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Mexican Corn (Esquites)

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: saute or gill
  • Cuisine: mexican
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Mexican Street Corn (Esquites) made with fresh corn, jalapenos, cilantro, lime, and optional cotija cheese. Make it creamy serve as a warm side or dip.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup red onions, diced
  • 12 tablespoons jalapeno, finely diced
  • 24 garlic cloves- roughly chopped
  • 3 1/24 cups corn kernels (16 ounces, frozen or 4 fresh ears of corn)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or sub-smoked paprika or chili powder for milder flavor) Note: 1/4 teaspoon is quite spicy.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt,
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 34 tablespoons water or veggie stock
  • 1 small lime- zest, and juice if needed.
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1/4 cup Mayo or vegan mayo (see notes), more to taste.
  • 1/41/2 cup cotija, crumbled (optional, sub-grated insalata ricotta, parmesan or pecorino)


  1. Heat oil in an extra-large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and saute until golden about 3 minutes, stirring often. Lower heat to medium-low, add garlic and jalapeno, cook until fragrant, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add fresh corn, spices, salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add a splash of water stir, cover and steam for  3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the lime zest. Fold in 2/3rds of the cilantro and scallions. Stir in the mayo. Taste. Adjust the salt,  and lime to taste (feel free to squeeze lime if needed; I find the zest to be enough).
  5. Serve in a bowl,  sprinkle with remaining cilantro, scallions and optional cotija serve with tortilla chips. Serve at warm or at room temp.


  1. Creamy DIP: If you want it extra creamy, stir in a couple tablespoons of sour cream/ and or butter. Butter is traditional. It’s ridiculously good with a bit of butter. Best eaten warm!
  2. Grill! You can also grill fresh corn whole (shucked) directly on the grate, letting it a little charred in places. Let it cool, then slice the grilled kernels off the cob and add to the sautéed shallot-garlic-chili mixture in the skillet. Proceed with the recipe form there.
  3. To make this vegan, use vegan mayo, vegan sour cream or vegan butter. 🙂


  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 114
  • Sugar: 2.7 g
  • Sodium: 125.4 mg
  • Fat: 9.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.2 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 2.9 mg

Keywords: Mexican Corn, corn dip, mexican corn dip, creamy corn dip, Mexican corn recipe, Mexican corn salad recipe, Mexican street corn salad, Esquites, Esquites recipe