Esquites: Warm, tangy, sweet, spicy Mexican-inspired corn salad is a Mexican street snack usually sold in a cup. Holy moly it’s good!
My family is raving about this recipe for ESQUITES, a warm, tangy, sweet, spicy Mexican-inspired corn salad we had with dinner the other night! Both husband and son asked if I would make it again the next day, and again today. They demand it on repeat.
One of the joys of spring-summer is fresh corn, and in Southern California, we often indulge in Mexican street corn. You can find it grilled on the cob (called Elote), or when it is removed from the cob it is Esquites (or troles or trolelotes, or vasito de elotes, depending on what part of Mexico you are in).
Any way you say it, the creamy, tangy, spicy mix-ins are key — salty cheese, mayo, lime juice, chili powder…it all combines in a sum far greater than the parts. This adaptation of Elote toasts the corn kernels in a hot skillet, and mixes it with some grated cotija cheese (or substitute with feta), tangy lime juice and a little mayonnaise for creaminess. Don’t forget the jalapeno and cilantro, too!
I was inspired by OXO’s new Corn Prep Peeler , which makes quick work of removing the kernels from the cob with a specially designed serrated blade. This thing is the bomb dot com! You grab the ear in one hand, the peeler in the other, and draw the peeler down the ear of corn to remove a strip of kernels. See the short video ⇓
It works on either raw or cooked corn cobs, so suit yourself! For this recipe, shuck the corn, pick off the silk, and zip this peeler down the cob. The kernels pop right off onto your cutting board! Pro tip: corn kernels skitter, so it’s good to do this over a wide bowl, so you don’t have to clean up the floor. Ask me how I know that.
Get that peeler  and make this Esquites corn salad, which should take you through the summer nicely, from graduation and swim parties to picnics and potlucks. Everyone will ask for the recipe (trust me), so bookmark this page and you’ll be all set to share it once the requests come in.
How to make Esquites Mexican Corn Salad
Assemble all your ingredients. You’ll need 4 ears of fresh corn, a couple of limes, some mayo, cotija cheese, cilantro, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, garlic, scallion and hot sauce (if you like).
You’re going to toast/char the corn in a skillet on the stove, like above. I’m showing off the Tuxton Concentrix 2-Piece Nonstick Frypan Set to make this skillet recipe easy. Isn’t this blush pink color fabulous? I think pans can and should be both useful AND beautiful!
The set comes with 8-inch and 11-inch frypans that have a core of aluminum for even heat, a stainless steel body and a ceramic coating for the smoothest, slipperiest nonstick finish I’ve cooked with. In fact, it is so slick I have done a fried egg in the small skillet with no added fat whatsoever! It comes in a bunch of cool colors in addition to the blush pink  — cayenne red , cobalt blue , saffron yellow , cilantro green , and of course black.
Who needs this frypan set?
I think it’s a perfect set for someone like my daughter, who is setting up her first apartment after graduation from college. Or even college students who have a kitchen in their communal living space, or how about newlyweds learning to cook together. Cooking is way more fun with colorful cookware!
Another benefit of the Tuxton Frypan Set  is it works with electric, gas, halogen, induction and ceramic stoves, so whatever you have in your kitchen, it will work. Should you be making something that goes from stovetop to oven (like a frittata), it is oven-safe to 500F degrees. I found it very easy to clean, and it will go in the dishwasher if that’s the way you roll.
Now let’s get this delicious salad on the table, shall we?
What else to do with Esquites
With grilled chicken breast on top, it makes a nice dinner, as shown above!
With rustic cut chunks of ripe avocado, lunch is served!
To serve as a side dish, you can put it in a serving bowl, or do as I did here and serve it right from the skillet ! I simply wiped it out with a paper towel and put the finished salad right back in there. When your frying pan is as pretty as this one, it’s a natural.
Pin the image below to your Pinterest board so you can save this recipe.
Do you put other ingredients in your esquites? Tell me what they are in the comments below!
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