Mexican-style barbecued corn salad recipe

Neil Perry
Charred corn salad with habanero dressing.
Charred corn salad with habanero dressing. Photo: William Meppem

Add this cucumber, cos and corn salad to your Mexican banquet.


2 cobs of corn, husks removed

2 baby cos lettuce, leaves separated

1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into rounds 4mm thick

1 bunch of coriander, with stems

For pickled red onions

1 bay leaf

1½ tsp black peppercorns

1½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

2 red onions, thinly sliced

2 whole cloves garlic, peeled

150g apple cider vinegar

20g castor sugar

15g sea salt

For the habanero dressing

1-2 small habanero chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

½ small brown onion, finely diced

sea salt, to taste

50ml lime juice

1 tsp castor sugar

50ml orange juice

2 tbsp olive oil


To make the pickled red onions, toast the bay leaf, black pepper, cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Place in a heatproof bowl with red onion and garlic.

In a saucepan, bring the cider vinegar, sugar and salt to a simmer, then pour this over onion mix. Allow to cool and place in fridge to pickle overnight.

To make the dressing, bruise the habanero and brown onion using a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small bowl, add the salt and lime juice and marinate for at least 10 minutes. Add sugar, orange juice, salt and olive oil, and whisk until dissolved. Adjust seasoning and heat to taste.

Preheat barbecue to high. Grill corn, turning regularly, for 15-20 minutes or until lightly charred and tender. Set aside to cool, then cut kernels from cobs.

Layer lettuce, cucumber, corn, pickled onions and coriander on a serving plate. Drizzle with dressing to taste.

Serve as part of Neil Perry's Mexican banquet (recipes here).