Mexican Street food or "Antojitos" as it's called in Mexican Spanish is famous all over the world, with Forbes listing Mexico amongst the top ten Countries to visit for their street food. The Spanish word means "little cravings" and the name is a direct reference to the fact that these are light snacks, typically sold in the early morning or late evening and night, as the Mexicans eat their main meal mid day.
With corn being a staple in the country, many of these snacks feature it as their main ingredient, with the two most popular ones being "Elote" and "Esquites". Elote is an entire corn cob that is grilled and topped with a creamy, spicy lime flavored dressing and Esquites is the deconstructed version of that, typically served in a cup.
My first taste of this type of Mexican Corn was as a side at Morton's Steakhouse and I could not get enough! Always looking for a new and innovative way to serve my veggies, I decided to attempt a version of what I'd eaten and opted for making a light, spicy and easy salad version of it.
Originally served as a side with my barbecued lamb chops, I may just roll with it the next time we're having a Mexican night or even as one of my Thanksgiving sides. With so many casseroles to make, all with loads of butter and cream, this appeals as it's refreshingly light despite the little bit of mayonnaise in the dressing.
Whereas the original versions of Mexico have a cheese called Cotija, named after a town in the country, I decided to eliminate it in my recipe as I am trying to keep this a little lower on calories but if you wish to add some as a topping feel free to do so.
Fresh Cotija is similar in taste to Feta and aged Cotija is similar to Parmesan and Romano. If you can't find original Cotija, any one of these other types will do, individually or combined together.
Here's the recipe with some optional add ins to customize it! Enjoy!
Spicy Mexican Corn Salad
- 6 cups frozen corn
- 2 chopped jalapenos
- ½ diced red onion
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 juiced lime
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp tajin
- ½ cup cilantro
- 2 green onions
- 2 tbsp frank's hot sauce
- cotija cheese Optional
- Measure your corn into an oven safe dish and add 1 cup of water.
- Cook in the microwave for 5 minutes, remove and stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes (cooking times may vary from one microwave to the next). Drain any excess water and set aside.
- Chop and add the Onion and Jalapenos.
- Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice and all of the seasoning and mix into the corn mixture.
- Stir in the green onions
- sprinkle with the tajin, cilantro, cotija and frank's red hot sauce
1. I used frozen corn as it's more convenient than grilling corn and then removing the kernels but if you want a more authentic flavor then that's the way to go.I like the corn in this salad to have a bit of a bite to it as that mimics the taste of the grilled variety and find that frozen corn achieves this better than the canned alternative for this.
2. I prefer Jalapenos for that authentic Mexican flavor but any green Chilis you have will work.
3. If you want less calories in your dressing, you can use light mayonnaise and yogurt instead of sour cream.
4. Eliminate the cheese entirely as I did or add some in, swap it for feta or parmesan, or a combination of both if you can't find Cotija. These are all options that will work.
5. Add ins are always fun and some ideas are, avocado, black beans and red bell pepper; especially if you want to turn this into more of an entree salad for lunch versus a snack or side.
I always customize recipes and that's the fun part of cooking! If you try some of the options I've suggested above and liked then do let me know! Also feel free to share any new and creative ideas of your own that you may have had! We love feedback!