Elote in a cup, also known as esquites, is a traditional mexican street food.

Elote in a Cup

Elote in a cup, also known as Esquites, is Mexican Street Corn in a cup. Elote is a traditional way to serve corn on the cob topped with mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chile powder and lime. This recipe, however, is known as Esquites, which has all the same ingredients as Elote, but it’s served in a cup! This makes it much easier to eat and serve, and even prepare ahead of time.

Elote in a cup is also called esquites. It's a traditional Mexican street food.
Elote in a cup is also called esquites. It’s a traditional Mexican street food.

With corn season here, there are so many delicious ways to cook and eat your favorite kind of corn. Traditionally made with white corn, which gives esquites a more grain-like taste, this dish can be prepared with any kind of corn. It just depends on how traditional you want to be.

This dish is made with corn cut off the cob mixed with mayo and chile powder, topped with more mayo or sour cream, lime juice, cotija, and chile powder and lime for garnish.

Making elote in a cup is an easy side that pairs well with steak fajitas or chicken enchiladas. It also travels well so it’s easy to bring as a side for a party.

Mayo or Sour Cream?

Traditional elote is made with mayonnaise, but this recipe uses half mayo and half sour cream. The sour cream brings a lightness to an otherwise heavy dish. You can even replace all the mayo with sour cream if you prefer.

Another way to cut calories out of this dish is to use reduced fat sour cream. When you add the lime and chile powder, it’ll mix bind with the creaminess of the sour cream and you won’t be able to tell if you’re using a full fat ingredient or a lighter ingredient.

I even served this lighter version to my family and friends and they couldn’t tell that this was made with a light sour cream.

What is Cotjia Cheese?

Cotjia cheese is a Mexican cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It’s incredibly salty and crumbly in nature. It’s used to accent tacos, tostadas and soups. While cotjia will soften when it is warmed, it will not melt, making it a good finishing cheese.

There are two versions of cotija – fresh and aged. You’ll want to pick up a fresh cotjia since it’s more crumbly in nature while the aged cheese is closer to a parmesan.

If you can’t find cotija cheese at your local supermarket, you can use feta as an alternative. Feta is not as salty but just as crumbly as cotija.

How to Make Elote in a Cup

Making elote in a cup is an easy side for a family dinner or a pot-luck.

  • The corn: Either grill or boil the corn until it’s fork-tender. After letting the corn cobs cool for a couple of minutes, cut the kernels off the cob and set it into a medium bowl.
  • The sauce: Add in your sour cream, mayo, lime juice and chile powder into the warm corn kernels and mix well.
  • Garnish: After mixing the sauce into the corn, add more sour cream on top. Add your cheese as well. Use cotija cheese if you’re able to find it, but if not, a feta will work as well. Top with more chile powder and a lime wedge as well.
  • Serve: Serving this side is easy. it can be served in individual cups or in one large bowl with a serving spoon. It can also be made ahead of time and served warm or cold.

Elote in a Cup

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Recipe by Sarah Course: SidesCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

220

kcal

Elote in a cup, also known as Esquites, is a Mexican Street Corn in a cup. Elote is a traditional way to serve corn on the cob topped with mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chile powder and lime.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears white corn

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup mayo

  • 2 limes, juice of

  • chile powder

Directions

  • Prep the corn. Shuck and boil the corn in salted water until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Cut. Cut off the kernels of the corn and place in a large bowl.
  • Add in your ingredients. Add in your sour cream, mayonnaise, and lime juice and mix together.
  • Garnish. Top with chile powder, extra sour cream and extra lime wedges. Enjoy hot or cold.

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