deep fryer thermometer reads 360°F. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower corn ribs, 1 at a time and up to 4 in total, into oil; fry, turning occasionally, until cobs begin to curl and kernels turn golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining corn.
  • Plate cobs with shishito peppers and large dollops of zhoug. Finish with salt, to taste.


ELLE Tip: 
How to make corn ribs safely: The ears of corn are meant to be quartered, but if you have difficulty, then you need to get your knives sharpened. Alternatively, cook the ears whole and fry a little longer than suggested, about 15 minutes. 
Peak Season by Deirdre Buryk cookbook cover.Recipe excerpted from Peak Season by Deirdre Buryk, adapted for ELLE Gourmet. Copyright © 2022 Deirdre Buryk. Photography © 2021 Janette Downie. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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