Elote is an incredibly delicious Mexican classic corn on the cob side dish that is smothered in mayonnaise, crema, spices, and cheese for an irresistible flavor.
If you’ve never tried an elote, you’ve been missing out. Mexican street corn is an amazing recipe that can be served as a side dish during the main meal or simply as a snack. Traditionally it would be shucked and boiled in water, however you can absolutely grill the corn or roast it in the oven.
What Is an Elote
Elote translates from Mexican to English as “corn cob.” It is a popular late-night snack in Mexico and most often purchased from food carts or trucks on the streets, which is also why it’s also called Mexican Street Corn.
They are traditionally rubbed down with mayonnaise or crema Mexicana and seasoned up with either chipotle or chili powder and finished with cotija cheese. You can eat it right of the cob as is or oftentimes times it’s served on a stick for easier eating. If you grill the corn you can fold back the husks, hold them and eat it.
There are some traditional ingredients used when making an elote, but I want you to know you can veer a little off the path to add in your own flavors so that it can be to your liking, which is what I did.
- Corn: on or off the cob depending on how to you want to cook it.
- Mayonnaise: your favorite brand, but honestly Dukes all the way!
- Cotija Cheese: this is super classic but you can use different cheeses as well.
- Chile Piquín Powder: simple chili powder or you can use Tajín, which is a premade spice.
Here are the ingredients I used to make this with some variation options.
- Crema Mexicana or you can use sour cream
- Cotija cheese or you can use queso fresco, panela cheese, manchego or even parmesan if you have no access to anything else.
- Ground cumin
- Chili powder
- Sea salt
- Fresh cilantro
Usually, I am very traditional and keep recipes the way they were intended to be made, but sometimes I want to push things in the flavor department to see how much taste I can get out of it and that is what I did here.
How to Make an Elote
1. Shuck the corn and boil it in salted water for 4 to 6 minutes or leave it in the husk and cook on a hot grill (450° to 550°) for 18 to 20 minutes. When cooking on the grill it steam cooks it and will shuck with ease allowing the silk to pull right off when doing it. The husk will also act as a handle to eat the corn if you don’t shuck it all the way and simply pull it back.
2. Mix together the mayonnaise, crema, and salt until combined and then using a brush spread it on all sides of the cooked shucked corn.
3. Evenly sprinkle on the cumin, chili powder and cheese all over each cooked chucked corn and garnish by sprinkling on cilantro and serve alongside lime wedges.
This elote recipe is seriously one of my all-time favorite corn recipes and everyone that I make it for is always blown away at just how delicious it is. I certainly hope you give it a try because you will not be disappointed.
Recipe Chef Notes + Tips
How to Reheat: If you do not plan to eat all of it in 1 sitting then it is imperative to leave the topping ingredients separate. Simply reheat the corn in boiling water or in the microwave and then spread on the topping ingredients once finished.
How to Store: Store the elote with toppings on the side covered in plastic and refrigerated for up to 4 days. It does not freeze well at all.
What is Silk: Silk is the technical term for that annoying long stringy like material that is in between the raw husk and corn that goes everywhere.
If you choose to grill the corn and use the husk as the handle for eating remember to only pull the husk back so that it is still intact with the corn and the cob and then tie a few pieces of butchers twine around the husk so that it isn’t going everywhere.
More Latin Inspired Recipes
Elote Recipe (Mexican Street Corn)
- 6 ears of corn unshucked
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup of crema Mexicana
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1/2 cup of cotija, panela, queso fresco, or manchago cheese, crumbled or shredded
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
- sea salt to taste
- Place the unshucked corn on a hot grill (450°) and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the corn is done. Make sure to constantly turn the corn so that it cooks on all sides as it should be browned on the outer husk on all sides.
- Once the corn is cooked, remove them from the grill and pull back the husks taking care not to rip them off. Tie the husks back with butchers twine.
- Next whisk together the mayonnaise, crema, and salt until completely combine and then generously spread it on all of the corn. Sprinkle with the cumin, chili powder, and cheese all over the corn.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve alongside lime slices.
- Serve hot!
- Usually I am very traditional and keep recipes the way they were intended to be made, but sometimes I want to push things in the flavor department to see how much taste I can get out of it and that is what I did here.
- When cooking the elote on the grill it steam cooks it and will shuck with ease allowing the silk to pull right off when doing it. The husk will also act as handle to eat the corn if you don’t shuck it all the way and simply pull it back.
- If you choose to grill the corn and use the husk as the handle for eating remember to only pull the husk back so that it is still intact with the corn and the cob and then tie a few pieces of butchers twine around the husk so that it isn’t going everywhere.