Esquites, Mexican street food

Do you know what esquites are? are true Mexican street food and are found throughout Mexico. It is one of the typical foods that you see from restaurants to the corners of the streets of cities and towns.

What are esquites?

Esquites is one of the dishes that is 100% Mexican street food. Everything about it, the inexpensive ingredients, the street vendors with their loud voices asking people to buy from them, even the containers on how the corn is transported, is so so Mexican.

It is also such a typical and authentic street food that you can find esquite and corn on the cob vendors in every park in Mexico. But the authentic esquite is NOT a corn salad or grilled corn kernels, and in Mexico, we do not eat it as a side dish.

Esquites are corn kernels stewed with chili and epazote (affiliate link), served with mayonnaise, crema, lime, and chili powder. The typical way of making them is with shelled white corn, and normally the eloteros (people who sell corn -elote on the streets of Mexico) bring them in huge aluminum or peltre pots on top of a cart hooked to their bicycle.

Mexican esquite vendors

It is fun to watch them; they usually have huge aluminum pots mounted in some homemade structure attached to their bikes. They typically have two pots, one with esquites and the other one with corn on the cob, to prepare the Mexican street corn.
No matter what you ask for, an esquite or a corn on the cob, they would always ask… “Con todo?” “With everything?) and from there, you choose all the toppings.

How they prepare the elote or esquite

If you choose corn on the cob, the vendor takes it out of the steaming pot, sticks a wooden stick to the cob, pulls down the husks, and smothers it with the toppings of your choice: mayonnaise, lime, Crema Fresca, ground chili, and queso fresco, usually cotija.
If you choose esquites, which you can usually find in a pot next to the corn on the cob, they are served in foam or plastic cups. They typically use a ladle to serve all the kernels, then place the ladle on top and return the excess liquid to the pot.

And again, they would ask…With everything? They would add mayo, Mexican crema, cheese, lime juice, and ground chili if you say yes. I do have to say, my favorite way to eat it is with salt, lime juice, and ground chili powder.

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Why make esquites with hominey?

In Mexico, fresh corn is white, and it is not sweet. In the United States, corn is yellow and very sweet; I have not found a type of corn similar to Mexican corn. Shoepeg corn is the closest one but not readily available. That is why I thought of making esquites with hominy corn. The flavor is similar to Mexican corn.

Also, esquites are such a delicious treat that you can make at any time, even if you have a can of pozole hominy in the pantry or a bag of frozen pozole corn in the freezer.

Ingridients

  • Hominy. I confess that I use the one that comes in a can ready to eat. You can also use natural pozole and put it to cook yourself, but to make this recipe it has to cooked.
  • Epazote (affiliate link). Epazote (affiliate link), is a pungent herb very common in my country, I can not think of a resh herb to substitute it. So, if you do not find it, just keep it out, if it is your first time trying it start with one sprig and slowly start adding more. You could substitute with fresh cilantro but it would never be the same.
  • Chile serrano. Serrano chili, diced. Remove the veins and seeds if you don’t want it to be so spicy.
  • Butter. I use vegan butter, but you can use whatever you like best.
  • For serving:
    • Vegan mayonnaise, homemade with aquafaba or Vegenaise also works well.
    • Fresh lime juice, a lot, and lime wedges to finish.
    • Chilli powder, about a teaspoon of chili powder per serving. Use Tajin or other Mexican chili mix, I don’t think cayenne pepper is a good substitute for this popular street food in Mexico.
    • Fresh Mexican crema and a good tablespoon of cotija chesse.

How to make esquites?

  1. First, sautéed the diced chile with butter and then add the corn.
  2. Add your water, salt and the epazote (affiliate link). Stir and leave it until it starts to boil. Taste, adjust the flavor and get ready to serve it.
  3. Serve the corn and a little broth in small cups. Finish with lime juice, one or a couple of tablespoons mayonnaise (I use vegan mayo), and chili powder. Eat with a spoon.

when and how serve esquites

Esquites are perfect for that afternoon craving; they are ideal as a snack or start a meal. In Mexico, we also serve them at parties, and it is a typical snack at all carnivals.

Answers to your burning questions

Can you store esquites?

Yes, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for about three to five days. You could also freeze them in a freezer-safe bag.

Can esquites be served cold?

Yes, but I do not recommend it. Esquites are not a Mexican corn salad so do not serve cold, serve them hot or at least warm.

What does esquite mean?

Mexican corn in a cup.

Are esquites healthy?

It all depends on the quality of the ingredients. But yes, they could be healthy-ish as long as you don’t add Cheetos or other widely processed food.

Other recipes that you may like:

Here is the recipe for esquites that I made with hominy (hominy corn) perfect for a party, a day in the afternoon, or even in childrens’ lunch box. It’s one of my favorite vegan Mexican street foods. When you make it, take a photo of it and share it on FB, Instagram or save it on Pinterest if you will make it later.

hominey esquites

Esquites, Mexican street food

Esquites are corn kernels stewed with chili and epazote, served with mayonnaise, crema, lime, and chili powder.
5 de 1 voto
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
0 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Mexicana
Servings 6 people
Calories 92 kcal

Equipment

  • LArge soup pot

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • jalapeño
  • 4 cups corn kernels
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp epazote, chopped
  • salt

For serving

  • mayonnaise
  • lime juice
  • ground chili
  • salt

Instructions
 

  • First, sautéed the diced chile with butter and then add the corn.
  • Add your water, salt and the epazote. Leave it until it starts to boil. Taste, adjust the flavor and get ready to serve it.
  • Serve the corn and a little broth in glasses. Finish with lime juice, mayonnaise, and chili powder.

Nutrition

Serving: 250gCalories: 92kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 218mgPotassium: 204mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 62IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Corn chowder, esquite, hominy, Mexican corn chowder

information

Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @piloncilloyvainilla on Instagram and hashtag it #brownsugarandvanilla so we can all see your creations.

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