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Esquites Mexican Roasted Corn

4 Servings

20 Minutes

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As chef Gabriela Cámara tells us in her book, “My Mexico City Kitchen,” esquites are a popular Mexican street food comprising cooked corn kernels (and some of their cooking liquid) spooned into styrofoam cups and topped with mayonnaise and lime, chilies and cheese. It’s a wonderful flavor combination, and simple to replicate this dish at home.

Because corn in the States tends to be sweeter and more tender than corn found in Mexico, we skipped the step of simmering the corn in water, instead cooking the kernels directly in a pan until lightly toasted. Instead of mayonnaise we use Mexican crema, which can be found in many grocery stores; if you can’t find it, sour cream thinned with a bit of water is a fine substitute.




Don’t use a conventional stainless steel skillet to cook the corn. The natural sugars in the corn will burn and cause the kernels to stick.

20 Minutes


  • 3

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 4

    cups fresh corn kernels (from about 5 ears corn) OR thawed frozen corn kernels, patted dry

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Brad H.
August 28, 2023
Better than Elote
This recipe is absolutely stellar. I’ve made it five times over the last several months. I use two Serrano peppers because it needs it. It’s the perfect balance of heat, sweet, salty and sour. Amazing. Thank you!
Michael D.
July 30, 2022
So good... try it in a wok!
I made this for the first time today and decided to use my wok and it worked perfectly! I used 6 ears (3 for $2, I had to) and was able to spread the corn up the sides to good effect.