Esquites. Mexican Street Corn in a cup! This corn is buttery, warm, and creamy. Top with some crumbled cotija, lime juice, hot sauce, chili powder, or kick it up a notch with some crushed up Hot Cheetos! 

Mexican street corn in cups served with crunched cheetos and chili sauce, with lime wedges and diced cilantro on the side.

These cups of Mexican street corn are possibly the BEST snack, appetizer, or side dish. Sweet, juicy fresh corn is roasted and cooked in a small amount of butter, and mixed with some mayonnaise and crema.

This warm, creamy, Mexican corn salad is then topped with crumbled cheese, lime juice, hot sauce, and even some Hot Cheetos! This dish is perfect to serve alongside some classic ground beef tacos, with a classic margarita, or with some classic Tex Mex Cheese Enchiladas

What is esquites?

Esquites is Mexican street corn in a cup. Also known as elotes en vaso. And possibly one of my favorite dishes to get from little Mexican food shops. Esquites is made with corn that has been cut off the cob, then it’s roasted or boiled. I’ve seen it done both ways.

How to make Esquites:

  1. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Then cut the corn off the cob.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet, add the corn and salt, cook for about 6-8 minutes until corn is softened. Oil can be substituted for the butter if desired. Can also add garlic at this point if desired.
  3. Remove the corn to a large bowl and add in the mayonnaise and crema. 
  4. Serve in cups or from the bowl as a large serving. This dish is best served warm right after it’s cooked.  
  5. Top with your favorite toppings! 
How to make street corn in a cup, cooking the corn kernels in butter, adding crema and mayonnaise, stirring in Cotija cheese, a sauce made from chili powder and lime juice, the completed cups topped with hot cheetos or chili sauce and diced cilantro.

What do you top Esquites with? 

Some traditional toppings are crumbled cotija cheese, hot sauce, crema, a squeeze of lime juice, and a sprinkle of chili powder. Some of my favorites, I prefer to use queso fresco. It’s a crumbled cheese very similar to cotija, it’s just not as salty, it’s a bit more mellow. 

However, my new favorite topping, thanks to a local restaurant, crushed hot cheetos! 

What’s that red sauce on street corn?

The red sauce that is often see on top of grilled street corn or topping street corn in a cup is a simple mixture of chili powder and lime juice. Simply squeeze half a lime into a small bowl and add chili powder until it’s a nice pourable red sauce.

Up close view of street corn in a cup topped with a drizzle of homemade chili sauce.

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Up close view of street corn in a cup topped with a drizzle of homemade chili sauce.

Esquites

Esquites.This Mexican Street Corn in a cup is buttery, warm, and creamy. Top with some crumbled cotija, lime juice, hot sauce, chili powder, or kick it up a notch with some crushed up Hot Cheetos! 

Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp crema

Toppings

  • fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 wedge per cup
  • cotija or queso fresco , crumbled
  • hot cheetos, crushed

Red Chile Sauce

Equipment

  • skillet

Instructions

  • Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Then cut the corn off the cob. 
  • Melt butter in a large skillet, add the corn, salt, stir and cook for about 6-8 minutes until corn is softened. 
  • Remove the corn to a large bowl and add in the mayonnaise and crema. You can add more if you desire a creamier texture.
  • Serve warm in a large bowl or in individual cups.Top with desired toppings! Enjoy. 

Red Chile Sauce

  • Squeeze the lime juice into a small bowl.
  • Add the chili powder and stir, adjust with more juice or chili powder to liking, should be a pourable consistency.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 276kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 346mg, Fiber: 4g
Did you make this recipe?Tag @HouseofYumm on Instagram and hashtag #houseofyumm!

Recipe first published May 20, 2019. Updated May 6, 2020 with new images and additional information for chili sauce.