Mexican Street Corn – Esquites

Esquites (Corn in a Cup)

Mexican Street Corn in a Cup Called Esquites

When you buy Mexican street corn from a cart in the plaza you have two options for ordering, on the cob called elotes or in a cup called esquites. The cart will always be loaded with toppings for your corn; lime juice, mayonnaise, grated cheese, chili powder, butter, and hot sauce so that you can personalize your cup. In this recipe we’re making esquites, the street corn in a cup. Going to get corn in the plaza is one of our favorite things to do on a weekend evening. Now you can recreate the experience at home.

How to Make

Choosing the Corn

If you want authentic flavor, you have to prepare this dish with white Mexican corn, elote blanco, not sweet corn. Mexican corn is much firmer, not sweet, and has an earthy, grain like taste. The first time I ate elote blanco I was confused. It tasted nothing like the soft sweet corn that I was used to eating. At first, I wasn’t sure that I cared for it but after a few more tries the taste grew on me. I’ll happily eat it every day now.

Ingredients Mexican Street Corn in a Cup

Ingredients:

To Prepare the Corn

  • 4 ears Mexican white corn, elote blanco
  • 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 epazote leaves, (a pungent Mexican herb)

Typical Toppings (All are optional. You mix and match to taste.)

  • Lime
  • Mayonnaise
  • Grated cheese, queso fresco
  • Chili powder
  • Melted butter
  • Hot sauce

Preparation

Start by removing the husks and silk from the corn. Cut off the top and base of the cob. This will make it easier to cut the kernels off the cob.

Mexican White Corn on Wooden Cutting Board

Remove the kernels from the cob. Hold one end of the cob with your hand and place the other end of the cob on the cutting board.  Hold the cob at a 45-degree angle. Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off and be sure to always cut away from your hands and body.

Knife Removing Corn Kernels from Cob

Place the kernels in a pan.

Corn Kernels in Frying Pan

Add 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth.

Adding Chicken or Vegetable Broth to Corn Kernels in Pan

Add 4 cups of water.

Adding Water to Corn Kernels in Pan

Add the epazote and salt. Bring the water to a boil then reduce to medium.

White Corn with Epazote in Pan

Cook until about 2/3 of the liquid has evaporated. If the corn is still too tough for you after the liquid has reduced add 1 cup water and cook until you get the desired texture. Repeat if needed. You want a little bit of liquid to remain. It goes in each cup when you serve.

Cooked Corn Kernels with Epazote in Frying Pan

Serving

Serve your corn warm in a cup and then add the toppings of your choice. My perfect cup is like the one in the photo, just a squirt of lime juice, a pinch of salt, a dab of mayonnaise, a sprinkle of chili powder, and a good squirt of hot sauce.

Esquites with Chile and Lime

Shall we serve you a cup? Looks good, doesn’t it!

Cup of Mexican Street Corn with Hot Sauce and Lime

Provecho!

Mexican Street Corn in a Cup Called Esquites
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4.5 from 6 votes

Mexican Street Corn (Esquites) Recipe

Mexican street corn in a cup, "esquites" prepared with "elote blanco," Mexican white corn. Personalize with lime juice, mayonnaise, grated cheese, chili powder, butter, and hot sauce. Recreate the experience of going to the "elote" cart in the plaza on a relaxed weekend evening.
Course Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword corn, esquites, snack, street food
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 308kcal
Author andrés carnalla

Ingredients

To Prepare the Corn

  • 4 ears Mexican white corn elote blanco
  • 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 epazote leaves
  • Typical Toppings All are optional. You mix and match to taste.
  • Lime juice
  • Mayonnaise
  • Grated cheese queso fresco
  • Chili powder
  • Melted butter
  • Hot sauce

Instructions

  • Start by removing the husks and silk from the corn. Cut off the top and base of the cob.
  • Remove the kernels from the cob. Hold one end of the cob with your hand and place the other end of the cob on the cutting board. Hold the cob at a 45-degree angle. Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off and be sure to always cut away from your hands and body.
  • Place the kernels in a pan. Add 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth and 4 cups water. Add the epazote and salt.
  • Bring the water to a boil then reduce to medium. Cook until about 2/3 of the liquid has evaporated. If the corn is still too tough for you after the liquid has reduced add 1 cup water and cook until you get the desired texture. Repeat if needed.
  • Serve your corn warm in a cup and then add the toppings of your choice.

Notes

Storage
The corn will keep 3 days in the refrigerator. Do not store prepared with all the toppings. Reheat in the microwave before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 536mg | Sugar: 5g
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6 comments… add one
  • Amelia Martinez

    Thanks for the Tasty recipe! I love Mexican corn and my favorite restaurant is Senor Burrito Inc. Your info definitely helps me when making Mexican corn.

  • Eric Franks

    Hey,

    Any idea how or where one could find the white maize corn, or elote blanco?

  • Jenny H.

    Love the recipe for the street corn. Reminds me of the times I would visit Mexico and the vendors would be out on the street. But do you have recipe for the hot sauce that you add?

    • H ramirez

      Thank you for having a recipe that is authentic. Most people make it with cilantro not epazote. episode is hard to find, but I will not make esquites without epazotes. Great recipe.

  • Brandon

    I cannot for the life of me find mexican white corn. I live in AZ with a few mexican food grocers and they don’t even have it. It’s all sweet corn. Any idea how to find this stuff?

    • You might be able to find it frozen. In South Texas, it’s sold in 10 pound bags for the food stands.That’s a lot of corn but it can be portioned into 1lb. bags so you have it ready to use when you want. Cheers!

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