This Mexican Street Corn Salad, also known as Esquites, is smoky, spicy, tangy and incredibly delicious. If you love the Mexican corn on the cob then you will love this version.
Mexican Street Corn Salad – Esquites!
Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! I just love to celebrate this holiday because I think in another life I was born Mexican since I really, really, really love Mexican food! It’s my favorite, in fact. I would be happy cooking Mexican food every single day, not only cook it but eat it as well. For this Cinco de Mayo though, I have a wonderful Mexican street corn salad to share with you, which is known as Esquites or vasito de elotes which literally means little corn-cup.
What is Esquites?
Esquites is usually made with corn sautéed in butter with onions, chilies, and salt, then served in a cup and topped with various combinations of lime juice, chili powder, hot sauce, salt, mayo, etc.
My version here is similar but a bit different. I like to add a few extra ingredients to my corn salad because I like to serve and eat this as a meal rather than a side, which it could totally be.
Ingredients You Need For Mexican Street Corn Salad
There are a few extra veggies I added to this salad and lots of feta or cotija cheese. I pretty much always end up adding feta cheese because I have a hard time finding cotija cheese. Here’s what you’ll need, don’t forget to scroll down for the complete printable recipe:
- Corn – you’ll need about 5 ears of corn. I prefer making this salad with fresh corn cut from the cob, but you can use canned or frozen corn as well.
- Olive oil – a little bit of olive oil to cook the corn in.
- Veggies – such as bell peppers, red onion, green onions and a jalapeno pepper.
- Cilantro – lots of fresh cilantro for this recipe. If you don’t like cilantro use parsley, but give it a try, the cilantro really adds a nice fresh flavor to this salad.
- Cotija cheese – which is basically a Mexican version of feta, a bit less salty. I love both, so I don’t mind adding either cheese.
- Avocado – This will give a nice creaminess to our salad.
- Lime Juice – Avoid the bottled stuff, fresh lime juice is a must for any and all Mexican food.
- Spices – ground cumin, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt. Trust me these spices take the dish that extra mile flavor wise.
- Sour cream – We need a bit of tang, some nice acidity to carry through the dish.
- Mayonnaise – This is what Mexican street corn is typically rolled in to help all the spices sticks, the mayo in this recipe has a similar function.
How To Make Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Prepare the corn – Cut the corn off the cob, for this street corn salad recipe I used 5 ears to get 4 cups of corn. If using frozen there’s no need to thaw the corn before hand! Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat and char your corn stirring occasionally, fresh and canned corn usually takes 3-5 minutes while frozen may take a bit longer. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
- Prepare your Mexican street corn salad – Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir thoroughly. Add salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste. Garnish with additional cheese and cilantro and serve!
Tips For The Best Mexican Street Corn
- I did use fresh corn but traditionally mature corn is used, which is first boiled in salted water then sautéed in butter.
- Firing up your grill and grilling your corn (still on the cob if on the BBQ, remove the kernels after) is a nice way to add some different dimensions to the dish.
- Want a way to bulk this dish up a bit? Try my Mini Mexican Street Corn Tacos!
- If you’re looking for the coleslaw version of this recipe, check out my new recipe for Mexican Street Corn Slaw!
Storing Mexican Street Corn Salad
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days, I don’t recommend freezing this dish.
Want More Mexican Dishes? Try These:
- Tres Leches Cake
- Taco Lasagna
- Crockpot Pork Carnitas
- Beef Tamale Casserole
- Mini Mexican Street Corn Tacos
- 3 Ingredient Mexican Rice
- Mexican Chicken And Rice Salad
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Mexican Street Corn Salad
- 4 cups corn (about 5 ears), cut from the cob
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 6 green onions chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced
- 1/2 avocado chopped
- 4 tbsp lime juice (from about 2 limes)
- 1/2 tsp cumin ground
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sour cream (or yogurt)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup cotija cheese (or feta), crumbled
- Cut the corn off the cob. I used 5 ears to get about 4 cups. You can also use canned corn or frozen corn. If using frozen, no need to thaw it out.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the corn and stir it around. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the corn starts to char, which is why we're using high heat. If using frozen corn, you will need a couple minutes extra to get the right charred bits.
- Transfer the corn to a large bowl and let it cool for a couple minutes.
- To the same bowl, add the remaining ingredients. Stir everything together until well combined. Adjust lime juice and salt and pepper as necessary.
- To serve garnish with additional cheese and cilantro, if preferred.