I turned 44 last month. I’m not telling you that so you buy me belated birthday presents. I’m telling you that so I can tell you that I am disappointed in myself for going that many years without eating elote salad every summer of my life. Don’t make the same mistake I made.
Elote Salad is the best way to eat fresh corn.
If you’d rather eat your corn on the cob, I understand. I love it that way too. But when I slather it with mayonnaise and spices and cotija cheese, what happens is I sort of get it all over my face, every bite I take. This could very well be a problem that only I have.
Whether or not you are able to eat corn on the cob slathered with stuff without getting it all over your face, this elote salad really is an excellent alternative to the classic on the cob version.
And if you’re thinking But Simone, removing the kernels from the cob is such a pain and they go flying all over– check out how easy and flying-kernel-free it can be:
This Elote Salad has everything you want in a summer salad:
- fresh, in-season corn
- all the flavors – sweet, spicy, sour, umami, even a tiny bit of bitter – all perfectly balanced
- easy to transport to a BBQ, great either cold or room temp, and still good the next day.
What you’ll need to make Elote Salad:
- corn, preferably in season and fresh
- mayonnaise and/or sour cream (I like to do half of each, but either is great)
- green onions
- lime juice
- garlic powder
- chipotle powder
- cotija cheese (optional)
*About sumac: I am aware that this isn’t a pantry staple for everyone, but I really, really want it to be. I use it ALL the time. It looks like coarsely ground chili pepper, but it isn’t spicy, it’s citrusy and tangy and bright. It’s made from the ground berries of the wild sumac flower. You can get some without even leaving your house by ordering it from Oaktown Spice Shop – my absolute favorite spice company, and they ship refill bags free.
Okay back to the Elote Salad. It’s easy to make, here’s how:
- Remove the kernels from the cobs as shown above
- Cook the kernels in a hot pan for 5 minutes, only stirring after 3 minutes so they get a nice char
- Chop up some green onions, jalapeño and cilantro
- Mix up the dressing and toss it all together.
- Say to yourself or out loud I might never eat corn another way again.
You may never eat corn another way again.
- avocado oil or other cooking oil
- 4 ears corn, kernels removed
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 2 green onions, minced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise, sour cream, or a combination of the two
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- juice of one lime, plus more for serving
- a few tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese, optional
- Heat a large skillet over high heat and add just a little oil to the pan, just so there’s a light coating.
- Once it’s hot, add the corn. Leave it for 3 minutes – you want to get it nice and charred. Once it starts to brown, flip or stir and cook for an additional two minutes, or until the corn is just slightly softened and has some nice brown spots. Hit it with a big pinch of salt and transfer to a large bowl.
- Make the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise and/or sour cream, sumac, coriander, chipotle and garlic powder.
- Add the jalapeño, green onions, and cilantro to the bowl with the corn and toss with the dressing. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt, lime, or chipotle if it needs anything. Stir in cotija cheese, if using, and sprinkle some extra on top before serving.
- Serve with additional lime wedges, if desired.
see above video for how to remove kernels from corn without making a mess.
Keywords: elote, elote salad
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