Roasted Corn with Brown Butter Herb Sauce

Of all the street foods you’ll find in Nigeria, roasted corn is definitely one of my favorites. Charred over a blazing hot fire, each kernel reaches just the right ratio of, let’s say, “al dente,” on the outside while retaining its juicy center. And let’s not leave out the smoky flavor that enwraps the entire experience, setting this version of corn on the cob apart from its alternatives.

As the United States celebrates Labor Day today, I’ve roasted up some corn on the cob and served it with my favorite nutty butter sauce – beurre noisette (a.k.a brown butter). I decided to infuse some sage and tarragon with this buttery treat before drizzling it all over the tasty ears of corn. Check it out.

Yields 4 Servings

For the Corn

4 ears of corn, peeled

For the Brown Butter Herb Sauce

3 tbsp of butter

1 teaspoon of sage, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of tarragon, roughly chopped


1. Heat grill to high heat. If like myself, you do not have a grill, but you have access to a gas stove top, feel free to try that out with caution (don’t judge me – it worked!). If you would prefer not to experiment, you can roast corn in the oven at at about 200˚C (400˚F).

2. Once the grill is hot, place corn over fire. Using tongs, be sure to turn corn constantly to ensure it cooks evenly. (You may hear some popping noises, but do not be alarmed. Just keep turning.) 

3. Once corn in evenly browned and charred (about 15-20 minutes), set aside.
4. In a small pan, add butter over medium heat, stirring as butter melts. Bubbles will form. Once bubbles subside, swirl and watch carefully as butter changes to light brown color, giving off a nutty aroma (careful to remove from heat at this point as butter will turn black very quickly). Add habanero if using.

5. Add herbs and mix into sauce to marry flavors. (It is important that the pan is off the heat to prevent herbs from burning and having a bitter taste.)
6. Pour sauce over roasted corn and serve. If using paprika, sprinkle over dish to your liking.