Satisfy Your Cravings with Mouthwatering Mexican Street Corn on the Cob

Mexican street corn on the cob, also known as elote, is a popular street food that will make your tastebuds dance. This delicious grilled corn is slathered in a creamy, spicy sauce and sprinkled with cheese. It’s an explosion of sweet corn flavor complemented by tangy, creamy, and spicy notes in each bite.

If you want to recreate the irresistible flavors of authentic Mexican street corn at home, this guide will walk you through each step. Read on to learn tips for grilling corn, making the sauce, adding toppings, and customizing this treat. With some fresh corn, simple ingredients, and a little preparation, you can enjoy restaurant-quality elote in your own kitchen.

Grilling the Corn for Maximum Flavor

Grilling the corn is essential for getting that delicious, smoky char flavor. Here are some tips:

Choose the Best Corn for Grilling

  • Fresh corn – sweetest when very fresh. Remove husks and silks.
  • Frozen corn – retains sweetness if frozen quickly after picking. Thaw before grilling.
  • Pre-cooked vacuum-packed corn – convenient but less sweet. Use for weeknight dinners.

Grill It Perfectly

  • Grill over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Kernels should release steam when pierced.
  • Rotate frequently to prevent burning. Soak husks before grilling for protection.
  • Lightly char kernels by placing corn directly on grill for last 1-2 minutes.

Flavor It Up

  • Brush with oil – enhances flavor and moisture.
  • Season with salt, pepper, spices – add flavor to kernels.
  • Spread with compound butter – try chili-lime or Mexican blend.

Making the Signature Sauce

The sauce is what really makes Mexican street corn special. Here’s how to recreate that creamy, slightly spicy flavor:

Choose a Base

  • Mayonnaise – creamy texture and tangy flavor.
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema – rich and cooling.
  • Greek yogurt – tangy and better for you.

Spice It Up

  • Chili powder – smoky, spicy.
  • Cayenne – brings the heat.
  • Cumin – warm, earthy.
  • Paprika – mild chili flavor.

Amp Up the Flavor

  • Lime juice – bright, tangy citrus.
  • Cilantro – fresh herbal notes.
  • Garlic – savory aroma and flavor.
  • Hot sauce – choose your heat level.

Bring It Together

Mix your base and flavorings until fully blended. Adjust until you get the perfect combo of creamy, spicy, and tangy flavors.

Toppings Take It Over the Top

No Mexican street corn is complete without its flavor-packed toppings.

Sprinkle on Cheese

  • Cotija – salty, crumbly, authentic.
  • Feta – tangy, briny.
  • Parmesan – nutty, savory.
  • Queso fresco – milky, mild.

Add Crunch

  • Chili pepper flakes– mild heat, texture.
  • Crushed tortilla chips – crunchy corn flavor.
  • Toasted pepitas – nutty pumpkin seeds.

Fresh Herbs & More

  • Cilantro – fresh, citrusy.
  • Lime juice – bright acidity.
  • Chili powder or Tajín – smoky spice.
  • Cayenne – fiery heat (use sparingly).

Customize It Your Way

One of the great things about Mexican street corn is how customizable it is. Get creative with these options:

  • Use Mexican street corn seasoning for fast flavor.
  • Play with different cheese blends like Oaxaca and Monterey Jack.
  • Add minced garlic or hot sauce to the sauce.
  • Top with avocado, tomatoes, or scallions.
  • Swap in poblano or ancho chili powder for flavor variations.
  • Make it vegetarian by using roasted zucchini or peppers instead of corn.

No matter how you customize it, Mexican street corn always makes for a festive, crowd-pleasing recipe.

Tips for Serving Your Mexican Street Corn

Once your elote is perfectly grilled, sauced, and topped, follow these tips for serving it:

  • Serve immediately after preparation for the best texture.
  • If grilling in batches, keep corn warm in a low oven until ready to serve.
  • Put all sauces and toppings on the side for build-your-own style.
  • Have lime wedges, napkins, wet wipes available for sticky fingers.
  • Use stands or trays to hold corn upright for easy eating.
  • Set up an elote bar with different toppings so guests can customize.

With fresh corn, zesty flavors, and crispy toppings, Mexican street corn delivers an irresistible taste of summer in each bite. Let these tips guide you to elote success, then dig in and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions About Mexican Street Corn

Mexican street corn is growing in popularity, which means more people have questions about making and enjoying this treat. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is elote traditionally served on or off the cob?

Authentic Mexican street corn is served speared on a stick, with kernels still on the cob for eating.

What is the white sauce made of?

The traditional creamy sauce is a mixture of mayonnaise, Mexican crema or sour cream, chili powder, and lime juice.

Do you need to grill it or can you cook corn on the stovetop?

You can boil or grill corn to prepare it for elote. Grilling adds delicious charred flavor.[3]

How long does it take to cook corn on the grill?

Grill corn over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, rotating occasionally, until kernels are tender when pierced.

Can you make Mexican street corn without mayo?

Yes, you can substitute sour cream, crema, or Greek yogurt for the mayo to cut calories but retain creaminess.

How long does assembled elote last leftovers?

It’s best to eat elote immediately after preparation. Leftovers should be refrigerated and consumed within 2 days.

What protein goes well with Mexican street corn?

Consider seasoning chicken, shrimp, skirt steak, or fish with Mexican spices to pair perfectly with elote.

Bring the Flavors of Mexico to Your Table

When summer produce is at its peak, Mexican street corn is a fun way to enjoy sweet corn and put a flavorful spin on this seasonal ingredient. The combination of a charred, juicy cob slathered in spicy, creamy sauce and toppings is simply incredible.

This guide breaks down each step so you can recreate authentic, restaurant-quality elote at home. From grilling methods to building the creamy sauce and topping with cotija cheese and chili powder, every detail is designed to highlight the flavors of fresh corn. Customize it to your taste and serve this sensational street food at your next warm weather gathering.

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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