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Esquites: Mexican Street Corn Salad

Preparation 00:10 Cook Time 00:15 Total Time 0:25
Serves 6     adjust servings

Esquites is the off-the-cob version of elotes, Mexican street corn that's grilled and then slathered with condiments including salt, mayo, cheese, chili powder and lime. It's so delicious and easy to customize to your taste by adding more or less of any of the ingredients.


  • 6 ears of corn
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (the American kind thats a spice blend)
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts sliced
  • Handful of cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 ounces cotija cheese (or substitute feta)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cobs. Reserve the cobs to make soup (recipe coming soon).

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron or other heavy skillet. When it shimmers, add the corn kernels and let sit for a few minutes to start browning. Stir and let sit again. Repeat this process until there is nice browning in lots of spots, 10 to 15 minutes total.

Add the minced garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes, until just warm. (Place in a bowl if you like to speed cooling.)

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, chili powder, and some salt and pepper. Stir into the corn. Add the scallions, cilantro, lime juice and cotija and toss. Taste for seasoning and add more of anything you like. Salud!


Recipe Notes

  • Adapted from The Kitchn and Serious Eats.
  • Links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and buy something I'll receive a small commission to help keep Umami Girl bringing you gestalt and pepper on the regular. Thank you for your support!
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