I can remember the first time I had Mexican street corn – it was a “side” that came with food truck takeout. My husband handed it to me; if it was typical corn on the cob I may have passed it up, but this version looked interesting…charred corn, a creamy sauce and lots of bright green cilantro and scallions. I took a bite and exclaimed, “what IS this?”
I pulled a recipe for street corn salad from ATK three years ago and I’m just now getting around to making it. I like the idea of salad because it’s prep ahead and arguably much easier to eat. When I had it all assembled I took a big bite and was instantly reminded of that take-out day long ago – turns out I’m a huge fan of Mexican street corn, whether in cob or salad form. I had family over to try out a few recipes and this one was an all out hit. Only complaint came from my SIL Denise, who, it turns out, isn’t a big fan of cilantro. There is a LOT of cilantro in this, which is another reason I love it, but if you hate the stuff just sub parsley and only use 1/2 cup.
This is perfect for entertaining when you’re making tacos/burritos/enchiladas and you say to yourself, “what side makes sense with this?” The answer is Mexican Street Corn Salad.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
3 tbsp. lime juice (2 limes)
3 tbsp. sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. mayo
3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. avocado or olive oil, divided
6 c. fresh corn, cut from cob (about 6-8 ears)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 c. crumbled cotija cheese, crumbled (4 oz)
3/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, light green and green parts, thinly sliced
1-2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced, optional
- In a large mixing bowl, combine lime juice, yogurt/sour cream, mayo, and 1/4 tsp. of the salt. Whisk to combine.
- Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add half of the corn. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. salt over corn, cover, and let cook about 4 minutes or until deeply golden brown on the bottom. Remove corn from skillet into bowl with lime juice mixture. Repeat to cook the rest of the corn (1 tbsp. oil, half of corn, and 1/4 tsp. salt). Add corn to bowl.
- Reduce heat for now-empty skillet and add the remaining 1 tsp. oil. Add garlic and chili powder; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add garlic mixture to bowl with corn and stir to combine (dressing, corn and garlic mixture). Let cool 10-15 minutes.
- Add cotija, cilantro and scallions and toss to combine. Serve, passing serrano peppers alongside.