Esquites (Mexican street corn salad)

Mexico is a country that I may never visit, but I sure do enjoy Mexican food. Esquites is one of our favourite side dishes to serve on Taco Tuesdays. It is a popular recipe of grilled corn, mixed with creamy, cheesy, lime-scented, chilli-flecked sauce. Sounds delicious, right? It’s perfect as summer approaches and fresh corn comes into season.


Adapted from Serious Eats.

Servings: 4 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Ready time: 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 ounces Cotija cheese, finely crumbled
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced scallions, green parts only
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeรฑo pepper, seeded and stemmed, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced on a Microplane grater (about 1 to 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lime
  • Chilli powder or hot chilli flakes, to taste


1) Remove husks from corn and apply a light layer of vegetable oil over the kernels. Heat barbecue to 350 F and grill for about 10 minutes, until there is light char on the kernels.

2) Remove corn from grill. Slice kernels off the cob and place in large bowl.

3) Add mayonnaise, cheese, scallions, cilantro, jalapeรฑo, garlic, lime juice, and chilli powder. Toss to combine.

4) Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and more chilli powder to taste. Serve immediately.

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿณ Cook notes

We used our trusty Kamado Joe barbecue to grill up the corn, but an alternative technique is to toss the corn kernels in a skillet or wok, as per the original recipe.

Cotija cheese can be substituted with feta, although Cotija makes it more authentic and has the classic salty taste.

Enjoy the esquites alone or with tacos ๐ŸŒฎ