This Mexican Street Corn on the griddle is a rich, delicious, and easy side dish to make on your flat top grill. Made with frozen corn so you can whip up this Mexican favorite anytime of year!
The wife and I visited a new local Mexican restaurant recently, and we were absolutely blown away by their Mexican street corn side dish. This luscious, decadent, almost sinful corn side dish resembled an Alfredo, which makes sense because it’s made with cotija cheese. If you’re not familiar with aged cotija cheese, it is pretty salty and crumbly, similar to a parmesan.
And we liked this Mexican corn dish so much that we had to go back to the restaurant again just to get another taste of the corn… and to do a little recon so we could attempt to recreate it on the griddle.
What is Corn Esquites?
On the restaurant’s menu, this side is called “Corn Esquites”, which means “corn in a cup”. Makes sense, since this Mexican street corn was served in a cup, similar to a soup cup.
Don’t confuse corn esquites (off the cob) with elotes, pretty much the same version of this dish but with the corn served on the cob.
Ingredients for Mexican Street Corn
Let me start off by saying that this version of Mexican street corn is probably not authentic… I haven’t had corn esquites in Mexico, but this is what we used to make our street corn on the griddle:
- corn – Corn esquites is served off the cob, so you have a few different options for what corn to use. The fresh corn at our local grocery store was incredibly expensive, so we used bagged frozen corn instead.
- Mexican Crema – This product is described as “Mexican table cream” on the bottle, so we assumed that it would be similar to sour cream… definitely not! This is much less tangy and has a thinner consistency than sour cream. In fact, it more closely resembles a heavy whipping cream.
- cotija cheese – We used the Cacique brand… it said “aged cheese” on the package.
- chipotle chili powder
- green onion – optional
- bell pepper
How to Make Mexican Street Corn on the Griddle
Once your ingredients are chopped, this Mexican street corn on the griddle comes together pretty quickly. Here’s how to make it:
Step 1: Prep your corn for the griddle.
If you’re familiar with griddle cooking, then you know that you shouldn’t add a frozen food product directly to your hot griddle surface. The drastic temperature differences can cause your griddle top to warp. So instead, I let my bag of frozen corn thaw out in the refrigerator overnight.
If you’re using fresh corn on the cob, then go ahead and cut it off the cob for this corn dish.
Step 2: Cook corn, onions, and peppers on the griddle.
Preheat your griddle on low heat. Then, add a little avocado oil (or your favorite cooking oil) to the griddle and start cooking the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and corn.
Chef’s Note – For a nice char and extra flavor, spread your corn and veggies out in a thin layer across your griddle surface and let it start to cook without moving it around. Similar to cooking a smash burger or a steak on the griddle, if you don’t mess with it much to start, the corn will start to develop a nice crust or char and the sugars will begin to caramelize. Here’s what mine looked like at this stage:
Step 3: Grate the cotija cheese.
I used a box grater to grate the cheese. This type of cheese is naturally very crumbly, so grating it is very easy… You only need to apply very light pressure while you’re running it down the grater to get a nice thick crumble.
We started by adding only about 5 ounces of cotija cheese to our street corn on the griddle, but as we started adding more ingredients to try and replicate the corn esquites that we had at the restaurant, we ended up adding the rest of the package of cheese. For reference, the cotija cheese that we used came in a 10 oz. package.
Step 4: Add other Mexican street corn ingredients to the corn and veggies.
After the corn and vegetables have had a chance to cook for a few minutes, start adding the other ingredients. Add minced garlic to the corn and vegetable mix and stir a bit to combine. You should notice that your corn has started to develop a slight char.
At this stage, you’ll probably need to adjust the temperature of your griddle before adding the crema. I actually turned two of my griddle knobs off completely and left the other knob on the low setting. You don’t want the cream to curdle because your griddle is too hot.
Add the crema, mayonnaise, and grated cotija cheese to the corn and veggie mix and mix it all together. Then, sprinkle on the desired amount of chipotle chili powder and cilantro. Mix it all together to combine and allow the Mexican street corn to continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
At this point, you can taste your corn esquites and add other ingredients if you wish. If you want more cilantro add more cilantro… if you want a spicier flavor, add more chili powder. It’s really up to you how you finish this flat top grill side dish. We actually ended up adding about a 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk to ours, because we wanted a thinner consistency, and I was afraid that adding more mayonnaise or crema would just make it thicker.
Feel free to experiment with the ingredients to get the flavor and consistency that you like for your Mexican street corn.
Step 5: Garnish and serve hot.
This Mexican street corn on the griddle is best served warm, so remove it from the griddle and transfer to a serving bowl or individual ramekins. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve this delicious Mexican side dish immediately.
Our version of the street corn may not be exactly like what we had at the restaurant, because we added bell pepper and onion, but the overall flavors are very similar… and it’s delicious!
And if you’re looking for something to serve with your griddle Mexican street corn, then try these amazing Chicken Tacos on the Flat Top Grill… they’re honestly some of the best chicken tacos that I’ve ever eaten! And feel free to print this Mexican Street Corn recipe below and add it to your list of easy flat top grill side dishes:
Mexican Street Corn on the Griddle
- 32 oz frozen corn thawed in refrigerator overnight
- 1/4 bell pepper diced
- 1/4 onion diced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema
- juice of 1 lime
- 8 oz. cotija cheese grated
- chipotle chili powder
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk if needed to thin out street corn to desired consistency
- Preheat griddle on low.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of avocado oil (or your favorite cooking oil) to the griddle surface and spread it around.
- Add bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, and corn to the griddle. Spread out all of the vegetables in a thin layer on the flat top surface and allow it to cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until a slight char develops on the vegetables.
- Add minced garlic, mayonnaise, juice of 1/2 lime, and crema to the corn and mix to combine.
- Add grated cotija cheese and mix to combine.
- Sprinkle Mexican street corn with desired amount of chili powder and fresh chopped cilantro, and mix to combine.
- Allow the corn to cook for 3-4 minutes on the griddle for all of the flavors to marry. If needed, add milk to thin out Mexican street corn to desired consistency. Then remove from the griddle.
- Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and squeeze on the other 1/2 lime. Serve warm.
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Comments & Reviews
Can food even be appropriated? Because the word means “to take something for your own use”. Pretty sure that’s what food is for. Get off your high horse already. This reminds me of the folks who get outraged because people in the southern region of the US serve a dish they call “goulash”. It doesn’t taste anything like the dish made by the first people who called a food combo goulash, so now we apparently have enough time and energy to argue with each other over something so asinine. I’m all about being proud of your culture – I take great joy in mine – but to tell others that one culture essentially owns food or recipes or names of dishes goes beyond ridiculous. I like to think people have evolved enough that they can entertain the idea that perhaps the dish they’re making isn’t as “authentic” as it could be. Those who care might oughta find something worth getting worked up about. FFS.
Esquites here in Mexico don’t have onion, garlic, pimiento and so on.
They are boiled as well.
How hard is it to respect other culture’s traditional recipes?
Or how about simply not calling it “Esquites” or “Mexican corn”?
You don’t realize the damage you do by teaching people a recipe that has nothing to do with the original. You appropriate our recipes only to destroy them and teach people wrongly.
Now everyone thinks esquites have onion, bell pepper and cilantro! Terrible!
Alex – let’s not be so hard on him. He’s only trying to share, as he said, what he has used to make street corn on the griddle. I for one appreciate his sharing of talents and experience.
Shani Dawson says
Alex! He wasn’t appropriating ANYTHING! He clearly stated he is ONLY TRYING TO REPLICATE what he was SERVED at a MEXICAN Restaurant!!! Are you going to say the same to the Mexicans that APPARENTLY made the original dish for him that had the ingredients you are SO OFFENDED BY????? Take your fake outrage somewhere else
Seems like your rant is misguided. Neal is trying to replicate a dish made for him at a Mexican restaurant. It may not fit YOUR idea of Esquites but that’s your issue. Some say Chili doesn’t have beans and some say it has beans but no meat. Some cultures make chili with cinnamon, allspice and cloves. It is still chili. If this bothers you so much, create your own channel and show us how you like it. Then we can decide if it fits our idea of Equites.
Maybe everyone including yourself should listen to the introduction. He tells you he doesn’t know the tradition. He is replicating what he was served and really enjoyed! Give your head a shake!