Homemade Corn Relish (Fermented)

by Sarah Condiments, RecipesComments: 31

homemade corn relish
Homemade corn relish is simply divine.  Not only is the mix of flavors incredibly tantalizing, but the slight crunch and texture of the corn adds tactile delight to the culinary experience as well.

This time of year, homemade corn relish is a fabulous condiment to serve with those grassfed burgers sizzling on the grill.

This particular recipe for homemade corn relish adds the bonus of fermentation to the mix which makes this healthy condiment easy to digest and full of probiotics and enzymes with an extra boost of nutrition.

If you are low carbing it, homemade corn relish on your bunless burger provides a touch of starch that adds satisfaction to the meal that sometimes seems missing when you skip the bread.

Homemade Corn Relish (Fermented)

Adapted from Nourishing Traditions Cookbook


4-5 organic corn cobs

1 small organic tomato

1 small organic onion

1/2 organic red pepper

2 Tbl fresh cilantro leaves or 1/2-1 Tbl dried cilantro (where to find)

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (where to find)

1 Tbl sea salt (where to find)

4 Tbl liquid whey (Do not sub powdered whey. If no liquid whey is on hand, you may use one more Tbl of sea salt instead)


Seed and chop red pepper.   Chop onion, tomato and cilantro.  Cut fresh corn off the cobs.  Place vegetables, corn, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and pound lightly with a meat hammer or wooden pounder to release juices.

Place ingredients for homemade corn relish in a wide mouth, one quart mason jar and press down with the pounder to allow juices to cover.    Keep relish at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.

Cover tightly with lid and leave the homemade corn relish on the counter to ferment for 2-3 days and then refrigerate.

Homemade corn relish will last a month or more in the refrigerator.

Love fermented condiments?  Try these recipes too!

Fermented homemade ketchup

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Fermented mustard

Fermented cilantro salsa


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit

Comments (31)

  • Sara

    Can the relish be safely made replacing the whey with additional salt? Sally Fallon points out in her book that fermented foods made with fruits need the whey to be properly preserved. Tomato is a fruit and wondered if you’ve had any issues exchanging the whey for more salt.

    August 7th, 2015 10:15 pm Reply
  • Michael @ BlueberryChuckle

    Interesting on the fermentation part. I have corn relish that I bought (silly me) in my cabinet now, and it actually sounds great with a burger right about now!

    June 26th, 2012 7:40 pm Reply
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  • Kimberly Pender Wiezycki via Facebook

    My husband LOVED this recipe! Thank you!

    July 10th, 2011 6:14 pm Reply
  • Mary

    Sarah, Do you cook the corn before cutting it off the cob? The color on the corn in the photo looks to me more like cooked corn rather than raw, but no mention of cooking or blanching is made in the recipe.

    July 9th, 2011 4:56 pm Reply
  • Sue Smith via Facebook

    I made this over the weekend and it is delicous! Is there a similar way to make salsa? I really appreciate your website!

    July 5th, 2011 12:52 pm Reply
  • Delmma Vazquez via Facebook

    there’s no such thing as “wild canola” canola comes from RAPEseed, canola is an Acronym:

    July 4th, 2011 4:49 am Reply
  • Delmma Vazquez via Facebook

    there’s no such thing as “wild canola” canola comes from RAPEseed, canola is an Acronym:

    July 4th, 2011 4:49 am Reply
  • watchmom3

    Yes, I agree that “Pandora is out of the box”, but we can never give up. We must be vigilant, as the alternative is a virtual black hole! THEY DON’T KNOW what the long term effects are going to be. Seems incredible that, for the love of money, they would sell everyone down the river. Do they really think that their own families won’t be affected? I pray that God will have mercy on us, as there has never been a time when our entire food supply, water included, has been on such a dangerous precipice. Thank you Sarah for watching out for us and helping spread the word. God bless.

    July 3rd, 2011 11:21 pm Reply
  • Marcia Galbreath via Facebook

    I don’t think there is any way to stop the contamination now …

    July 3rd, 2011 9:36 pm Reply
  • Anita Messenger via Facebook

    Oregon has wild GMO canola growing in the ditches along the roads. Japan has GMO canola also growing loose and they don’t allow GMO to be grown there. But they import GMO canola from Canada and it got loose somehow anyway.

    July 3rd, 2011 8:31 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Oh my. That is awful. Imagine that this level of contamination has happened in less than 15 years.

    July 3rd, 2011 8:09 pm Reply
  • Anita Messenger via Facebook

    Heirloom corn growers are reporting that it’s getting harder and harder to grow heirloom non-GMO that is not already contaminated with GMO pollen. It’s getting into the atmosphere and even reaching remote places. Baker Creek seeds tests their’s and they are seeing this happening, too. I buy from them because they test for GMO. Grow your own – under cover in a greenhouse if possible. Yeah, it’s getting that bad. Ark. rice growers had their non-GMO rice fields contaminated by GMO rice pollen from Louisiana. They just won a big law suit last week (years to get there) against Bayer. One of the growers (a friend of our’s) told us that they will never be able to completely get rid of it ever again. Pandora’s box…

    July 3rd, 2011 6:47 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Yes, which is a good reason to buy organic then you can be sure it’s not GM.

    July 3rd, 2011 5:43 pm Reply
  • Sarah-Michelle Laubscher via Facebook

    And a great majority of it is genetically modified

    July 3rd, 2011 4:10 pm Reply
  • Emily @ Butter Believer

    Mmm… I am such a corn-aholic — can’t wait to try this! I don’t even generally like a whole lot of extras on burgers, but this sounds so perfect!

    July 3rd, 2011 3:51 pm Reply
  • Mikki

    Great idea lacto-fermenting corn! When I first saw the topic of corn relish, I thought, “No, no; way to hard to digest!” But your recipe is just the ticket! I should have known you’d have whey in it! ;-)Thanks! It would be good on anything!

    July 3rd, 2011 2:44 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Corn is a problem to digest in many cases, but LF it really does improve the digestibility considerably.

      July 3rd, 2011 3:24 pm Reply
  • nancy@skinnykitchen.com

    Sounds like a crunchy, healthy and delicious topping for burgers, chicken or fish!

    July 3rd, 2011 2:25 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I’ve only ever had this on burgers, but your comment gets me thinking that I really need to branch out and try it chicken and fish too! Thanks!

      July 3rd, 2011 3:56 pm Reply
  • Marcia Galbreath via Facebook

    Corn is indeed very yummy, but don’t forget it’s full of fungus, starch and sugar.

    July 3rd, 2011 1:31 pm Reply
  • vicki

    I will try this next week, Thanks!
    How long will it last in the fridge?

    July 3rd, 2011 11:19 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Vicki, I’ve always used it up long before it went bad, but I’m guessing its similar to other LF recipes which would be at least a few months.

      July 3rd, 2011 3:23 pm Reply
  • Dawn Lerman

    Looks yummy. I am going to make this later.


    July 3rd, 2011 11:09 am Reply
  • Linda

    I love corn, but we are trying not to eat too much of it since we also are low carbing. I do want to make this because I love trying lacto fermented recipes.

    July 3rd, 2011 11:08 am Reply
  • Barb @ A Life in Balance

    Sounds like a great relish to try! I’ll have to see if I can pick up some corn at the farmers market this week.

    I’m making pickles and maybe relish today myself – not lactofermented, however.

    July 3rd, 2011 10:34 am Reply
  • Cindy

    I have cut out grains and dairy and starches such as corn, potatoes, beans etc. for myself. I usually use my LF salsa as a topping–yum! Do you think the corn would be ok for me if LF?

    Also, I’ve noticed since we cut out the junk from our diet that no one is really interested in eating corn or beans anymore–corn on cob, bean soup or chili, eg. When I make them for dinner, they eat an obligatory portion and won’t eat it again as leftovers. So our chickens get them! What would the reason be–and mine is not a family of picky eaters.

    July 3rd, 2011 10:13 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Cindy .. it depends on if you are on GAPS or SCD or not to heal your gut. If you are not on these temporary healing diets, then sure the corn relish is probably fine. Just try a bit – maybe make a 1/2 recipe and try it and see. I find I digest it beautifully and corn is not something I much of at all. It basically is not in my diet anywhere except for this time of year on occasion because so much beautiful organic corn is in season and I love to eat what is in season.

      July 3rd, 2011 10:45 am Reply
      • cindy

        I’m doing the elimination to reduce inflamation and to heal my gut. I have been trying to get to the GAPS book and diet plan but haven’t had the time. So to start I’ve eliminated grains and dairy and doing LF foods, Kefir, starting some Kombucha, mostly organic fruits and veggies, eating good fats and using whole foods/real food. I’m starting out slowly to be acclimated somewhat when I finally get to GAPS. I believe I read that you’re supposed to eliminate all fruits and sugars while on GAPS (is this true?).


        July 3rd, 2011 5:16 pm Reply
        • Magda Velecky

          Sugar is not allowed on GAPS – only honey as a sweetener. But fruit is definitely allowed. Good luck on GAPS – it’s an awesome journey!

          July 5th, 2011 11:19 am Reply
          • cindy

            thanks for the tip, magda. I’ll check out your blog!

            July 6th, 2011 1:19 am

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