Mexican Corn Salad recipe

Mexican Corn Salad

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This creamy and tangy Mexican corn salad is perfect with fresh corn from the farmers’ market. Whether it’s grilled, or cut off the cob and sauteed on top of the stove, the high heat brings out its sweet flavor while giving it a nice bit of charring. It’s cooked quickly, so it maintains that fresh taste as well as the nutrients. The dressing is a combination of mayonnaise, Mexican hot sauce, lime juice, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and cotija cheese. It’s full of flavor and surprisingly easy to make.

When choosing corn on the cob, look for ears that are bright green with leaves firmly intact. The tassels should be moist and silky, and the kernels should feel full and plump.

Cotija (coh-TEE-ha) is a hard, aged Mexican cheese with a strong, robust flavor. Like feta, it crumbles easily. If you can find this cheese in your local store, it will make the dish taste more authentic.


To remove the corn kernels from the cob, stand it upright in a deep bowl and cut straight down along the base of the kernels. This will help catch them as they’re cut off.

Corn on the Cob

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Mexican Corn Salad


  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled, plus 2 tablespoons for the top
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined, and finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce (such as Tapatío)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt


In a large bowl, stir together 1/4 cup cotija cheese, cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice, jalapeño pepper, hot sauce, and salt. Set aside.

If using grilled corn, cut the kernels off the cob when cool enough to handle.

To sauté the corn on top of the stove, add 1 teaspoon of canola oil to a large, flat bottom skillet and swirl it around the pan. Heat on medium-high until hot. Add half of the corn and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the corn is slightly charred. Remove the corn to another dish and add the second teaspoon of oil to the pan. Sauté the remaining kernels for 2 to 3 minutes. The second batch will cook faster because the pan is hotter at this point.

Add all of the corn to the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture and toss to combine. Place in a serving dish and top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese.

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