Inspired by Mexican street corn or elotes, this barbecue grilled sweet corn is smothered in mayo, spices and a vegan parmesan sprinkle.
Happy New Year everyone!
I’m still on holiday and enjoying a fabulous few weeks at home with my family. We’ve been daytripping around, going to the beach, for bush walks and plenty of swims. My little girl is nearly four and every outing is still an adventure for her. It’s such a pleasure to watch her sheer joy and excitement for life. It’s infectious.
The sun is out and we’ve been enjoying simple summer meals, and especially the lovely sweet corn on the cob that’s available now. I’ve been cutting it from the cob and adding it to salads, which would have to be one of my favourite ways to eat it. I also love getting my hands finger-licking dirty with a juicy cob of corn, and this grilled Mexican sweet corn is an excellent way to take sweet corn on the cob to the next level.
I created this recipe for the summer 2019 edition of Nourish magazine, and thought it was about time I shared it with you too.
Mexican inspired sweet corn
This recipe is inspired by Mexican street corn or elotes, a popular street food in Mexico. Elotes is essentially corn on the cob smothered in a mayo mixture, spices, lime, coriander, and traditionally cotija cheese, or parmesan for those outside of Mexico.
In my take on Mexican street corn I grill the corn on the barbecue until it’s charred around the edges, then slather it with vegan mayo or aioli, spices, and a vegan parmesan sprinkle made from toasted sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast. This recipe certainly isn’t traditional, but it works very well indeed.
Served with some chopped coriander and limes for squeezing, this corn is juicy, sweet, smoky, tangy and finger-licking delicious.
And if you don’t like messy fingers? Cut the charred corn from the cob, toss with the spice mix, a little parmesan sprinkle, mayo or aioli, lime, some red onion and coriander, and serve it as a salad instead. So yum.
Grilled Mexican sweet corn
For the corn:
- 6 cobs sweet corn, shucked
- Cooking oil
For the spice mix:
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp sumac
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Pinch chilli powder
For the vegan parmesan sprinkle:
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
- Mayonnaise or aioli, see recipe notes
- Chopped coriander, (cilantro)
- 1-2 limes, for squeezing
- Stir spice mix ingredients together and set aside.
- To make the vegan parmesan sprinkle, toast sunflower seeds in a dry fry pan until golden, then set aside to cool. Blitz sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast and salt together in a food processor until fine. Store in a jar or sealed container (recipe makes more than you’ll need).
- Boil corn for 2-3 minutes then drain. Rub each cob lightly with cooking oil then cook on a barbecue grill until charred on all sides.
- Use a pastry brush to generously coat the corn with mayo or aioli. Using a spice shaker if you have one, or your hands, generously sprinkle the spice mixture over all sides of the corn then add some parmesan sprinkle too.
- Serve immediately with chopped coriander (cilantro) and limes to squeeze.
- Use your favourite brand of store bought mayo or aioli, or make your own eggless aioli. In New Zealand, I like Zenzo vegan aioli which is widely available from most supermarkets.
- If you don't have a barbecue grill, you can grill the corn in your oven. Heat oven grill to high and grill the corn on a baking tray on a high rack, turning regularly, until charred around the edges.
- Nutrition information is estimate.