Coconut Corn Salad

Coconut Corn Salad Recipe

We ventured out of San Francisco last week for a quick, mid-week, two-night camping trip - and this was the last thing I cooked before leaving. Five ears of corn, shaved in quick fashion, then sautéed in a bit of butter. I tricked it out with thyme, red onions, toasted almonds and coconut.

Coconut Corn Salad RecipeCoconut Corn Salad Recipe

And, come to think of it, that might have been the last time I ate a proper meal (kidding!). We got to our destination (Sequoia National Park), spent the night, I got the stomach flu, we drove home. All the food I prepped for our camping adventure came with us, untouched. While I regroup, enjoy the corn. Or even better, let me know what you're doing with your corn lately. And while that's going on, I'll write up the next recipe (which might be the best thing to come out of my oven all year)...xo -h

Coconut Corn Salad Recipe

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ears of corn, shucked
fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup / 1 1/2 oz / 40 g big coconut flakes, well toasted
1 cup / 3 oz / 85 g sliced almonds, well toasted

3 tablespoons chopped red onions
big squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt and stir well, you want all the corn to be coated. Cook for just a minute, until the corn looses its raw edge, stir in half the thyme, and then transfer the corn to a large serving bowl. Just before you're ready to serve, add most of the coconut flakes, most of the almonds, the rest of the thyme, red onions, and citrus juice. Stir well. Taste, season with more salt, to taste, and serve topped with the remaining coconut and almonds (and another jolt of juice if needed!).

Serves 4.

Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 5 min


I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi
Heidi Swanson


This reminds me of your Summer Corn Salad from last year. I've made it for potlucks and it's always been a huge hit. I brought it to my mom's for a family dinner a few weeks ago, and she (who doesn't normally care for corn -- pretty much a crime here in Ontario, where the season is the fleeting marker of high summer) immediately asked for the recipe. She's made it for two dinner parties since then and has passed the recipe along on both occasions. It's a great recipe, and I'm sure this one is too. I can't wait to try!


Tonight, I pan sauted some fresh from the garden diced potatoes, added fresh corn kernels, some slivered chard and green beans (also from the garden) - added a bit of feta to round off. Delish.


the corn and those big coconut flakes look fabulous - so sorry to hear you were so sick though...ugh, not fun!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

That's a really unusual combination but I think it sounds tasty!


Oh, Heidi. I'm so sorry. Stomach flu is so awful and I can't say I've ever been camping with it, but it wouldn't be my #1 choice. I'm from not to far from Sequoia National Park (Eureka), so I smiled reading that ... you'll have to go back, flu-less. Hope it's been a good week with the shop! ~m

Megan Gordon

What a bummer -- stomach flu on vacation!

I'm in love with coconut right now, so I'm absolutely intrigued by this corn/coconut combo. Sounds incredible!


I often put fresh corn in salty soups (many Japanese style). The find the salty-sweet combo makes me always wish I had more soup. Perfect comfort food, for the sickies feeling better!


We were looking at the leftovers in the fridge and threw some items together and were quite pleased...and have since made it "on purpose". We had roasted some corn on the cob on the grill and had some leftover, so we cut the corn off, added some cooked brown rice, some black beans, a little garlic and onions, salt and pepper and heated it up. The onions were basically not cooked so they still had a "crispness" to them. It's become a favorite....


Today I cut some corn off the cob and briefly sauteed it over high heat with some sliced onions and mushrooms. I served it in lightly toasted corn tortillas with a squeeze of lime and sprinkle of cheese. Yum!


What a bummer to go camping at Sequoia National Park and get the stomach flu.
I went there just once and I was fascinated by it, it's such an amazing place for camping!


kale, onion, red potatoes, coconut milk all simmered in a pot then add fresh organic corn at the end for raw crunch in the soup. served hot is good, but even better is served cool in the summer time. now that's something.


kale, onion, red potatoes, coconut milk all simmered in a pot then add fresh organic corn at the end for raw crunch in the soup. served hot is good, but even better is served cool in the summer time. now that's something.


I feel for you as I have quite a lot of experience with stomach flu and it is totally not fun. Last time I had one, was right after my honeymoon in Rome in january, it started on the train back, the journey of hell. Thank god the rest of the trip was pretty good.
Corn --not much here in the UK, and not much for human consumption in Italy, either. But I keep seeing these amazing recipes and craving it so much that I might just buy an imported one and try it out, this one first, as I love coconut-everything lately.


oh dear..the camping trip from hell really....poor you. And a five hour drive back with stomach flu?

Still at least it wasn't your first trip away with a boyfriend..I might just have to do a new blogpost about what happened to me....not stomach flu but still pretty awful

On the bright side though, thanks for the recipe...definitely going to try this one.

thinking of the days

Mmmh! This sounds similar to what I've been doing with my corn lately, namely cutting it off the ear and sautéing it with whatever else I happen to have on hand. I love the coconut/corn combo, so I may try doing this with virgin coconut oil to impart a little more of that coconut flavor.


In my kitchen are two cobs of corn. They keep looking at me in a way that suggests they are tired of my usual butter, lime juice and spices routine. This recipe is just what I need.

I am sorry to hear about how sick you got! Best of luck regrouping.

And what a teaser about the next recipe! Cannot wait.


Oh, I am so sorry to hear that you had the stomach flu - one of the worst, I am sure. I just watched my mother suffer through a bad case of food poisoning, and there is really nothing like those kinds of illnesses.

On an entirely different note, I love the simplicity yet unique character of this salad. I never would've thought to add coconut, but will have to try it. Just so happens the farmers' market is open today and it's corn season! I know what I'm making tonight.


Great recipe! I love coconut and almonds but I've never tried them with corn, sounds delicious :D


Well, now, that's exactly what I want to make Monday for whatever Labor Day cookout whoever is having!!!


Oh, Heidi! So sorry to hear this! Hope you're feeling better.

What I'm doing with corn lately: shaving it off the cob and mixing it into a thin egg batter with whole wheat pastry flour and fine-ground cornmeal (blue is good!). I fry little pancakes out of it. The dipping sauces seals the deal: thinned-out plain greek yogurt with lots of fresh cilantro and lime juice. I scoop up a mini pancake, fill it with sauce, fold it over like a taco and 2-bites-it's-gone!


Beautiful country out there, isn't it? What a great dish!!

Belinda @zomppa

I've been loving all the fresh corn from our CSA this year! what a perfect way to use it!

Simply Life

I don't think I've ever had coconut with corn, but I'm game to try it. Lately I like a roasted corn soup or a corn avocado salad with fresh lime. Hope you're feeling better now!


The salad looks wonderful but the trip sounds terrible! I froze some corn I cut off the cobs a couple of weeks ago. I think I'll make this tonight!


I like how you add coconut to pretty much any dish.
I really enjoy the kale and coconut salad in your super natural every day cookbook

Samantha Angela

Oh no you poor thing! I've had some weird tummy bug the past few days too, so I really feel for you. Bummer you had to miss out on your camping trip, but thankfully there's always next time! Get well love xx

Emma Galloway

poor you. :(
Coconut and corn are two ingredients i would never imagine together, so I'm really curious to try this!
And this weekend i'm doing your expresso-banana muffins. A well-loved recipe in my house!
Get well!


My favorite corn-thing is from the Momofuku book -- corn kernels seared over high heat and tossed with lots of miso butter, bacon, and caramelized onions. Guh.

Diane, A Broad

So sorry to hear of your diverted adventure. That sounds absolutely miserable, but this looks fantastic!

I've been eating okra, corn and tomatoes with carmelized onions and a sprinkling of sea salt.


I wonder if a funnel into my head with this corn salad being poured into it would be an attractive look for me.

Bev @ Bev Cooks

That sounds terrible! I hope you're feeling better. Nothing worse than getting stomach flu on the road. As for the corn, I like the idea of corn and coconut and look forward to giving it a go. We've got a wonderful corn grower at the farmer's market with several different varieties, and I've been obsessed with the Mexican Elote Asado lately.

la domestique

Like I mentioned last year at corn time, our corn in the UK I don't find so good as the stuff you get over there. We need to bring more cooking into it to get some taste - put it on pizza's, corn relish, add it to cornbread or corn pudding, make a corn-chowder. (See, I'm still inspired by my time in North America, I will not be denied my corn!). Sorry to hear about your flu, I can sympathise. If I get ill it's usually stomach flu and I don't move from squirming in horizontal positions for 2 days.

adam and Theresa

Wow! Stunning. So simple but I can tell the flavors would compliment each other perfectly. Cannot wait to try this with the corn I picked up at the market this weekend.


oh my, this looks delicious! i'm always a fan of adding sweet fresh corn to salty japanese style soups or making a quick salad with citrus, feta, flat leaf parsley, tomatoes & almonds...& lately, i've been working my way through these.

spoon&sailor letterpress

When I first saw the picture, I thought the onions were bacon and thought..oooh! There's a side dish I had growing up which was corn fresh off the cob, cooked in butter with salt and pepper, and cooked until some of them browned. It may be common to all southerners in the US, or not, it was in our home.

But I love your dish, it's a wee bit simpler, and then idea of adding coconut, thyme and bacon to that is very appealing. So, consider bacon? Or might that be too overwhelming?


Get well soon Heidi - the corn salad looks just lovely! x


Gah - stomach flu is the worst! Hope you're all better.

I would have never thought of pairing corn and coconut in this way but it really does seem like such a natural combination. Gorgeous and looks so delicious.

We've been brushing cobs with olive oil, dusting them with kosher salt and grilling them all summer. Yesterday thought I made Cheddar Corn Chowder. it was a happy day.

Kare @ Kitchen Treaty

Bummer you weren't feeling sorry to hear.
Just bought 6 ears last night at the market and was looking for a recipe to make for tonight's dinner. This is perfect - thank you. Never thought of coconut! Will add a bit of mint and olive oil instead of butter, but love the added crunch of the toasted almonds!


Ooooh, girl, I know me some NorCal windy (and windy, come to think of it :) roads and I can't handle them well when I'm feeling good!
I wish you a quick recovery~


Oh Heidi! That's awful. I'm so, so sorry. Hope you get your appetite and strength back quickly. And btw, I taught the Tomato Tarte Tatin this weekend to RAVE reviews.

Katherine Deumling

Fresh corn polenta! Just grate the kernels off the cob right into a pot with melted butter and salt. Best thing to come out of MY kitchen all year.

Elizabeth A.

So sorry to hear you were sick... not fun when turning and climbing in the car. Feel better soon!

Kristen F

Hopefully you start feeling better soon. The salad is absolutely beautiful and would be perfect on a hot summer's night. Those days are fleeting, the corn will be out of season soon, so I can't wait to try this! Yum :)

Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa

Yum! Must be the day for corn recipes...stumbled upon on from Marcus Samuelsson as well....It's going to be a corn kind of weekend!!


I've just compiled my grocery list to include all of your ingredients for this spectacular sounding dish. Yum!


Hello Heidi! This summer, we've enjoyed a corn salad tossed with fresh blueberries, and corn fritters via Monsieur Pepin's cookbook and enjoyed them with little dollops of sour cream and grated Romano. It was just myself and my 2 year-old girl who gobbled them up, as my husband and 5 year-old do not like corn at all. Mmmore for us!


Hi h! Could you tell me a little bit more about the coconut flakes? Did you find a particular brand that sells nice big flakes? Or did you take a mature coconut and make the flakes yourself? I have been absolutely adoring the meat of young Thai coconuts but certainly here a nice toasty coconut is just a delight. Thanks again. Noelle

HS: Hi Noelle! I buy it in bulk - blanking on the brand at the moment. It comes in the big wide flakes, unsweetened. I've seen it in a bag as well - dark green bag. xo

Noelle @ greenlemonade

How 'bout I toss these ingredients with that coconut-cilantro number I've got leftover from the last post?

Katie B

Your photographs are absolutely gorgeous.
After a recent party I ened up with leftover bruschetta topping (heirloom tomatoes, balsamic, garlic and diced avocado). I sauted the corn in olive oil and through the leftover topping in at the finish - just long enough to heat it. Mouth watering.


Heidi, My sincere sympathies to you...camping while sick is not fun, and I know the roads you're talking about, OMG!
But, you must go back! To me Sequoia is Yosemite without the crowds. And you must go to King's Canyon Park, attached to Sequoia. I worked there 1 college summer, the absolute best time.
Recipe looks outstanding too, but then all of yours do :-)


Tossed raw kernels with itty bitty halved tomatoes, chives, splash of olive oil & lime juice with pea shoots and a little mashed avocado and garlic in a tortilla. But I'm really dying to try Melissa Clark's Puffy Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce from her column last week.


Corn and coconut? What an interesting combination! Hope you feel better!


Wondering if you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut?

HS: Hi Becki - unsweetened :)

Becki Metz

That looks amazing. I know you're vegetarian, but I am making lobster tonight and that is going to be a great, unexpected side dish. Thank you.

Here's a corn chowder I made while I was surrounded by cornfields in Wisconsin this summer.


If you are looking for another corn recipe- make this! Just made it last night- it tastes like summer in a bowl!


We went camping/backpacking last weekend, and I was all beat up about having my "lady time" during the trip - sounds like the stomach flu is ten-twenty times worse!! so sorry about that.....

...but, the corn looks great. wish we had that this past weekend ;)

heather @ chiknpastry

My summer favorite is the GRILL, put some herb salt and a bit of olive oil on it and then onto to the BBQ, mmh yummy


Ugh! Stomach flu.... I'm very sorry to hear that; that's not fun. I hope you get to feeling better very soon!

This corn salad looks delicious! My dad adores corn salads, and I love to make them for him. I generally mix equal parts raw corn and black beans with a big handful of chopped parsley; then I dress it in a simple dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cane sugar, mashed chipotle peppers in adobo, and salt to taste. It's a wonderfully fresh and punchy salad--perfect for hot summer days.

Sophie @ happyspinach

I have just been making corn salsa. Nothing fancy. Every night I cook 3-4 ears of corn during this time of year. Sometimes they all get eaten, sometimes. not. I just cut off the cobs and save to throw into something else. I have been mixing with diced fresh tomatoes (don't bother to skin) equal amounts, minced onion, lime juice and cumin to taste and chopped cilantro to taste. I have seen similar recipes where the corn is roasted ahead of time, but I am just using the leftover steamed corn.

Elizabeth F

so stunning. I love fresh corn this time of the year. thanks for all you do!


My most recent corn adventure: the fresh corn polenta from Ottolenghi's Plenty. It was a lot sweeter than typical polenta, but a nice rendition nonetheless. Will be interested in trying the coconut/corn combination! Hope you're feeling better!


I can't wait to try this. It's all about coconut in my little kitchen at the moment. I'm dreaming of summer and frozen yogurts. This is my latest creation...
{hoping you're on the mend x}


Nothing worse than the stomach flu ruining vacation!

But it got me thinking that I would love to know what food you packed to go camping. I'm always at a loss when it comes to camp meals and the ones I find online are usually icky.


Intriguing and delicious sounding uses for corn. Thanks, everyone. This year I've been boiling the corn for two or three minutes, cutting it off the cob, mixing it with blueberries, thinly sliced cucumber and red onion, and a partially de-seeded jalapeno. Then mix up a dressing of olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt, and cumin. It's fantastic and everybody loves when it arrives for a potluck barbeque.


LOOKS GOOOD, ;) Thank you for all of the great recipes. I found your site looking for wheat berry recipes. I found one I am excited to try. Thanks again. Keep up the great work!


I have this compulsion to buy corn when it's fresh and 3 for a dollar. This looks fantastic. I've been making lots of mexican-themed quinoa bowls lately: quinoa, corn, black beans, sweet potato, whatever other odds and ends I have on hand, salsa, avocado, cherry tomatoes, you know.


ANYTHING coconut related makes me drool. Haha. This looks incredibly fresh and flavorful. I love the balance of flavors that are happening.

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

When you make something like that, do you guys consider it a meal? Do you figure you had enough protein the rest of the day, so the amount in the almonds will do? I would like to eat more things like this as a meal, and I wonder if I worry unnecessarily about protein . . . Thoughts?

HS: No, more of a side/base. For lunch I'd have it with a skillet-toasted corn tortilla topped off with a bit og cheese and and an egg, or if not that, maybe I'd have it with the tortilla and then bulk out the corn with some black lentils or something along those lines. Hope this helps! I definitely try to work a good amount of protein into each meal/snack.


I can relate to this post on so many levels. When I was in Greece this past summer, my boyfriend and I planned a trip to the islands; somehow, even though I became ill the night before we were leaving, I insisted that we still go. I survived the boat ride there only to have to go to a small village hospital upon our arrival...If nothing else, it was a memorable trip!

As for corn, I've been enjoying it the old-fashioned way--with butter and salt. When I'm up for something more adventurous, I've been simmering it with spices and red lentils. Good stuff; I'll be sad to see corn season go.


Yikes, feel better! This looks too good though. I'm loving the summer corn myself...just made my own salad.

alicia @ energEAT

Stomach flu sucks. And the 5 hr. drive home on top of it sucks even sorry


I made a few alterations and came up with this take on this salad:

Coconut oil, 3 ears of corn, one giant zucchini in ribbons, yellow curry paste, spinach... Loved it!


What a lovely way to use up some of the freshly harvested corn! And camping too, love it!
Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

This looks SO yummy! I'm not usually a corn eater. But this recipe is so fresh and inviting looking. Love the addition of coconut and almonds!


This combination sounds tasty. A great side for a burger night cookout this weekend with good friends!

Kim @ cook with 2chicks

Wow! I made this tonight and it was amazing! Must admit I had to think twice and cross my fingers that no jinx of stomach flu would accompany the recipe. So far, so good. Feel better.


I had an amazing corn dish at Pok Pok in Portland. It was grilled then slathered in coconut cream. The best corn I have ever had!


Why not use coconut oil to enhance the coconut taste?


This looks fascinating--corn and coconut isn't a combination I'd have considered trying! I have some almonds to use up, too, so I may have to give this a shot soon.
Mostly, I just wanted to say that I live in Seoul, South Korea, and after ordering your first cookbook online, I was inexpressibly excited and pleased to spot the second in a huge bookstore here yesterday evening! Walked out with a few new purchases, indeed.

K @ oddvocado

I am about to prepare a corn and black bean salad for a Labor day brunch, but this sounds deliciously intriguing.

Hope you get on your feet again soon and give Sequoia NP another shot - it will be worth the drive.


I just made this salad. It was excellent. Thank you!


I made this last night for a cookout and thought the flavors worked really well together. I plan to try it over arugula or other greens with some quinoa and feta for a heartier dinner salad.


For a southwestern flair...I eliminated the butter, substituted fresh cilantro for the thyme and a finely chopped jalepeno for the onion...fantastic!


I made the Coconut Corn Salad and I am now in the process of getting the ingredients together for my second bowl of this most delicious salad. It lasts me three days and it is good as a meal for me or somethng to enjoy between meals. Thanks for a recipe that will be in my life from now on !!

Mava Maertz

I made this over the weekend but minus the coconut and almonds since I did not have any---and this was pretty good.

Next time, I'll try to purchase large coconut flakes and almonds.


I made this salad for a bridal shower picnic in combination with a grilled chicken, peach, blackberry, basil and mozzarella pizza. It was so simple and flavorful and paired so well with all the other food. I substituted the almonds with toasted pepitas due to nut allergies and it worked really well. Thanks for another great dish!


I made this to use as a slaw in my fish tacos cooked for friends over Labor Day! It was amazing! Friends raved! Great recipe, I am pretty sure you have a few new readers now!

Bill Denis

That looks delicious! All summer, I have been making variations on this Michelle Obama corn soup recipe...
... and it has been delicious every time! My favorite substitutions have been changing out the thyme and lemon for cilantro and lime (and topping it with avacado!). It has been great with grilled carrots, eggplant, and red onion (although the eggplant and red onion make purple soup, which does not look as appetizing as it tastes). As the summer ends, the recipe will change with what is in season, and what I have in my fridge. Thanks again and feel better!


A very refreshing bowl of corn salad. I'll say any roasted veggies would be good along with it like carrots, green beans and red pepper..Mmmmm!


Made this for dinner tonight and LOVED it with lime juice! Heidi, thank you for all the vegetarian recipes that really taste new and different, not trying to be a popular meat dish made without the meat. Will be enjoying your caramelized brussels sprouts and tofu again this week. It's a favorite around here!


this is yet another fabulous salad Heidi. Low carbohydrates, gluten fee, with a good amount of healthy fats and protein. Thanks for yet another lovely salad, I look forward to converting it to my sons epilepsy diet. Thank you!!


I made this last night with cilantro instead of the thyme and smaller shredded unsweetened coconut, because I had it in my freezer. The dish was beyond delicious! My husband said I have to make it next time we have company.

Heidi, I love your blog and the exceptional, natural recipes you share. Thank you!


Sounds yummy - any dish that has coconut I will try. I love coconut and corn. Since I'm a vegan. I will sauté it in coconut butter. Can't wait to try it.


This is a wonderful recipe. I used an extra ear of corn, so 6 in all, and probably a bit less than the specified cup each of almonds and coconut. It made a big dish! Leftovers are great: I just re-sauté a bit to help the texture. Leftovers are very good in a black bean burrito.


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