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Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)
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If you like Mexican corn on the cob, elote, then you are going to love esquites which is essentially elote but served in a bowl, only better! This year I have been enjoying using my cast iron skillet to 'roast' corn until the kernels char and caramelize which intensifies their sweetness making them even more irresistible! When I came across the idea of esquites where the corn is roasted in this way I immediately knew that it would be amazing! This salad has it all with the sweet caramelized corn, the salty cheese, the sour lime juice and the jalapeno heat and it is all held together with garlicky mayonnaise!

Update: If you like esquites, then you will love it with the addition of creamy avocado!

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad) with Avocado

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

A tasty Mexican street corn salad with an amazing blend of sweet corn, salty cheese, sour lime juice and a hint of spicy chili powder; pure summer in a bowl.


(Adapted from Serious Eats)

Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups corn (about 4 ears), cut from the cob
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 glove garlic, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 2 tablespoons cotija (or feta), crumbled
  • chili powder to taste
Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the corn, toss and let it sit cooking until charred, mix it up and let it char again, about 6-10 minutes.
  3. Add the jalapeno, saute for a minute and remove from heat.
  4. Mix everything and serve warm or at room temperature.

Option: Adding one diced avocado is so amazing!

Similar Recipes:
Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote)
Corn and Cotija Guacamole (aka Esquites Guacamole)
Hot Cheesy Corn Dip
Fresh Pea Salad
Esquites Quinoa Salad with Avocado
Creamed Corn with Roasted Red Peppers and Bacon

47 comments:

Teresa Ambra said...

I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. If you are interested in participating you can access the rules at this link: http://cantstayoutofthekitchen.com/2012/08/04/versatile-blogger-award/

Amanda said...

Love the sound of this Kevin! I am always using my cast iron skillet and roasting corn in it sounds like a fabulous idea.

Patricia Needham said...

This looks so Yummy thanks.

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie said...

I love mexican corn on the cob, so this corn salad sounds great!

Karen Dodds said...

This sounds delicious and will bring sunshine to my plate since it is so elusive in Scottish skies of late. Just to check,green onions are what we would call spring onions in the UK?

Kevin said...

Karen Dodds: Yes green onions are the same as spring onions.

Joanne said...

As much as I hate mayo most of the time, I love it on elote. This corn salad sounds so delicious!

theash13ss said...

I have to run to buy some mayo, be right back :)

Lauren @ Part Time House Wife said...

This sounds amazing. I just bought corn last night... I might switch it up and make this instead of leavin it on the COB!

Sue said...

Would it lose too much without the jalapeno? I can do the chili powder but I don't do heat well overall so don't eat them. I love corn though so this looks great.

Nicole said...

This looks amazing, Kevin!

Beth said...

Thanks for such a great recipe, Kevin! As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it...so glad that I did, it was amazing! We loved it...I added some red bell pepper along with the jalapeno, also added avocado at the end, as avocado makes everything better =) Thanks again!

Diane B. said...

I tend to make mine a little simpler (and often!)
I saute the cut-off kernels in a bit of corn oil till beginning to brown a bit, then add lime juice, cayenne powder, and sour cream near end to warm through. Finish with a bit of crumbled cotija cheese (I keep it in the freezer).
Just cannot get enough of that flavor combination!

I've heard esquites can be eaten cold but mine never makes it long enough to find out.

Kim and Julie (Sunflower Supper Club) said...

I love fresh summer corn and your recipe sounds so fresh and delicious! I could spend hours on your blog. Another fantastic recipe. Have a terrific week!
~Kim

jenbeans said...

Hiya fellow Torontonian! Jalapeno and cilantro together are match made in heaaven - thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I make something similar, but yours sounds way better! I just make corn on the cob (boiled)and cut off the kernels. Then I mix in mayo, chili powder, a dash of hot salt, mozerella cheese (or whatever is on hand)and heat it for a bit in the microwave to melt the cheese & bring the flavors together. I finish it with a squirt or two of lime juice and it is SO good. Ultimate comfort food!

Kevin said...

Beth: Glad you enjoyed it! I was already thinking that avocados would be great in it and red peppers would also be good!

Kathleen Richardson said...

Sweet corn, cheese, lime juice, chili powder AND cilantro. Definitely a winner, Kevin!

Keep writing...

Helen (ThursdayNightDinner.org) said...

This picture alone is making my mouth water! Sweet corn is at its prime right now in Indiana, and I for one am trying to make use for it wherever I can. This goes to the top of the list!

Michele Tappan said...

I am definitely going to try that it seems delicious and right now in SC we do have a lot of corn.

Anonymous said...

I used frozen corn instead of fresh and sliced avocados over the top, my co-workers raved over it! I always love your recipes and how easy they are to replicate. Thanks again for helping me keep the hungry hordes happy, Steph.

vanillasugarblog said...

we've had such a humid heatwave that sadly I haven't been baking at all.
I think you made a corn relish once didn't you?
The one from Trader Joe's is fairly decent too

Ashli McCune said...

I made this tonight and I really enjoyed it! My only suggestion would be to measure the corn by the cup, and not by the ear. I used 5 years, but they were kind of small, and I felt like there was a little too much lime and not quite enough corn. I love your recipes though! Keep them coming!

Kathy Mercure said...

Kevin, your recipe isn't clear to me whether I should roast the corn - on the cob - in the skillet, or take the kernels off first?

I plan to make this salad for a potluck tomorrow night!

Kathy Mercure said...

Oops, sorry, I didn't see that you take the corn off the cob!

Brittany said...

Could I substitute Mexican crema for the mayo?

Kevin said...

Brittany: Mexican crema would work as a substitute for the mayo.

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely amazing!!! Trader Joes sells an already roasted frozen corn that tastes REALLY good... This looks like something I could make year round if I used the frozen. I will try it with fresh though while it's still in season.

B. Anderson said...

I had high hopes for this, recipe, but if you follow it as the directions state, you wind up with wilty cilanto and green onion and melted, not crumbled cheese. Also, the avocado is not listed in the ingredients.

What I will do next time: cook the corn and wait to completely cool, or put in the fridge. Then I would add the cilantro, green onion, greek yogurt (better summer flavor and less heavy than mayo) and crumbled cheese when it is all cooled off so the flavors blend, not slop together in a gooey mess.

Kevin Lynch said...

B. Anderson: Yes, cilantro does wilt when you place it in any warm dish which is why it is generally added at the end after being removed from the heat which minimized the amount of wilting. I have never seen green onions wilt before... That partially melted cheese is one of the best parts of this salad!

This salad would also be good cold or at room temperature!

Jaclyn said...

This looks amazingly good!

Leah Joy said...

How far ahead in advance could you prepare this? Does the corn get soggy?

Kevin Lynch said...

Leah Joy: This corn salad is good both fresh and warm and cool from the fridge where it will last a day or more.

Unknown said...

This salad is delicious. I made it the night before and then let it come to room temp. before serving. Everyone loved it. And, leftovers were great the following day.

Anonymous said...


The recipe looks good.

As a Mexican, if I didn't have cotija, I would use parmesan. Feta has a bit more acidity than I'm used to but its a good!

;)

Leah Joy said...

Thank you SO much for this recipe! I served it cold, like a pasta salad and it was delicious. (I ate some warm when I first finished it and it was superb as well) I used frozen, organic corn from Costco. I let it thaw on the counter for a good hour and then charred it. It took a bit of patience but the end result was quite nice! I too added red bell pepper. I went heavy on the cilantro as I feel I can never have too much of that. Some of my guests at it like a salsa on a tortilla chip. Yum!

Kevin Lynch said...

Leah Joy: I am glad that you liked it! Eating it with corn tortilla chips is always fun!

cquek said...

now I am craving

Anonymous said...

I made this for a party last night, along with a salad with your Jalapeno Buttermilk Dressing. Both recipes came out so well and garnered many compliments -- I will definitely continue to make your recipes.

Anonymous said...

I made this dish on Saturday for a potluck on Sunday. It was delicious and I cannot wait to make it again! I didn't have feta, so used Parmesan, which was fine, but I will use feta the next time. I just let it get to room temp before serving. Several people asked for the recipe!

Doug said...

Is that a bit of avocado I see in the photo? I don't see it listed in your writeup.

Kevin Lynch said...

Doug: Yes the second photo shows the version where I add a diced avocado. It goes so well in esquites!

Amanda said...

This sounds so great Kevin! I shared it on my FB page :) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151837658738070&set=a.174654903069.124188.163690253069&type=1

Mammaw Naner said...

If JalapeƱos are too hot, you can Tame the Heat by removing all the seeds and deveining them. The soak them in milk for about 5 minutes. You have the Flavor without the Heat!!

Sandi M said...

Kevin, I've made this twice now with a fresh corn called Amaizing from the local produce stand. The Esquites was Amaizingly good! It is hands down my new favorite non-lettuce/greens side dish or salad. It's fantastic!

The Petite Gourmet said...

This was amaaaaazing! I've been snacking on the leftovers all week! I found that it took almost twice as long for me to char the corn on the stove - I like mine pretty dark - but it wasn't a big deal. I bet this would also be great with grilled corn. Yum!

Kevin Lynch said...

The Petite Gourmet: I'm glad you enjoyed it! Grilled corn would also be great!

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