charred corn with cilantro aioli and queso fresco


Spicy Charred Corn with Cilantro Aioli & Queso Fresco   

Mexican street corn is a specialty that can found all over LA. It’s served everywhere from trendy restaurants to street vendors. The corn is traditionally served on the cob on a stick rubbed with a mayonnaise, chili powder and cotija mixture but I like this version with the corn off the cob since I am not exactly a dainty eater. In this recipe the corn is rubbed in butter then charred and served cut off the cob topped with chili oil, cilantro aioli and queso fresco.



For the corn:

5 medium ears sweet corn

2 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


For the cilantro aioli:

1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

zest from 1 lime

juice from 1 lime

½ cup cilantro, chopped


To serve:

1 teaspoon chili oil (I use Purple Panda)

¼ cup crumbled queso fresco*

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

lime wedges, for serving



For the corn:

Preheat the grill. Pull the husks back gently and rub the corn on all sides with butter then season with salt and pepper. Grill the corn for about 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the corn every occasionally until the corn begins to char in places. Remove the husks completely and set the corn aside to cool. Once the corn is cool, stand the corn on its end and use a serrated knife to cut the kernels off the cob. Repeat with the remaining corn and discard the cobs. Gather all of the kernels in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.


For the cilantro aioli:

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, garlic, lime zest and lime juice. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the chopped cilantro so that it forms a paste. Whisk the cilantro paste into the mayonnaise, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


To serve:

Add the corn to a medium serving bowl. Sprinkle the chili oil over the corn and stir to combine. Scoop the aioli on the top of the corn. Top with queso fresco and chili powder and serve with a side of lime wedges. Serve warm.


Serves 4 as a side.


*Note: quesco fresco is a type of creamy, mild Mexican cheese that has a similar consistency to ricotta or goat cheese. It can be found at large markets such as Whole Foods or Hispanic markets.

spicy charred corn side
charred corn with cilantro aioli and queso fresco bowl

If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photo #cwcr! I love getting to see what you make!


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