Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

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Get ready to experience a culinary journey to Mexico as you whip up this delightful Esquites recipe, a vibrant and flavorful street corn salad that’s guaranteed to awaken your taste buds!

Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Okay, salad lovers, brace yourselves, you’re about to meet your new obsession: Esquites, otherwise known as Mexican Street Corn Salad. This fab side is a full-blown flavor party — sweet corn sautéed with smoky paprika, then mixed up with crumbly cotija cheese, spring onions, fresh cilantro, zingy lime juice, and silky mayo. A quick sprinkle of salt and pepper and you’ll be transported to Mexico in no time.

I first tasted this amazing salad when my friend Maria, who’s from Mexico City, first whipped up Esquites for me when I was over for dinner. With the first bite, I swear I could almost hear the sounds of Mexico’s lively streets and smell the enticing local food wafting on the breeze. Now? I cannot even imagine a dinner party or potluck without this corn bombshell — and I get rave reviews every time.

If you’re all about fusion of flavors like in a Greek Salad or a Caprese, then you’ll absolutely love this one. There’s nothing like a good mix of sweet, zingy, cheesy, and salty, and this Esquites recipe has all of those. Get out your mixing bowls and let’s get started!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • The flavor fusion in this dish just can’t be beat — your taste buds will thank you.
  • This dish is not just food, it’s an experience – a trip to the authentic Mexican street food scene!
  • You can have Esquites as a sidekick to your main dish or let it shine solo. Talk about a jack of all trades!
  • The ingredients are easy to find and it’s incredibly easy to make.

Ingredients

If you’re not familiar with cotija cheese, fear not. You can find it in the cheese section of most grocery stores.

  • 4 cups corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ cup spring onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

How to Make Esquites – The Steps

Step 1: Heat a pan on HIGH, add the olive oil and the corn kernels, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper, and sauté for 8-10 minutes until cooked.

Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Step 2: In your serving bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, cotija, spring onions, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Step 3: Add the corn to the bowl and toss together to serve.

Top Tips For a Perfect Esquites Recipe //

  • While you can use canned corn in a pinch, fresh corn off the cob will provide the best taste and texture.
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika are vital for bringing out the best flavors in your Esquites. Adjust to taste, but don’t be shy! If you don’t have smoked paprika, you can use regular.
  • Let your corn kernels get a little charred in the pan. This step adds an extra layer of smokiness that really makes the salad pop.
  • Use fresh cilantro and spring onions for that bright taste that distinguishes a great Esquites from a good one.
  • The mayonnaise and crumbled cotija add a richness to the Esquites, but the dish should not be overly creamy. Balance it out with the tanginess of lime juice.
Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

FAQs

Can I use frozen or canned corn instead of fresh corn?

Yes, you can, but of course, fresh will have the best flavor.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yep, this salad works really well prepped the day before or a few hours before you want to serve it. Letting it sit for a bit also allows the flavors to mesh together beautifully.

Can I use a different type of onion if I don’t have spring onions?

Of course! This recipe is perfect for experimenting with. I recommend trying finely diced red onion.

What’s cotija, and can I switch it up with other cheese?

Cotija is a Mexican cheese that’s hard and crumbly with a touch of saltiness. Can’t find it? No problem! You can swap it out with feta or Parmesan.

What would go well with Esquites?

Go all out on the Mexican theme! I’m talking tacos, enchiladas, or even some tasty grilled chicken.

Can I make my Esquites spicy?

If you’re all for the heat, go for it! Chopped jalapeno or a sprinkle of chili powder will spice it up in true Mexican fashion.

Any fun twists I can try out with this recipe?

The fun part about cooking is experimenting. Maybe throw some diced avocado for a creamy touch, or cherry tomatoes for color (and Insta-worthy pics), or mix in some black beans for a protein punch.

Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Serving Suggestions

Esquites makes a delightful side for your grilled meats or any Mexican-inspired meal like tacos or enchiladas. You can also enjoy it as a standalone salad paired with a hearty bread for a light and flavorful lunch. Serve it with a sprig of fresh cilantro or a wedge of lime on the side for that dramatic presentation. And for dessert, why not try my Mexican Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone Frosting!

How to Store Esquites

You can whip up Esquites days before your Taco Tuesday shindig, and you’ll get even more intense flavors. Got leftovers? No worries! Pop them into an airtight container and they’ll keep for about 3 days. When you’re ready for round 2, just give it a stir and it’s good to go. You can even heat it up if you’re in the mood for something warm; just nuke it in a microwave-safe dish for about a minute and enjoy!

Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)
Esquites shot from above

Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Baked Bree
Get ready to experience a culinary journey to Mexico as you whip up this delightful Esquites recipe, a vibrant and flavorful street corn salad that's guaranteed to awaken your taste buds!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled cortija
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ cup spring onions sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced

Instructions
 

  • Heat a pan over high heat, add the olive oil and the corn kernels, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper, and saute for 8-10 minutes until they are cooked.
  • In the bowl, you would like to serve in a mix of the mayonnaise, cotija, spring onions, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt and pepper together. 
  • Add the corn to the bowl and toss together to serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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