Spicy Corn Ceviche


If you’ve been to Peru or Ecuador, you know the world’s most famous ceviches. Creamy white pieces of fish tenderize and mellow as they are bathed in a marinade of lime juice and salt. Added to the mix are thin slivers of red onions, green pepper, the aji chile and tiny specks of cilantro. Ceviche is served cold, mostly in the coastal areas, and usually next to an icy beer. It pairs nicely with “patacones” or fried and salted plantains.

Since I thankfully don’t receive any fish in my CSA box, and wouldn’t eat it anyway, I opted instead to turn my lovely sweet corn into a ceviche of great Midwestern style. Everything in this ceviche is local with the exception of the lime! Having no green peppers at the moment, I instead opted for diced cucumbers to give the salad a little color and crunch, and used the red Thai Chiles I bought last weekend at the Kingfield Farmer’s Market to spice it up. Here’s how my nine-year-old son described it when he gave it a taste – word for word, “Wow! First you taste the lime, then you get a little zing from the peppers, but then it gets all sweet and mellow from the corn.” He may end up as a part time sommelier if he keeps talking like that!

Spicy Corn Ceviche Recipe

The only fussy thing about this ceviche is cooking the corn and cutting it from the cob. I’m sure you could use frozen corn if you want to make the recipe, but skip the fuss. I’m a firm believer that corn, like asparagus, should only be cooked for two or three minutes in boiling water. As I clean the corn, I get a big pan of water boiling and only when it is furiously bouncing on the stove do I drop in the ears of corn. I quickly replace the lid, check the clock, and remove after no more than three minutes. Perfection!


12 ears fresh sweetcorn, cooked and removed from the cob

1 small vidalia onion, diced

1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced

3-5 Thai chiles

1 small bunch cilantro

1 Tbs. canola oil

Juice of 1 lime

salt to taste


Cook the corn and cut the kernels from the cob. Dice the onion and the cucumber and mix in bowl with corn. In a food processor, chop the chiles and the cilantro. Mix everything together and add the oil, lime juice and a sprinkle of salt. Enjoy!