Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Last week we were invited to a small gathering of drinks and Mexican food. My friend, who was hosting, was preparing a combination of beef and chicken tacos so I decided I wanted to try a new side dish called Esquites, a Mexican corn salad.

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

When I first looked at this delectable recipe, it contained so many ingredients that I love there was no way it wasn’t going to be delicious. There was garlic, lime, cilantro, cheese, and, of course, corn! Like the original post on Closet Cooking says, it really sounded like pure summer in a bowl.

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

It’s hard to believe that I’ve never come across this side dish before seeing as Mexican food is such a hit in my household. This salad was extremely flavorful with bright notes from the cilantro and the tart lime. It will make the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican fare (Cinco de Mayo is coming up!) or a new addition to the Summer barbecue menu.

Actually, who am I kidding? This dish is so good; I don’t need any excuse to make a batch and eat it all by myself!

Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking
Makes: about 6 cups, Difficulty: Beginner


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cups frozen corn, thawed under warm water
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons Cotija cheese, crumbled

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, stir and let it sit to cook and char about 5-8 minutes. Stir and let the corn char again for another 5-8 minutes. The corn should be getting brown in spots and taking on some nice charring. Add the jalapeno, saute for a minute and remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, add in the garlic, green onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Pour the cooked corn into the bowl. Add the mayonnaise and cheese and stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined. Sprinkle with additional cheese and cilantro if desired. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

  • Note: For a creamier salad, try adding one diced avocado!


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