Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) Recipe

Mexican corn salad made with esquites is creamy, tangy and spicy. Serving it in a bowl or small cups is typical in Mexico. Elote en vaso is esquites.  


– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil – 3 ½ cups corn kernels (16 ounces frozen or from about 5 fresh cobs) – ½ teaspoon fine salt – 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced – ¼ cup mayonnaise* – 1 medium finely chopped jalapeño, optional – 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus extra lime wedges for garnish – 1 teaspoon chili powder, plus more for sprinkling – Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat) – ¼ cup finely grated Cotija cheese**, plus more for sprinkling – ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

Put the butter in a big skillet over medium-low heat. It's best to use cast iron. Add the corn and salt once the butter has melted. If you are using frozen corn, you don't need to defrost it first. 

Step 1


For about 5 to 8 minutes, stir the corn every minute or so until it's warm all the way through and the edges are turning golden. Lower the heat to low if the corn starts to jump out of the pan. 

Step 2

After adding the garlic, cook for about 30 seconds or until it smells good, then take the pan off the heat. After the corn has cooled for a few minutes, put it in a medium-sized bowl. 

Step 3

Combine the remaining ingredients (mayonnaise, optional jalapeño, lime juice, chilli powder, cayenne, cheese, and cilantro) in the bowl. Mix well. Add salt to taste.

Step 4

Divide the mixture into small cups and garnish each serving with a lime wedge, cheese, and chilli powder. Refrigerated leftovers last 4 days. 

Step 5

See Also

Baked Feta Dip with Cherry Tomatoes Recipe