Esquites, otherwise known as Mexican Corn Salad

by Irvin on May 12, 2014 · 19 comments

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This easy recipe for esquites, a Mexican corn salad, is basically a salad version of elote grilled Mexican corn on the cob.

Esquites, or Mexican Corn Salad. An easy, made from scratch, recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

“What? How do you make this?” asked my French friend Sandrine. She took another healthy helping of the Mexican corn salad and was peppering me with questions about the recipe. Apparently she and her wife had become utterly obsessed with elote, Mexican style grilled corn on the cob while vacationing Mexico a few years ago. They would visit this one restaurant (really a shack), with a line down the sidewalk, each day just to get a taste of the grilled corn slathered with lime and Mexican cheese. Esquites, or Mexican corn salad is basically the same thing, just in salad form, as opposed to on the cob. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Esquites or Mexican Corn Salad. A made from scratch easy recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I had brought the corn salad up to a weekend picnic in Napa with Sandrine and friends. Being a Midwestern boy, corn was de rigueur when lunching al fresco. Though originally I had thought we could eat corn on the cob grilled at the picnic, I decided that it should be a salad instead to keep us all from gnawing at the cob in mixed company. Not that I am against that sort of thing, but it just seemed easier all the way around. Plus I’ve been wanting to make Esquites ever since I had it in Texas at my friend Kelly’s home last summer.

Mexican Corn Salad, otherwise known as Esquites. An easy and made from scratch recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Sandrine was thrilled when I told her the recipe was dead easy, just some grilled corn (I used my broiler because our grill is dead and we haven’t bought a new one) and mix in a few ingredients like lime, Cotija (Mexican cheese), a spoonful of mayo and some spices. She exclaimed that the corn salad was pretty much exactly how she remembered it to be like in Mexico…but without needing to wait in line or, you know, the passport (French OR American). That has, to be one of my favorite compliments when it comes to food…I just love being able to transport people to far away places with a simple forkful.

Mexican Corn Salad otherwise known as Esquites. An easy, made from scratch, recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

If you like this esquites (Mexican Corn Salad) recipe, check out my Spicy Guacamole with grilled avocados and grilled corn. And try these other Mexican recipes from around the web featuring corn:

Muy Bueno Cookbook’s Zucchini and Corn Tamales
Verses from my Kitchen’s Winter Mexican Corn Soup
Our Best Bites’ Mexican Sweet Corn Cakes
Skinnytaste’s Mexican Shrimp Cobb Salad
Recipe Girl’s Creamy Mexican Turkey Soup

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons May 12, 2014 at 5:41 am

I cannot wait to try this! I adore that you’ve turned street corn into an easier to eat side dish that won’t have me plowing through a pack of toothpicks while I eat it!


Eileen May 12, 2014 at 10:58 am

Yes, please! This salad sounds so good–I bet it would be perfect with a slab of spicy grilled fish with a whack of lime juice. Now I REALLY can’t wait for the summer corn to hit the farmer’s market. 🙂


Christine from Cook the Story May 13, 2014 at 7:02 am

I’m making up a new word for this dish… fabudelicious! This looks SO good!


Shikha @ Shikha la mode May 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

This looks amazing – definitely looks like it has some inspiration from Texas. I feel that in SF we don’t use corn that much- I wonder why.


Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl May 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I need this for dinner sometime soon! Looks great!


Jen May 15, 2014 at 7:51 pm

I just want to slather a steak in it!


Suné Moolman May 17, 2014 at 3:57 am

I love that you used smoked paprika with this, it looks gorgeous!


Toni | Boulder Locavore May 18, 2014 at 5:42 am

This is my type of dish! Love the textures and the flavors sound to be perfection. A visual feast as well!


Andrea May 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm

This looks amazing!! Definitely something I plan to add to my list of summer culinary endeavors…. Just to clarify, though, the cotija you referenced is the Mexican cheese, not Mexican corn (as listed above), correct? I just wanted to be sure this wasn’t a different, less familiar, variety of corn or something. LOL, which, I suppose speaks to my ignorance when it comes to Latin ingredients. Gguh! I guess it’s one thing to love the cuisine, and another thing to know it, right? Anyway, thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try.


Andrea May 18, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Sorry, I just noticed the recipe DOES confirm the cotija is the CHEESE, not corn (as stated earlier in the blog). To be honest, your photography was captivating enough I didn’t even read past the blogging portion. Was already salivating over the photos. Oops! Now that I’ve made myself look completely incompetent and ignorant, I’ll bid you good-day. LOL Thanks again 😛


Irvin May 19, 2014 at 12:45 am

Whoops! Sorry about that typo in the blog post. Glad you caught it and saw it (correctly) in the recipe. And you’re definitely not incompetent and ignorant! That would clearly be me, who typed the wrong word in the post! Let me know if you make the recipe and how it turns out for you. 🙂


Upholstery Cleaning Clapham May 19, 2014 at 7:25 am

Amazing salad! I want to try it right now! Looking soo tasty!


Miss Kim @ behgopa May 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Omg this looks unbelievably good! I love love corn….and love cheese just as much! It would so hit the spot right now. It looks like an amazing dish to eat by itself or be an accompaniment to whatever!


stacey May 24, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I’m making this right now to go with some garlic mojo pork tomorrow and wanted to share my tip for crumbling the Cotija: Pastry Cutter. Super quick, efficient, and clean.


Irvin May 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm

That’s brilliant! I love the idea of using a pastry cutter for crumbling the Cotija. Thanks for sharing!


Kevin | keviniscooking June 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Definitely making this one, looks incredible. Have been plotting new, healthy meals for after this Cleanse. It’s tortuous but I can’t help myself!


Gillian June 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

Made this – it was AMAZING. Going onto our 4th of July menu!


merri August 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm

this looks yummy and easy. i love corn i just never eat it.


yureni May 7, 2015 at 9:19 am

I don’t know how they got this recipe but when I was growing up in Mexico City they never made them like that


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