This Mexican Street Corn is no ordinary corn on the cob. This addictive side dish or snack is chargrilled till tender, then smothered in a spicy and creamy sauce mixture. Hot off the grill, add a generous topping of chopped cilantro and cotija cheese!
If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, I don’t know what will! Thrill your taste buds with this simple and delicious side dish!
Enjoy your Mexican corn as a snack or a side dish to something like a bowl of Green Chicken Chili, Mexican rice, grilled chicken, or any other Mexican food when you get family and friends around for a backyard barbeque. You can also easily double this recipe when feeding a crowd.
Table of contents
What is Mexican Street Corn?
Mexican Street Corn or “elote” (which is short for “elotituti”, directly translated from Spanish to mean “tender cob”), has roots in early Latin American culture. It was used as a term to describe the readiness of a crop for transportation and bartering in Mexico and Central America.
As maize cultivation spread to North America, so too did the popularity of the hand-held Mexican Street Corn snack which has now become somewhat of a mobile food delicacy!
While some mobile street vendors insert wooden sticks into the cob for ease of eating, you should still definitely be prepared to get messy when enjoying this snack with its generous coating of creamy mayo sauce, chopped cilantro, and cheese…. It’s totally worth it, though!
Variations and Substitutions
- If you don’t have Mexican crema, a good alternative is sour cream, although it’s slightly thicker than Crema.
- Not everyone is familiar with Cotija cheese. If it’s not available, make use of feta cheese or sprinkle some grated cheese over your corn such as parmesan.
- Make this Mexican Street Corn vegan by using vegan mayonnaise, a nut-based Crema, and vegan crumbled cheese.
This Elote recipe is a great side option for your next backyard BBQ or any other Mexican-inspired main dish, especially when feeding a crowd. Here are some tasty ideas to pair your Mexican street corn with:
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
The Best Green Chicken Chili Recipe
Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl
If you have any leftover corn, you can easily store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days to be reheated and added to other dishes in the following days. You can then reheat your leftover corn using these two methods:
1. Reheat in the microwave, covered, for 20 seconds straight followed by 10-second intervals until warm;
2. Reheat in the oven (covered with aluminum foil) at 350℉ for about 6 minutes.
You could also opt to scrape off the corn and use that as an ingredient in other recipes such as tacos, quesadillas, salsa or even to make a Mexican street corn salad!
Yes, you can! While I love any excuse to get outdoors and make use of my charcoal grill for recipes such as this Mexican street corn, you could quite easily make these in an air fryer. You obviously won’t get that chargrilled look to your corn when cooking in the air fryer but if you aren’t concerned about that, then follow these steps:
1. First, make sure that your air fryer is preheated to 400℉, and then prepare your corn as you would in step 2 of my recipe directions.
2. Place the corn in the air fryer basket to cook for 10 minutes, turning your corn over every few minutes to ensure an even cook on all sides.
3. While the corn is cooking in the air fryer, prepare your sauce as directed in step 4 of my recipe.
4. When the corn is done cooking, remove it from the air fryer and apply the sauce mixture over the corn on all sides. Then continue with step 6 by sprinkling the chopped cilantro and cotija cheese.
And that’s it! Simple and quick.
Tips For Making Mexican Street Corn
- This recipe makes enough sauce to cover up to 12 ears of corn. It is served as a side dish. I don’t recommend decreasing the amount of sauce as this will make it tricky to measure the spices.
- You can make the sauce the day before to store in the refrigerator as a way to reduce overall recipe time when making your Mexican Street Corn.
- Select high-quality corn from local farmer’s markets and fresh produce stores. It will definitely elevate the taste of this dish!
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
Mexican Street Corn
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ears fresh sweet white corn
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- ⅓ cup Crema Mexicana
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 oz. Cotija cheese crumbled
- Heat charcoal grill to 400°F.
- Remove husks from corn cobs. Drizzle olive oil over the corn cobs and use your fingers or a pastry brush to rub the oil over the corn.
- Grill corn on the preheated grill, turning every 3 minutes, until corn is cooked on all sides and beginning to char (about 20 minutes total).
- Meanwhile, whisk together lime juice, zest, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, crema, and mayonnaise.
- Brush sauce mixture generously over the grilled corn on all sides.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and cotija cheese. Serve immediately.