Elevate Canned Corn By Giving It An Elote Transformation

While there are plenty of ingredients you can add to canned corn to make it more flavorful, you can also elevate canned corn by integrating those kernels into an exciting recipe. And what's more exciting than elote, the Mexican street corn? If you're not familiar, elote is a grilled corn on the cob complete with toppings such as mayonnaise, queso fresco, lime juice, and plenty of spices (including chile powder to give it a nice kick).

What some people may not know is that elote can also be eaten in a bowl as a type of corn salad — although it then has a different name: esquites. Esquites is the perfect way to use your canned corn because so much of the dish's appeal comes from its supplementary items — the right spices and condiments will bring that canned corn to life.

Besides the canned corn, here's everything you need for Tasting Table's esquites recipe: one red pepper, one red onion, one jalapeño, cilantro, mayonnaise, sour cream, a few limes, cotija cheese, avocado oil, salt, and Tajin (or your preferred spices).

How to make esquites with canned corn

In Tasting Table's recipe for esquites, we use fresh corn that is roasted on the grill — but this is easy to adapt to canned corn. First and foremost, you'll drain out all of the liquid from the can. From there, you can add a bit of oil to a pan and roast the corn on the stovetop; cook for about 10 minutes or until the corn starts to become a bit charred.

Then, you chop up all of the other ingredients (aiming for small, dice-sized pieces) and make the dressing (sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, and the spices). To bring everything together, start with the dry ingredients — the corn, all the diced veggies, and the cheese. Once the dry ingredients are sufficiently mixed, then toss in the dressing to complete the dish.

If you end up loving esquites made this way, then you may want to explore our list of the other best ways to use canned corn.