Grilled Mexican corn
Possibly the messiest, best corn you have ever eaten
Traditional Mexican street corn is a messy, but oh-so delicious treat. My husband says my version is the "best corn I have ever eaten." To be truthful, JP rates a lot of my cooking "best ever." He's either very sweet or has a very short-term memory when it comes to food. Or perhaps a little bit of both. His opinion on this corn has been verified, however. I recently served this corn for a family gathering and my son Mikey, who helped me grill the corn, also says this corn is amazing.
Traditional street corn is charred on the grill and then rubbed down with Mexican crema, mayonnaise and sometimes butter, then seasoned with lime, salt, chili powder and a sprinkling of Cotija cheese. My version of street corn incorporates a couple small modifications. I use Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise and add a bit of Spanish smoked paprika to add a little umami and smokey goodness. Read my posts on Japanese mayonnaise and Spanish paprika to find out why they make food so delicious.
You can completely remove the husks before you grill the corn, but I like to pull mine back and make a handle out of the husks. It makes for a dramatic presentation and lets everyone know they are about to eat something special. Alternatively, the corn can be skewered with a stick or just eaten out of hand. There is no delicate way to eat this corn. As Mikey says, "you just gotta go for it and get the job done."
Cojita is a hard Mexican grating cheese, named after the town of Cojita. Cojita cheese is often compared to parmesan cheese. Cojita is sold in many U.S. markets. Some recipes for grilled Mexican street corn substitute parmesan or feta cheese for Cojita.
Grilled Mexican corn
Possibly the messiest, most delicious grilled corn you have ever eaten. My version of Mexican street corn uses Japanese Kewpie mayo and Spanish smoked paprika for an umami-rich, smokey treat.
- 6 fresh corn cobs with all the husk in tact
- 1 lime
- 1/3 cup Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
- 1 t Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 t chili powder, plus more for sprinkling
- 4 ounces Cotija cheese, finely grated
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- Pull the corn husks back from each cob and remove silk, leaving the corn husks attached to the corn. Pull off a small ribbon of the husk and tie the husks back to form a handle.
- Fill a sink full of water and soak the tied corn for at least half an hour. This helps prevent the husks from burning when they are on the grill.
- While the corn is soaking, grate and juice the lime and mix it with mayonnaise, smoked paprika and chili powder. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Clean and lightly oil your grill grates and heat to medium-high. Dry the corn and grill until charred on all sides, taking care to keep the husks away from the hottest part of the grill, about 10 minutes.
- When the corn is cooked, remove any lingering silk and generously rub each cob down with the lime-mayo-spice mixture. Sprinkle each cob with the grated Cojita cheese, chopped cilantro, salt and if you prefer, a little extra chili powder. Serve hot with plenty of napkins.
If you completely remove the corn husks before grilling, you eliminate the need to soak the corn and significantly reduce preparation time. The presentation won't be as fun, but the corn will be every bit as delicious.
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