Appetizer, Recipes, Side

Peri-Peri Corn on the Cob

Add a little spice to your summer bbq with Peri-Peri Corn on the Cob. Peri-Peri topped corn, drizzled with a vegan garlic aioli and crispy onions. 

Corn on the cob is one of our favourite summertime sides. It’s the perfect addition to any backyard barbecue. Not to mention it’s sweet, full of nutrients and the perfect vessel for toppings. As much as we love grilled corn on the cob with a little vegan butter, sometimes we also like to get a little creative. This Peri-Peri Corn on the Cob is the perfect fusion of South Africa and Mexico. This flavour-packed peri-peri sauce and vegan garlic aioli are the perfect compliment.

Inspired by the Mexican dish Elotes. Elotes is Mexican street corn that involves cooking the corn in boiling water (with salt, herbs and spices) than topped with lime juice, mayonnaise, queso fresco, and chile powder. We created our own version with a South African-twist featuring peri-peri.

What is Peri-Peri?

Peri-peri, also known as the African Bird’s Eye Chilli, originated in the former Portuguese empire in Southern Africa – more specifically Mozambique, Africa. The most commonly found ingredients are chili peppers, lemon, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and oil, but you may also find sauces with citrus peel, paprika, tarragon, oregano, or other ingredients.

Top Tips for Making Peri-Peri Corn on the Cob 

  • Pick the best corn by looking for ears with tight green husks and golden brown tassels and avoid ears with dryer husks.
  • Steam, then grill! No this doesn’t mean steaming over some water. This simply means wrap your corn in some tin foil and cook on the grill until your corn turns bright yellow. Once it’s a bright, vibrant yellow remove the tin foil and cook right on the grill until you get an even amount of char all over the corn. This extra step adds SO MUCH FLAVOUR.
  • Smother with sauce for loads of delicious peri-peri flavour. Don’t be shy when brushing on the peri-peri sauce, or add some extra to a bowl for dipping! But please be aware that this is a hot sauce so the more you add the hotter the sauce. You can also help balance out the heat with the some of the vegan garlic aioli.

Substitutions for this recipe:

  • Fresh Garlic – For the aioli we really recommend fresh garlic, but you can use minced garlic, garlic paste or garlic powder.
  • Lemon Juice – If you don’t have a lemon on hand, you can opt to use a lime or apple cider vinegar.
  • Liquid Smoke – This gives the aioli a delicious smoky flavour, but you can also achieve a similar flavour with some smoked paprika.

Spicy Peri-Peri Corn on the Cob

Add a little spice to your summer bbq with Peri-Peri Corn on the Cob. Peri-Peri topped corn, drizzled with a vegan garlic aioli and crispy onions. 
3.50 from 2 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired, South Afrian-Inspired
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 4 ears corn
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) olive oil
  • 115 g (½ cup) vegan mayonnaise
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp liquid smoke
  • 120 mL (½ cup) peri peri hot sauce
  • 14 g (¼ cup) crispy onions
  • chives


To make roasted garlic aioli:

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Cut top off head of garlic and wrap in tin foil. Before sealing, drizzle with olive oil. Seal tin foil and roast in oven for 35mins or until golden and aromatic. Allow to cool completely.
  • Once garlic has cooled, combine vegan mayo, roasted garlic, lemon juice, and liquid smoke in a small bowl - mix until evenly distributed. Set aside.

Prep garnishes:

  • In a bowl, crush crispy onions into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  • Roughly chop garlic chives. Set aside.

To make peri-peri corn on the cob:

  • Shuck corn and wrap corn in tin foil. Cook on grill on medium heat for 10 minutes, until bright yellow. Unwrap the corn from the tin foil and place them back on the grill. Coat in peri peri sauce and cook for another 5 - 7 minutes, rotating frequently to get those charred marks and adding more sauce if you want it spicier.
  • Once they’re charred to your liking, remove from grill and coat with a little more peri peri if you want it spicier (again!).
  • Top with drizzle of roasted garlic aioli, crispy onion pieces, and garlic chives. Serve.

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