Mexican Street Corn

Mexican Street Corn

Next time you’re making your favorite tacos or enchiladas and want a tasty side dish, try Mexican street corn.  Street vendors in Mexico City serve ears of grilled corn slathered with a creamy sauce, cojita cheese and cilantro.

In my one-butt kitchen, I take some shortcuts. I cut corn off of the cob and sauté that in a skillet. You could use canned or frozen corn if you prefer.

Several recipes recommend grilling the corn, then cutting off the kernels. I did a taste test, grilling and sautéing two ears of corn for each. From there, I used identical ingredients in both dishes. I expected to like the grilled corn better, but much to my surprise, we preferred the sautéed version. The grilled corn cooled off too much by the time it was ready to serve. The sautéed corn can be left in a  warm, covered pan until it’s time to eat. Plus that, the sautéed corn took less than half the time as the grilled corn.

What’s Cotija?

If you are wondering what cotija cheese is, here’s your answer. According to Wikipedia, “Cotija is an aged Mexican cheese made from cow’s milk and named after the town of Cotija, Michoacán. White in color and firm in texture, its flavor is salty and milky. “Young” (or fresher) cotija cheese has been described as akin to a mild feta, while aged (añejo) cotija is more comparable in flavor to hard, aged cheeses like Parmesan. Cotija softens when exposed to heat, but does not melt.”

Cotija cheese
For a tasty treat, crumble Cotija cheese over Mexican street corn and other dishes like tacos, burritos, and tostados.

Remember this recipe for Mexican street corn. Next time Cinco de Mayo comes around, you’ll be ready to celebrate. If you’re looking for some taco ideas, my current favorites are grilled carnitas tacos and rib eye tacos.

Serves: 6 to 8

Active time:  10 minutes                 Total time:  15 minutes

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils


  • 6 to 8 ears of corn, kernels removed (I got 5 cups out of 8 ears)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp chili powder, plus more to sprinkle on top
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped


Cut the corn off of the cob. Put the corn and butter in a skillet over high heat. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cut corn off the cob
The kernels don’t fall far from the cob if you lay the ear flat to cut it.

While the corn is cooking, mix the lime juice, mayonnaise, and chili powder in a small bowl.

Remove the corn from the heat and stir in the lime and mayo mixture.

Sprinkle with cojita cheese crumbles, chopped cilantro, and chili powder. Serve warm.

Buen provecho! (That’s Spanish for “Enjoy your meal!)



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