by The Culinistas

What do our Esquites and The Bourne Identity have in common? Both are action packed and instantly classic. Not to mention this dish is ready in less time than it takes to decide which Bourne saga to watch on a Friday night. 

We’re sending off summer with one last hurrah: Fresh corn gets charred and added to a mix of red onion and jalapeno, then combined with our cool lime crema, fresh cilantro and a little cotija cheese. It’s the perfect salad to pack up for one last adventure to the beach, or a rainy movie night din to sidekick alongside red snapper or skirt steak.  


Recipe development in collaboration with Francisco Reed. This salad-style version of Mexican street corn is classically made with fried chillies & chicken; it is theoried to have been created by Tlaxocihualpili, the female ruler of Xochimilco from 1335-1357.

Chef Tips:

If fresh corn is not available, use 2 cups of frozen corn & 2 cups white hominy instead. Hominy can be found canned, in the international aisle, or dried. If using dried hominy, soak the kernels the night before & boil until tender before adding to the dish. 

– If cotija cheese is not available, use feta in place of fresh & pecorino romano in place of aged. 

– If you have on hand, add 2 TB mayonnaise to the lime crema to create a deep, rich flavor; mayonnaise is traditionally used in this preparation.

– Red onion & jalapeño are immediately added to the hot corn to lightly cook & ease their sharp tastes.

Utilize remaining red onion to make a quick pickle: Combine ½ cup red wine vinegar, ½ cup water & ¼ cup sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil & pour over sliced red onion. Refrigerate until completely chilled & use as garnish.

Prep Time 15 mins 

Cook Time 8 mins 

Serves 4

4 TB olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish

4 cups corn, off the cob

¼ cup red onion, minced

2 jalapeño, stem, seeds & ribs removed, minced

1 cup sour cream

4 TB lime juice, divided

4 tsp lime zest, divided

¼ cup cilantro, plus more for garnish

⅓ cup cotija, crumbled for garnish

Urfa, for garnish 

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 

1. Heat a large skillet over high heat, add 2 TB olive oil & corn. Stir minimally & char kernels, about 8 mins. 

2. Transfer charred corn to a large bowl, immediately add red onion & jalapeño; refrigerate to chill, 10 mins. 

3. Prepare lime crema: In a small bowl, combine sour cream, 2 TB lime juice & 2 tsp lime zest; season generously with salt & pepper. 

4. Add remaining 2 TB olive oil, remaining 2 TB lime juice, remaining 2 tsp lime zest & cilantro to chilled corn; stir to combine. 

5. Transfer esquites to a shallow bowl & top with lime crema. Garnish with cotija, urfa, cilantro & olive oil.

Urfa is a chef’s secret. Check out our eComm shop to purchase our favorite brand.