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Warm Mexican Corn Salad

    Recipes By Diet

    Warm Mexican Corn Salad

    Recipes By Diet

    Recipes By Diet


    Esquites (Warm Mexican Corn Salad) (Warm Mexican Corn Salad)

    Mexican corn salad esquites is sweet and delicious. Peak-season fresh corn is best, but frozen works too!

    Esquites will always remind me of childhood walks to downtown San Luis Potosi’s main square to watch the street sellers. I was most pleased to see a man on a bike wheeling a cart with a huge pot of hot esquites.

    Mexican elote en vaso, or equites, is a particular corn dish. White Mexican corn kernels are gently sautéed in butter and simmered with chiles and epazote leaves. Corn may be served with a variety of toppings when it loses its delicious scent.

    Esquites are usually served hot in plastic or Styrofoam cups with part of the cooking liquid, topped with mayo, crema, ground chiles, lime juice, queso cotija, and spicy salsa. Spicy, creamy, tangy, and sweet—a it’s tongue party.

    Esquites are a starter or snack at home. I like to give my visitors warm buttery corn with the toppings on the side so they may customize it. Tacos for a Mexican dinner party follow.

    Best Esquites Corn

    White corn elotes—the best maize for esquites—is simple to get in Mexico. Corn is elotes. U.S. sweet corn is sweeter. For non-Mexicans, I suggest:

    Fresh sweet corn: Summer corn is best for this dish.

    When corn is out of season, uncooked frozen corn is a wonderful substitute. Use after defrosting.

    Last resort: canned corn. Warm it with butter and salt—already it’s cooked.

    Cotija Cheese?

    Cotija is Michoacan cheese. Cow’s milk cheese is matured for 100 days. It adds saltiness to snacks, tostadas, beans, tacos, and salads. Use queso fresco, feta, or Parmesan instead of cotija.

    Ingredient Swaps

    Missing Mexican crema? Try sour cream or crème fraîche.

    I use ground ancho, guajillo, piquín, or tajin chilies.
    Cotija with queso fresco: grated or crumbled.
    Plan Ahead
    Save time? Cook corn without toppings the day before serving. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat it before serving. Add toppings!

    Esquites (Warm Mexican Corn Salad) (Warm Mexican Corn Salad)


    10 mins
    30 mins
    40 minutes
    Serves 4–6
    7-cup yield Ingredients
    Shucked sweet corn, 6 ears
    4-tablespoon (56g) salty butter
    2-clove garlic
    bay leaf
    1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus taste
    2-cup water
    1/2-cup mayonnaise
    1/4 cup ground ancho chiles (Tajin), split
    4 limes, 7 oz (about 200g) grated queso fresco/cotija cheese
    1-cup chopped cilantro leaves and delicate stems
    3/4 cup (approximately 200g) (about 200g) Mexican crema
    Taste Cholula spicy sauce.

    Corn prep:

    Place a shucked corn ear upright in a big basin. Shave the corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife, moving toward the bowl. Remove kernels from all corn ears. Keep only two cobs. As corn boils, add it.

    Cook corn:

    Medium-heat a big pot. Melt butter. Stir corn, reserved cobs, garlic, bay leaf, and salt for 5 minutes. Boil 2 cups water. Cover the saucepan and lower the heat. Boil corn for 25 minutes until done.

    Season esquites:

    Unplug the saucepan. Remove garlic, bay leaf, and cobs. Mix in mayo, 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile, 2 limes, half the queso fresco, and cilantro. Add salt to taste.

    Serve esquites:

    Serve corn with cooking liquid in bowls. I put the toppings (crema, ground chile, limes, queso fresco, and spicy sauce) on the side so everyone may customize. I add crema, queso fresco, ground chile, lime, and spicy sauce to mine. Refrigerate leftovers for 3 days. Reheat it over medium heat for 5–6 minutes. Reheat it in the microwave for 1 minute.

    Freeze leftovers for a month. Defrost overnight before reheating.

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