Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

In time for Mexican Independence Day, Chef Paula Zavala has shared a delicious recipe for Esquites, a traditional street food made from simmered corn and traditional seasonings.

Often mistaken for Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence Day actually takes place on September 16 to celebrate the country’s declaration of independence from Spain.

Esquites is a favourite street food in Mexico, made from simmered corn on the cob and traditional seasonings.

A cold Dos Equis makes a perfect pairing for this traditional street food favourite.

Esquites Recipe (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

One recipe tip is that the epazote herb is very important to this dish; it is commonly used in Mexico cuisine.

Epazote has a strong taste and aroma.

It can be somewhat of an acquired taste, but it adds a wonderful rustic layer of flavor to many dishes.

While it is best to use fresh epazote, the dried form can be used if no fresh herbs are available.

The peak season for the herb is in winter, but it is available year-round.

It is easily available in Canada at all Latin American stores.

Esquites Recipe


  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado, sunflower or canola)
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno or ½ poblano pepper, diced
  • 4 cups white corn kernels
  • 1 cup water or a bit more just to almost cover the corn
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried or fresh epazote 

To garnish (all optional)

  • 1 tsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Anejo or Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Chili Powder (Tajin)
  • Lime juice 


In a medium pot melt the butter and add the oil, sauté the onion and jalapeno pepper for 2 minutes at medium heat. 

Add the fresh corn kernels and sauté for another 5 minutes or until soft.

Add salt, died epazote and water to almost cover the corn, season to taste, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the corn is cooked.

Once cooked you should still have some liquid. 

Serve in small bowls.

Garnish to taste with mayonnaise, cheese, lime juice and chili powder.

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