Mexican street corn (AKA elote) is usually made from grilled corn slathered in a creamy, cheesy, lime mixture that is out of this world delicious! This is my own salad version inspired by this popular street food. Grilled/charred corn kernels get tossed with lots of herbs, crunchy cabbage, and spicy jalapeño in a creamy tangy dressing. Top it with plenty of cheese, tangy pickled onions, and crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds for a crowd-pleasing side perfect for summer!
Corn! Is rich in B vitamins, vitamins C + E, folic acid, and magnesium. Yellow corn has high levels of lutein, a carotenoid important for eye and heart health. Don’t remove the husk until you’re ready to cook so the kernels stay fresh and don’t dry out.
- 4 ears corn, shucked (about 3 cups kernels)*
- 1/2 cup sour cream or whole milk Greek yogurt
- 3-4 tbsp lime juice**
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups thinly sliced, then chopped cabbage
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 cups loosely packed cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled red onions, chopped
- Crumbled cotija cheese (or use feta), for topping
- Toasted pumpkin seeds, for topping
- *You can also just use 3 cups of fresh or frozen kernels and cook them in a skillet on the grill or stove over high heat until charred.
- **This depends on how acidic you like your salads, so start with 3 tablespoons!
- Note: ~ this is meant to be a side, but you can top with grilled chicken to make this a meal.
- Heat your grill on high for at least 10 minutes.
- Brush each ear of corn with some oil and sprinkle with some salt. Place on the grill and cook, covered, for about 10-15 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes or until charred. Transfer to a cutting board to cool off, then slice off the kernels.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream or yogurt, lime, soy sauce, cumin, and salt until smooth. Add the grilled corn, cabbage, scallions, cilantro, and jalapeno and toss to coat
- Serve topped with pickled red onions and plenty of cheese and seeds!
Items you can prep ahead (optional)
- Shuck and grill 4 ears corn + slice off kernels (about 3 cups kernels)
- Make the dressing
- Prep 2 cups thinly sliced, then chopped cabbage
- Thinly slice 1 bunch scallions
- Chop 2 cups loosely packed cilantro
- Finely chop 1 jalapeno
- Make the salad
- Chop ½ cup pickled red onions
- Toast pumpkin seeds, for topping
- To make vegan, use a vegan yogurt or mayonnaise in place of Greek yogurt. Skip the cheese and top with chopped avocado and a generous sprinkling more of salt.
- Use any raw crunchy veg (thinly sliced or finely chopped) in place of cabbage (fennel, radish, carrot, broccoli, etc…).
- Skip the pickled red onions or use pickled jalapenos in their place (you can skip the fresh jalapenos in this case as well).
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.
Leftovers + Repurposing:
- I like to warm this salad up for just 10 seconds in the microwave to take the chill off or you could let it sit out at room temp for 30 minutes.
- Use it as a dip for tortilla chips or a topping for tacos or bowls.
- Use it as a filling for a quesadilla.
- Top with grilled chicken for an easy meal.