Yes, You Can Eat Raw Corn — Here's How

Raw corn is edible and is, in fact, very sweet and crunchy.
Image Credit: bhofack2/iStock/GettyImages

Corn on the cob is an abundant crop in the Midwest and it's at its peak in the summer months. Corn is a good source of B vitamins such as folate and thiamin as well as vitamin C and dietary fiber.

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You can cook corn in several ways, including grilling, roasting, steaming and boiling, and doing so brings out the natural sweetness of the corn. But you can also eat raw corn on the cob — and it is every bit as sweet as the cooked variety and retains more of the nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • Raw corn on the cob

  • Knife

  • Bowl

  • Olive oil, optional

  • Salt, optional

  • Sweet onion, optional

  • Red bell pepper, optional

  • Carrot, optional

  • Parsley, optional

  • Jalapeno, optional

  • Tomato, optional

  • Cilantro, optional

  • Garlic, optional

  • White balsamic vinegar, optional

  • Lemon juice, optional

  • Lime juice, optional

How to Eat Raw Corn on the Cob

You'll want to use the freshest, youngest corn possible. Fresher corn has the sweetest flavor and will be more likely to retain its flavor as you haul it home.

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Here's a fun summer activity to consider: If possible, go to a farm where you can pick your own, or buy it from a farmers' market, making sure the corn was picked within hours of sale.

Once you have your fresh corn, do the following:

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  1. Shuck the corn and remove all of the silk.
  2. Rinse the corn under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  3. Take a bite as you normally would from a cooked cob. You can add condiments, such as olive oil or salt if you want, but the point of eating raw corn is to enjoy the natural sweetness and crunch.

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Tip

You'll want to eat the corn within hours of bringing it home. The longer the corn sits off the stalk, the more the starches break down and the corn takes on a grassy flavor.

How to Eat Raw Corn Kernels

You can also scrape the kernels off the cob and eat the corn raw that way. Here's how to do it:

  1. Cut or break one end off the cob to make a stable base.
  2. Hold the cob up on the flat base and slide the blade of the knife down the length of the cob to remove the kernels.
  3. Put the kernels in a bowl.
  4. Eat the raw kernels as is, or make them into a salad or salsa.

You can combine the raw corn with diced sweet onion, diced red bell pepper, diced carrot, chopped cilantro or parsley and a pinch of salt for a colorful confetti salad. Or, you can mix raw corn with diced jalapeno, onion, tomato, garlic and cilantro for a corn salsa.

Want to enhance the natural sweetness of the kernels? Drizzle over white balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette. White balsamic has the same flavor as the darker variety but won't discolor the corn. You can also use lemon or lime juice in place of the vinegar.

Tip

Refrigerate any uneaten kernels for up to three days. Once you refrigerate them, however, you may want to cook them because they won’t taste as sweet as when you first cut them.

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