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Carson Daly's Off-the-Cob Mexican Street Corn

Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Everyone loves elote, but it can be messy to eat and you're picking corn out of your teeth for an hour after you finish eating. This recipe comes together quick and all you need is a fork — not a drop cloth.

Technique tip: Make sure the corn is well drained, so it gets nice and browned.

Swap options: Use fresh or frozen corn. Greek yogurt or sour cream can be used in place of the crema.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro, stems and leaves (measure before chopping)
  • 1 large lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (29-ounce) can whole corn kernels, drained and dried
  • 3/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese



In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, crema, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and spices. Mix well to combine.


Preheat a cast-iron pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil once hot. Add drained corn and stir occasionally until browned in spots. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.


Add cream-spice mixture to the cooled corn and gently stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary. Garnish with cotija cheese and lime zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.