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Have you ever had Mexican street corn, also known as elote antojitos?
Basically, it’s grilled corn that is slathered in mayonnaise, cheese, and spices, then finished off with some cilantro, hot sauce, and lime juice.
Before you start freaking out – yes, I did say mayonnaise.
The mayo-lovers out there are probably rejoicing, while others of you might think this sounds a little odd. Trust me when I say this is the best ingredient to add to this recipe.
To me, Mexican street corn is one of the ultimate summer corn side dishes. The grill is already being put to work, and our favorite husk-covered vegetable just tastes so much better when it is fresh off the grill (sorry, tomatillos – you come in at a close second).
But really, this side dish works so well at any time of the year.
Why grill the corn? Well, this is what gives it a nice charred flavor.
The other ingredients are creamy, spicy, and bright, so that touch of added char really adds to the depth of flavor when you bite into it.
The most important thing is to make sure you select corn that is ripe and sweet. How do you know if you are selecting the right cobs?
Try these tips:
- Check the husk. The husk should be a bright green, and it shouldn’t be dry. The leaves should be soft and pliable.
- Check the silks. The thin strings at the top of the cob should be golden or light brown. They should look fresh, and not be sticky and black or wilted and dry.
- Check the kernels by peeling back the husk a little bit. The kernels should be filled in all the way to the top.
This recipe is a classic, and it will become one of your favorite ways to prepare fresh corn. I love that it is eaten right off the cob.
I mean, it’s the messy food that tastes best, am I right?
The best thing about this recipe is that it is easily customizable. If you don’t like cilantro (I know for some people it tastes like soap; my husband is one of them and it’s so sad), you can easily substitute parsley instead.
You can also use vegan mayo and vegan cheese if you want to make the recipe dairy free.
There’s also plenty of opportunity to play with the spice level with the red pepper flakes, and the acidity with how much lime juice people choose to squeeze on top of the cobs just before they dig in.
You can even turn this into a corn salad if you prefer not to eat the kernels straight off the cob.
All you have to do is cut the grilled kernels off of the cobs and into a bowl. Then mix them up with the mayonnaise mixture instead of slathering it on each ear. Season to taste with lime juice, hot sauce, and cilantro.
Just like that, you have a side salad! Or you can even use it as a dip served with tortilla chips if you choose.
It’s a captivating combination of flavors that will take you directly to the streets of Mexico, perfect for those moments when you can’t just hop on a plane and go.Print
Grilled elote antojitos are Mexican street corn magic. Once you’ve tried this tasty recipe, you won’t want to eat corn any other way again.
For the Corn:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup finely grated Cotija cheese (or Parmesan)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or Tajin Clásico Chile Lime Seasoning, plus more to taste (optional)
- 6–8 ears fresh corn, shucked
- Lime wedges
- Hot sauce
- Freshly chopped cilantro
- Preheat grill to medium heat (approximately 325˚F).
- Pour melted butter into a shallow wide-mouthed dish.
- In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, grated cheese, and chili flakes or chili lime seasoning.
- Roast corn on the grill for 7-10 minutes, turning occasionally throughout, until lightly charred all over.
- Remove corn from grill and roll corn cobs in melted butter. Spread cobs with mayonnaise mixture.
- Serve with lime wedges, extra red pepper flakes or Tajin seasoning, and hot sauce.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Vegetarian
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: Mexican street corn, elote antojitos, mayonnaise, Cotija
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Melt Butter, Shuck Corn, and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter. Set aside.
Shuck 6 to 8 ears of corn, making sure to remove the husks and all of the silks.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Preheat grill to medium heat, about 325˚F.
Step 2 – Prepare Toppings
Add melted butter to a shallow, wide-mouthed dish.
Add mayonnaise, cheese, and chili flakes to a small bowl.
Tajin’s classic chili lime seasoning is also a delicious option to use in lieu of the chili flakes. You can find it on Amazon.
Tajin Clásico Chile Lime Seasoning, available on Amazon
Stir together until combined.
Step 3 – Grill Corn
Once the grill is hot, grill the corn for 7 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally throughout. They should be lightly charred all over.
Can’t prep a grill right now? No worries! While I love the char from the grill, you can always steam the ears in the electric pressure cooker to still get tender results.
Step 4 – Assemble
Remove cobs from the grill and roll one at a time in the melted butter.
Spread each one evenly with the mayonnaise mixture.
Serve immediately with lime wedges, hot sauce, cilantro, and extra red pepper flakes or chili lime seasoning.
Cook Locally, Eat Globally
To me, it’s food’s ability to take us back to our favorite places and to places we’ve never been that makes it so magical.
You can taste the flavors of Mexico in this recipe, or head to France with a bite of a croissant, all without leaving your hometown.
Eating globally is something that I am really trying to do more of this year. By simply incorporating side dishes in with your weekly rotation that have a little more flair, something you remember from a restaurant, or maybe a dish that you’ve never tried before, you can travel around the world at your own kitchen table.
For some more globally inspired side dishes, check out the following recipes from Foodal:
- Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes
- Vegetable Couscous with Citrus Vinaigrette
- Fried Bee Hoon Noodles with Chicken and Veggies
What main dish would you serve with this Mexican street corn? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe as well.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Lorna Kring on August 15, 2015. Last updated July 31, 2020.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.