The world “elote” means “corn cob” in Spanish, and you can find Elote as a street food in Mexico. It is grilled corn on the cob slathered in a mayo sauce and garnished with chili powder, cheese and lime. To make it easier to eat, you can cut the corn off the cob (or make with frozen corn), eat it with a fork from a cup. When served in a cup, it is called Esquites or Elote En Vaso. For our purposes, let's keep it simple and just call it Mexican Street Corn!
Corn crops are one of most heavily genetically modified and treated crops in America so be sure to get your corn from a reputable source My preference is to find a local farmer who uses organic practices. You can also use frozen corn for this dish so again, be sure to buy organic.
How to prepare the corn
- If you are using fresh corn on the cob, shuck it, then cut it off the cob.
- Alternatively, you can shuck the corn without tearing off the husks, spread butter over the kernels, then rewrap the husks around it before grilling it. You can also use aluminum foil for similar results, but I don't like foil to be in direct contact with my food.
- You can also use frozen corn.
If you've grilled the corn, there's no need to cook it or caramelize the kernels in a skillet. But if you didn't, put a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and cook the corn for about ten minutes or till it is tender and turning golden with some darker caramelized bits. Add the garlic just at the end and cook it till it is fragrant.
After you've taken the corn off the heat, allow it to cool a little, then add the jalapenos, cilantro, and red onions.
Be sure to season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir it all together and you have yourself a beautiful Mexican Street Corn.
How to serve Mexican Street Corn
This corn is delicious with tortilla chips! For a party appetizer, I like to spoon it into tortilla chip scoops and garnish with a small cilantro leaf. How cute is that?!
But it's also just as delicious straight out of the bowl and eaten either with chips or simply with a spoon or fork! It's such a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish.
Mexican Street Corn
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 pounds whole kernel corn frozen or freshly cut off the cob
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 jalapenos seeded and finely chopped
- ½ cup red onion finely chopped
- ½ cup cotija cheese or queso fresco crumbled
- 6 Tablespoons fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 limes juiced
- salt and pepper to season
- If using whole ears of corn, you can cook them one of two ways. 1) Shuck them, and slather them with butter. Rewrap with the husks or in aluminum foil and grill them to get that charred taste reminiscent of authentic Mexican street corn. When they are done, cut the kernels off the cob and proceed.2) Shuck them, cut the kernels off, then cook them in a skillet with the butter for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized. Use this same method for frozen corn.
- When the corn is done, add the garlic and let it cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat and add the corn to a mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips or as a side dish. Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to five days.