Behind the Seasoning: Mexican Street Corn Seasoning & Elote RecipesA street-food favorite inspired one of our summer must-haves, Mexican Street Corn Seasoning. This bold flavor is the perfect spice for summer corn, so let's explore this fiesta of flavor.
Mexican Street Corn Seasoning is only available seasonally. Please check back next summer.
Street food is a key part of many cuisines. Whether you're snacking on satay, putting down some pad thai, devouring dosa, finishing off some falafel, or snarfing sausage, there's something satisfying about street food. In Mexico, these tasty treats are known as antojitos or "little cravings" and include tacos, tamales, empanadas, and (of course) elotes.
What is Mexican Street Corn or Elote?
Elote (Spanish for corn) is a food that’s native to the Americas. Countless varieties have been cultivated over thousands of years. While you might just think of the sweet, yellow type that’s used (fresh, frozen, and canned) throughout the United States, the world of corn is so much bigger!
It’s a biofuel, food for both humans and livestock, and can even be made into a plastic substitute. It also has a 10,000 year history as a crop that has been highly important throughout Mexico’s history. In fact, there are varietal differences between the yellow sweet corn we’re familiar with and the earthy, white corn that is most common in Mexico. But don’t worry, your street corn will be delicious – even if it’s not elote blanco.
Start with corn that’s still on the cob, that’s key for authentic Mexican street corn. Squirt it with a bit of lime juice and then slather it with mayonnaise (not a dainty spread, we’re talking about a generous smear). We know that this particular condiment can be a bit divisive but it’s really the only way to make authentic street corn. Then sprinkle on seasoning and queso fresco or cotija cheese. It’s best eaten on a hefty skewer as you can imagine that it’s a bit messy.
Grilled Mexican street corn might not be traditional but it’s delicious! Street corn already has a balance of tangy, salty, sweet, creamy, and fresh tastes but when you toss the corn on the grill first, you add those nice roasty, caramelized notes that only a quick sear will contribute.
What is the red powder on elotes?
That powder is flavor! Traditionally a chile-based powder, we created an all-in-one, earthy, zesty, warm blend of spices to replicate the distinctive chile lime flavor…Mexican Street Corn Seasoning.
What is in Mexican Street Corn Seasoning?
Mexican Street Corn Seasoning is a blend of spices that are commonly found in Mexican cuisine. Balance of flavors is key so we start with earthy (cumin, annatto, turmeric, and Mexican oregano), tangy and salty (lime salt and lime leaves). It wouldn’t be the perfect elote spice without adding chiles, so we add a blend of ancho chiles (with sweet, raisin-like notes), Aji Amarillo (fruity and bright flavor), California paprika (which has that distinctive sweet red pepper taste), and a touch of cayenne for heat. We round it out with sharp garlic flavor and a touch of dried cilantro.
What is Mexican Street Corn Seasoning Used For?
We created this seasoning to make it easy to enjoy the distinctive flavor of elote at home. But don’t stop there. With a bold, chile-lime flavor, this seasoning is a great option for seasoning Mexican Street Corn Black Bean Burgers and Mexican Street Corn Grilled Chicken, rice and quinoa, salads and other vegetable dishes. The possibilities are limitless.
Why do they call it elote and Why do they call it Mexican Street Corn?
Let’s start with one quick clarification. As we mentioned before, elote means corn in Spanish. But it’s also used to refer to a specific style of corn on the cob that’s common throughout Mexico (street corn in a cup is called esquites). The name Mexican Street Corn is mostly an American thing and yes, it means pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Elote is an incredibly popular street food in Mexico. Yup, it’s corn that’s sold by street vendors throughout Mexico…thus, Mexican Street Corn.
What does Mexican Street Corn or Elote Seasoning Taste Like?
Mexican Street Corn is all about layers of flavor. You’ll taste the sweetness of the corn, zesty lime juice, earthy and bold flavor from the chile powder, and salty cotija cheese or queso fresco.
Our seasoning is dairy-free and doesn’t have the cheese in it – but you can always add it back in! Otherwise, we pack the other flavors in using spices.
Where and How to Buy Mexican Street Corn Seasoning
Mexican Street Corn Seasoning is one of our most popular summer flavors. Traditionally, we launch it every year on the first day of summer, in mid-June, both in stores and on our website. It's typically available through early September or while supplies last.
What Can Be Substituted For Mexican Street Corn Seasoning or Elote Seasoning?
Street corn in Mexico doesn’t use Mexican Street Corn Seasoning. You can replicate most of the flavor that we pack into this seasoning by using fresh lime juice, chili powder, and fresh cilantro. Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning is another good flavor replicator with similar ingredients and can absolutely be used as a substitute.
What Other Spices, Seasonings, and Flavors Pair Well with Mexican Street Corn Seasoning?
Mexican Street Corn Seasoning stands alone and doesn’t really need to be paired with other spices or seasonings. However, when you are thinking about other flavors that pair well with it, think summer, tropical, or fiesta flavors. The warmth and spice of enchiladas will pair well with zesty elote flavor.
What to Eat with Mexican Street Corn Dishes
Mexican Street Corn is great but to really make it a meal, you’ll want to add a few other dishes into the mix. Here are good recipes to serve with street corn.
- Fresh Salsa Verde – Grab some chips to go with this super simple salsa.
- Adobo Rice – A great side for any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish.
- Charro Beans – This family recipe from Mexico is a classic.
- Achiote Rubbed Chicken Tacos – Street corn + tacos = automatic fiesta!
- Aguas Frescas Three Ways – Finish it off with a refreshing tropical drink.
Recipes Using Mexican Street Corn Seasoning
Our flavorful Mexican Street Corn Seasoning inspired both traditional-ish and totally new recipes that we’re sure will fire up some ideas of your own. And while we’re staying corn-centric in this recipe round up, feel free to use your Mexican Street Corn Seasoning to add a little zesty flavor to your salsa or Fiesta Guacamole, tostadas and tamales, Mexican Street Corn Grilled Chicken, fish tacos, even in a Beachside Fruit Cup, or as a substitute for taco seasoning. There really are endless flavor possibilities for this summer favorite.
Mexican Street Corn
Also known as “elote,” Mexican street corn is grilled, covered in creamy toppings, garnished with fresh cilantro and lime juice, and served on a stick. You can skip the stick, but don’t skip this zesty seasoning that adds easy, authentic flavor and bold color.
Recipes with Mexican Street Corn Seasoning
Cheesy Elote Nachos
Here's where we're going to veer from the traditional preparation. Mexican Street Corn Seasoning pulls double duty as a bold flavor in the nacho cheese sauce and sprinkled over the toppings.
Marbled Skillet Cornbread
This is not your grandma's cornbread. The bold flavor of Mexican Street Corn Seasoning and a tangy cream cheese swirl revamp classic southern cornbread into a surprising savory, citrusy summer treat.
Healthy Mexican Street Corn Recipes
This isn’t so much a recipe as a tip. If you want something a little lighter and healthier, you can skip the mayonnaise and add Mexican Street Corn Seasoning to any cooked corn (grilled, boiled, frozen…) with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Mexican Street Corn Dip Recipes
Layered Elote Salad
Also called esquites, this Mexican street corn in a cup packs all the flavor of elote into a portable package. It's great for people who prefer their corn off the cob. Think of it as the 7 layer dip of the street corn world!
Mexican Street Corn Dip
Our Mexican Street Corn Seasoning is so popular that it inspired us to create a Spice 'n Easy Mexican Street Corn Dip. With this mix, you just need to add three ingredients for a homemade, easy elote dip.
Warm & Cheesy Elote Dip
Everyone loves a warm, melty, cheesy dip. Our Test Kitchen found a way to give Mexican Street Corn Dip an oven-roasted twist for a hearty spin that is sure to satisfy a hungry crowd.