Grilled Corn with Garlic Thyme Butter and Corn Nuts

by Nancy Zaffaro
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Wildfin grilled corn

On a recent visit to Tacoma, Washington, my daughter and I spent a full day exploring the city. It was happy hour by the time we moved on to Point Ruston and we’d worked up an appetite. The new waterfront complex on Commencement Bay is an exciting development for the city. The area includes a host of restaurants, shopping, a theater complex, art galleries, a hotel and waterfront residences. It also creates a scenic link between Point Defiance Park, downtown Tacoma, and the Dome District.

We liked Wildfin American Grill’s seafood-heavy menu and waterfront location–and the fact that the place was hopping busy.

Wildfin grilled corn

Tacoma’s Wildfin American Grill where indoor, deck and patio dining all boast water views, great people watching and terrific food.

Wildfin American Grill, on the Ruston Way Waterfront

Next door to Wildfin American Grill, a long but swift-moving line formed at their Fish Bar, an outdoor take-out counter for fish and chips. People took their orders to eat in the adjoining park. The fish and chips looked great, but we opted for a sit-down meal, and sat at a table on the waterfront patio.

We happily over-ordered. Shrimp with artichokes and tomatoes, halibut and chips, a fish taco, the smoked trout salad with pear and greens, and of course, some clam chowder. Each dish was delicious and service was great.

In addition to the Tacoma restaurants, Wildfin maintains others in the cities of Renton and Issaquah. Each serve locally sourced foods, Northwest meats and fresh seafood.

You’re in for a treat whether you explore the waterfront at Ruston Way before or after your stop at Tacoma’s Wildfin American Grill. (Photo courtesy Wildfin American Grill.)

Here, Wildfin’s chefs share the recipe for one of their most popular side dishes: Grilled Corn with Garlic Thyme Butter and Corn Nuts.

They say, “Grilled corn makes an excellent side to dish to most any meal. To give your corn an extra boost in flavor, try making it our style: with garlic thyme butter and corn nuts.”


Grilled Corn

Makes 4-6 servings.


  • 4 ears corn; husked and par cooked
  • ½ cup Garlic Thyme butter (Recipe below)
  • ¼ cup Corn Nuts; ground up to a coarse meal


  1. Completely husk corn. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil (approximately ¼ cup of salt per quart of water). Boil the corn until just soft and cooked. Remove and let cool. This can be done well ahead of time (up to two days in advance).
  2. Bring the garlic thyme butter out to room temperature or soften until it is easily spreadable. Cut the corn cobs into thirds. Place cut corn into a large mixing bowl along with the softened butter and toss well until completely coated.
  3. Build a fire to a medium high heat level. Place corn on grill and let cook rotating frequently until there is some blistering on the cobs and the corn is soft and heated through. Have some additional softened butter nearby the grill with a grill brush. Baste the corn a few times while grilling.
  4. Remove corn from the grill and place back in the bowl along with an additional few Tablespoon of butter and the corn nuts. Toss well until the corn nuts and butter stick to and coat the corn.

Garlic Thyme Butter

(Makes about 1 cup)


  • 2 sticks (or 8 ounces) of salted butter, softened to room temp.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Shallot, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme, minced


  • Place softened butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment (a food processor or hand mixer can be used as well). Beat the butter until it begins to lighten in color and becomes fluffy and soft. Add in remaining ingredients and beat until all ingredients are well incorporated.

We hope you enjoy eating this side dish! Drop in and see how your dish compares to ours!

wildfin grilled corn

Explore the waterfront at Ruston Way before or after your stop at Tacoma’s Wildfin American Grill.

For More:

– Cover grilled corn recipe courtesy Wildfin American Grill. All other photos as credited, or by Nancy Zaffaro.

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