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Corn ribs have gone from being a unique viral food trend to a summer staple: Try the recipe

Corn ribs started out as a viral social media food trend, and now it seems the meat-free dish has become a summertime staple as recipe videos continue to get millions of views.

Corn ribs, a viral social media food trend gave summertime BBQ ribs a vegetarian-friendly twist in 2021, and it appears the meat-free dish is here to stay as content creators continue to share recipes.

The trend involves slicing whole cobs of corn into vertical sections, dressing it with a seasoned sauce or spread and cooking it much like you would with pork or beef ribs. When heated up, the sliced corn pieces curl up in a way that looks similar to its meaty counterparts.

While some food trends come and go, corn ribs have grown in popularity as TikTok users carry on sharing recipes and taste test reviews.


In August 2021, the corn ribs hashtag on TikTok garnered more than 10.6 million views, and that number has grown to over 107 million views.

Yumna Jawad, founder of Feel Good Foodie, told Fox News Digital that the "curled effect" the corn slices form when cooked is "what makes it so unique." She recommends cutting cobs of corn into quarters to get the veggie to curl "perfectly."

"That said, you could get away with just cutting in half instead of in quarters, but they will curl less that way," Jawad said.

To cut the corn, Jawad recommends using a santoku knife because it "is lighter and smaller in size as compared to a chef’s knife." 

She went on, "It has a shorter, wider blade with a ‘flatter’ cutting edge which helps with slowly cutting the corn vertically. Cutting the corn in this way isn’t an easy task and should be taken seriously."


With Jawad’s viral corn rib recipe, she mixed salted butter with fresh cilantro and air fried her corn for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As an alternative, the corn can be baked for 25 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or grilled for about 8 minutes on each side, the recipe on Feel Good Foodie’s website states. The cilantro can also be substituted for dill or parsley.

Corn ribs originally had a viral moment on TikTok in February 2021, and online searches for the recipe peaked five months later, according to data compiled by Google Trends, a search engine analytics platform. Users of Google are still searching for corn rib recipes two years later.

Jawad credits fellow TikTok creator, Farrah J, who goes by the username @spicednice, for making the corn rib trend go viral on social media. 


Farrah told Fox News Digital she first saw "Cajun Corn Ribs" as a menu item at an Australian restaurant back in February 2021. Although she can’t recall the restaurant’s name, she said she "thought the concept was so fascinating."

"I had never seen anything like it served in the states or made online, so I immediately bought some corn and decided to make an air-fried version with some of my favorite flavors," she went on. "It was so quick to take off – it blew up faster than any of my other videos with one million views in just a few hours and 12 million by the end of the week."

Farrah has gone on to try four different flavor variations, one of which was a sweet cinnamon sugar recipe.

"It’s been amazing to see it go viral and all the new tips and flavors people have added to it," Farrah said.

Corn ribs were reportedly invented by Max Ng, an executive chef at the Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York City, according to a March 2019 issue of Woolworths TASTE magazine, an award-winning food publication. The restaurant has also shared social media posts about its unique menu item dating as far back as 2017, which include Facebook and Instagram.

Representatives at Momofuku did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment about the viral corn ribs trend.


Jawad believes the trend is an excellent option for people who want to change up their summertime eating.

"Nothing beats the taste of fresh corn in the summer," Jawad said. "Air frying the corn ribs also creates crisp corn kernels that are so tender and juicy."

For people who aren’t that into traditional meat-based ribs like herself, Jawad said corn ribs can offer a similar experience despite it having a different "texture and flavor." 

She went on, "The way in which you eat it definitely depicts traditional rib eating."

Home chefs don’t need to feel restricted by Feel Good Foodie’s recipe either. Jawad told Fox News Digital there are a variety of spreads people can make to customize their corn rib experience.

"You could have so much fun with this," Jawad said. "You could play around with corn elote, or try dips and sauces like chipotle lime mayo, Sriracha mayo, garlic and herb butter or even barbecue sauce."

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