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This Mexican street corn off the cob reminds me of Anthony Bourdain’s ability to transport you to another country and to try something new.
I’ve never met the guy but I did watch a lot of his shows and his storytelling was captivating. It transported you to each location and I felt that after each episode, I yearned for more and I had a desire to travel.
If I were to sort out my feelings over his passing years ago, I think he was an inspiration to me. Traveling for food, learning about one’s culture through food — that is what inspires me to travel and that is what Anthony did.
He literally went to every country with no judgement and truly wanted to learn.
I hope we all learn from this tragic event and carry on his spirit by exploring the world, being bold with food, and knowing to seek out help when you need it or reaching out to someone if you think they need it.
Thoughts on my Mexican street corn recipe
I have been pining to make this Mexican street corn off the cob recipe since last year.
I LOVE Mexican street corn but is there anything more awkward than eating an entire fresh corn on the cob at the table with your friends? Haha
I mean, I know it’s totally fine but I really hate it because 1. it’s messy, you end up with so much cotija cheese and other ingredients on your face, and 2. you get so much stuck between your teeth that if you don’t carry floss or toothpicks with you, it can get real annoying!
There are some restaurants apparently that if you ask, they will cut the corn off the cob for you when you order Mexican street corn.
So that got me thinking…then why not just make the entire dish IN a bowl OFF the cob in the first place?!
Well, that is exactly what I did and I could’ve eaten this ENTIRE bowl of Mexican street corn, or as they say in Spanish, elote!
I loved this elote recipe so much that I created another variation – my poblano Mexican street corn off the cob AND a Mexican street corn kale salad.
Who would’ve thought taking ears of corn and cutting it off the cob would yield such an incredibly easy to make and loads of flavor dish?
The best part? Your face won’t be covered in cotija cheese, mayo, or corn.
However, I guess if you are all about the experience, you could make this on the cob too but I like taking ears of corn and shaving off the corn kernels into a big bowl (or small bowl if you’re saving some to snack on later) because it’s easier to divide up and share as a side dish!
How to make Mexican street corn (elote) off the cob
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- Ears of corn or corn kernels
- Cotija cheese (or try queso fresco if you can’t find cotija cheese)
- Green onion
- Parsley or fresh cilantro (cilantro tastes like soap to me so that’s why I always use parsley)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Prepare the corn kernels. You’ll want to either grill the ears of corn or cut off the corn kernels and char it in the skillet with some butter. They kind of spit and pop at you when they get hot (kind of like popcorn!) so just be careful.
Combine ingredients in a large/small bowl. Once the corn kernels are cooked/charred, add them to a bowl and mix in the mayo, cotija cheese, smoked paprika, green onion, and parsley (or fresh cilantro). Don’t forget salt and pepper, to taste! Stir together to incorporate everything.
Enjoy. Divide and enjoy your street corn…in a bowl!
Can I use frozen corn kernels?
Yes, just thaw it and make sure it’s warm (microwave or stovetop).
Can I grill the corn on the cob first?
Yes! That’d be so good.
I can’t find cotija cheese
You can use feta or queso fresco!
I don’t like cilantro
Friend, neither do I.
I think it tastes like soap.
You can sub parsley!
Can I use vegan mayo?
You can use whatever mayo you want.
Should this be served warm or cold?
You can do either but it’s best warm!
How does this keep?
You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
I think this is best eaten as quickly as possible and I’m sure you won’t have trouble with that!
This Mexican street corn would be great to serve with a summer panzanella, grilled lime butter shrimp, or these grilled chicken kebobs!
If you’re looking for another version of this Mexican street corn off the cob, try this smoky poblano Mexican street corn off the cob!!
Mexican Street Corn off the Cob
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed (about 3–4 cups depending on how large your corn is)
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 3 ounces cotija cheese, freshly grated or crumbled
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 green onion stalk, finely chopped
- Handful of freshly of chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- In a cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat then add the corn kernels. Spread in an even layer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until exterior is charred/browned, stirring frequently. Be careful of the popping action of the heated kernels!
- Once charred/browned, place into a large bowl then mix in mayo, cotija, paprika, green onion, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Mix to combine then divide evenly and serve!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Tuesday 20th of December 2022
I want to make this for a side dish for Christmas, but one guest cannot stand mayo.. what can I use instead of Mayo in this?
Wednesday 21st of December 2022
you can use sour cream, but it might alter the taste of this dish a bit since mayo doesn't have that sour component to it, but that's the best substitute i can think of
Sunday 28th of August 2022
Hello Julie, I'm Julie too. And I just want to say that you're the only person I "heard" say cilantro tastes like soap. Because it really does and that's what I've been telling everyone. Anyway, I'm excited to make corn elote with your recipe. Cheers!
Tuesday 30th of August 2022
yes, i can't stand it! i wish i could like it but unfortunately we just have the gene that makes it taste like soap :(
Friday 1st of July 2022
A quick note to help your readers when using the scale up factors. When you have comments in parentheses next to the ingredient when a person hits the scale up (2X, 3X) the numbers in parentheses don’t go up accordingly… So if you have a 1X recipe it says “3 to 4 cups of shucked corn kernels” and when you hit the 3X button in order to scale it up for three times the number of people, it still says “ 3 to 4 cups of shucked corn kernels” in the parentheses. That can be confusing for people. If a person hits the 3X button to scale it up, then the amount in parentheses in theory should be saying 9 to 12 cups of shucked corn kernels.” There’s no easy way to avoid this problem other than not using numbers within the parentheses or clarifying in the parentheses to say “3 to 4 cups of shucked corn kernels for every X number of ears of corn.” Then it doesn’t matter that the number in parentheses doesn’t change with the scale up because the description is still accurate.
Saturday 2nd of July 2022
hi, thanks for pointing that out. i have the ability to add that function in for the parenthesis, but it's manual so i must've missed it when i was doing this recipe. it has been modified now so when you scale up or down, the numbers in the parenthesis change along with it.
Tuesday 21st of June 2022
Can this be made the night before? I want to make it for a work party and reheat right before time.
Wednesday 22nd of June 2022
@Julie Chiou, THANK YOU!! Making tonight!
Wednesday 22nd of June 2022
yes, you definitely can!
Monday 30th of May 2022
Great side dish for summer picnic