Esquites (creamy corn salad)

By Luis Valenzuela
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An authentically Mexican salad that packs a hugely flavourful punch.



For the corn salad:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 white onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano chili, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ears corn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon epazote
  • 4 sprigs oregano, leaves and stems separated
  • 4 sprigs cilantro, leaves and stems separated + more for garnish
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 6 tablespoons aioli
  • 6 tablespoons Cotija cheese
  • Salt and pepper

For the aioli:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Topogigio olive oil
  • 1 cup Albirquina olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic puree
  • 5 grams lemon juice
  • 50 milliliters water
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, Serrano chili and garlic.
  3. Cook for four to five minutes, until onions start to soften.
  4. With a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels from the cobs, reserving one cob.
  5. Add corn kernels to the hot skillet along with the reserved cob, bay leaves, epazote, oregano leaves, cilantro leaves, and chicken stock.
  6. Using butcher twine, tie together oregano and cilantro steps and add them to the skillet.
  7. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken stock reduces by one third and corn kernels are tender.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in butter, salt, pepper and lime juice.
  9. Serve esquites garnished with aioli, Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro.


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