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Grilled Corn with Cilantro, Lime and Cotija Cheese

10 mins


What you are creating

Mexican street corn, or "Elote" as it's fondly called in its homeland, is a quintessential Mexican street food that has tantalized taste buds far beyond its borders. This delightful snack marries the simplicity of grilled corn with a cacophony of flavors, textures, and ingredients, resulting in a dish that's both humble and savory delicious. But how did this seemingly simple dish become a culinary sensation? Dive into the savory world of Mexican street corn with me and discover its origins, allure, and the secrets behind crafting the perfect elote.

The journey of Mexican street corn begins in the vibrant streets and bustling markets of Mexico, where corn is not just a food item but a cultural staple. Corn has been central to Mexican cuisine and agriculture for millennia, with its roots deeply embedded in the country’s history and traditions. Street vendors, or "vendedores," saw the potential in this abundant crop and began grilling corn on the cob over open flames, slathering it in a rich blend of mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime, transforming an ordinary vegetable into an extraordinary street food sensation. This ingenious combination of simple ingredients highlights the corn's natural sweetness while adding layers of creaminess, tanginess, and a hint of spice, making it irresistible to passersby.

What makes a good Mexican street corn recipe?

The secret lies in the balance and quality of its components. Start with fresh, plump corn on the cob, ensuring it's grilled to charred perfection to unlock its smoky sweetness. The traditional slather of mayonnaise can be enriched with sour cream for added tang, while the cotija cheese provides a salty, crumbly texture that contrasts beautifully with the creamy base. A traditional generous sprinkling of chili powder adds a smoky heat, which can be adjusted to taste. The final touch, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, brings a zesty brightness that ties all the flavors together. The magic of Mexican street corn lies in the harmony of these elements, each bite a delightful dance of flavors and textures.

For those adventurous palates looking to explore beyond the classic, Mexican street corn offers a canvas for culinary creativity. Imagine the smoky sweetness of the corn complemented by the rich umami of crumbled bacon, or the fresh burst of chopped cilantro and diced jalapeños for those who favor a fiery kick. For a fusion twist, a sprinkle of za'atar or a drizzle of Sriracha mayo can transport your taste buds to new destinations. The possibilities are as limitless as they are delicious, inviting you to experiment and find your perfect flavor combination. Our recipe keeps it simple. Elements include ground cumin for kick, cotija cheese, fresh cilantro and fresh lime.

In essence, Mexican street corn embodies the spirit of Mexican cuisine: vibrant, flavorful, and deeply rooted in tradition yet endlessly adaptable. Whether you're savoring it from a street vendor in the heart of Mexico or crafting your own version at home, elote is more than just a dish; it's an experience, a celebration of culture, and a testament to the simple joy of eating. Next time you bite into that creamy, smoky, tangy goodness, remember, you're not just eating corn; you're partaking in a rich culinary legacy that continues to evolve and enchant with every kernel.

Check out our Mexican street corn video recipe below to learn how to make our simple but delicious cilantro, lime, cotija street corn recipe on the grill.


  1. Place corn on the cob in a large pot and bring to boil and cook 2-3 minutes.

  2. Remove from water and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  3. Place on the grill.

  4. Rotate to get the golden grill marks.

  5. Transfer to serving platter.

  6. Brush generously with butter.

  7. Squeeze on lime juice.

  8. Sprinkle ears with ground cumin, pink Himalayan sea salt and ground pepper.

  9. Add a generous handful of Cotija cheese over the ears of corn.

  10. Top with fresh, thinly sliced cilantro.

  • Fresh corn on the cob, cleaned

  • Pink Himalayan sea salt

  • Fresh ground pepper

  • Fresh limes

  • Cotija cheese

  • Butter

  • Ground cumin

  • Cilantro, thinly sliced

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BBQ, Vegetable

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