These Mexican Street Corn Salad Wonton Cups are the bomb! Roasted corn combined with jalapeno, red onions, sour cream, Cojita cheese, and some chili powder for spice makes a great party appetizer or side dish.
Have you heard of Mexican Street Corn? I have been hearing about it for years and never had the chance to have authentic street corn until recently. I love it so much I’m making a street corn salad that comes in a wonton cup to make it easier to eat!
There are a few names that people use for street corn and it gets a little confusing to me as to which one is which.
Too many names and not enough eating!
Street corn is a popular food sold in Mexico but depending on the region the name and serving method can be different. Elote is corn on the cob that is grilled or boiled, in the husk. It is eaten much like we eat corn on the cob but with come condiments added to it. Where we normally just add some butter and salt to our corn cobs, in Mexico, they add mayonnaise or sour cream, salt, chili powder, butter, lime juice, and cheese! Doesn’t that sound yummy?
It does to me. It also sounds pretty messy. Not sure I could eat it and not get it all over my face. If I’m walking around a fair I could add it in with my ginormous smoked turkey leg! Sometimes that’s fun and all, like with wings, but sometimes you need to be a little neater.
The other way to eat street corn, usually in the southern areas of Mexico and the urban sections is called esquites. This is where they serve the hot corn in a cup. All the same condiments are added to the corn but having it in a cup and eating with a spoon sounds a little easier. You can also but it in stores and restaurants this way too!
This version sounds pretty fun for Cinco de Mayo coming up so that’s what I’m making!
I am not presently roaming the streets in Mexico trying to find some good street food, even though I wish I was, but I don’t think I am going to find any here in South Georiga. I’m going to improvise and make my own!
Grilling the corn is great but to save some time I am going to pan fry it up. My hubby makes a great fried corn recipe that is so delicious. Just butter, frozen corn, and a searing hot cast iron skillet. Once the pan is hot, toss in the butter (lots of it) and the corn, and stir until the corn is a golden brown. Done!
I could eat it all day long! Makes me want to take a big bowl to the movies and eat it instead of the movie popcorn.
I would probably cause a stir if I walked into the movies with a bowl of corn. If you see me in there with one, I’m not sharing so don’t even ask.
The fried corn tastes great and will be my grilled corn for the salad. I love red onion with my corn so even though it is not a typical addition to the street corn salad, I am adding some. And some red bell pepper for color.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk for a minute about the salad cups themselves.
Wonton wrappers are a great thing to have in your fridge or freezer. I usually keep a package or two on hand for appetizers or for soup. I have used them before in my Sheet Pan Italian Nachos as chips and filled them with pumpkin pie in my Chocolate Pumpkin Wontons. Just like puff pastry, these are an entertaining staple. You can put just about anything in a wonton wrapper and either steam, pan sear, or fry them for a great appetizer or dessert.
To make the street corn salad cups, I baked the wonton wrappers in a muffin tin. Just a light coating of non-stick spray on the muffin pan, tuck the wontons inside the cavities, push down to form a cup, and bake for 5-6 minutes.
The cups come out nice and crispy and perfect for adding a salad too!!
Back to the street corn salad because this is the best salad ever! Once I pan fry the corn, I add the red onion and bell pepper to it. Give a stir to mix it up. Traditional Mexican Street Corn, or elote, or equites, has mayonnaise and sour cream (crema) added to it or slathered on it. I am leaving out the mayo just because we are not huge mayo fans in our house. But I love sour cream so I’m keeping that.
The sour cream makes a great “dressing” and helps all the other fun additions cling to the fried corn. The chili powder, diced jalapeno, cilantro, lime zest, and that salty Cojita cheese.
Cojita cheese is the Mexican version of Parmesan cheese. I buy mine already grated in the refrigerator section of my market. My store doesn’t even carry the blocks of it so it is less work for me:) The Cojita cheese adds a nice texture to the street corn salad. Also, a salty flavor that goes well with the bell pepper and jalapeno.
Finishing up the Mexican Street Corn Salad Wonton Cups
Just mix all the yummy ingredients together, give it a good stir. Store the street corn salad in the fridge until you are ready to dive it! When you are ready to serve, just scoop a couple of tablespoons in a wonton cup and garnish with some green onion, lime zest, and chili powder. A great seasoning to add to the top is Tajin Clasico Seasoning. It is a chili powder with lime juice and salt mixed in. My local store doesn’t carry it but yours might.
This street corn salad is great because you can make it ahead of time. You are ready for your party or get-together! You can also just stand in your kitchen and eat it out of the fridge like I have been doing.
Not that it is just for Cinco de Mayo, these street corn salad cups are fun for Easter, Mother’s Day, or my birthday party. Hint, Hint for anyone who is reading…
Mexican Street Corn Wonton Salad Cups
For the corn salad
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 cups frozen corn (I like white shoepeg)
- 1/2 red onion , chopped
- 2 limes , zested and juiced, reserved separately
- 1/2 red bell pepper , chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro , chopped
- 1 jalapeno , ribbed, seeded, and diced fine
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 3/4 cup Cojita cheese
For the Wonton Cups.
- non-stick spray
- 48 wonton wrappers (1 package)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a muffin tin with non stick spray and place a wonton wrapper in each cavity.
Press down gently to make into a cup shape.
Spray the inside with non-stick spray
Bake at 350F for 6 minutes.
Watch carefully! They go from raw to burnt in a flash if you are not watching.
When finished, remove from oven and cool a few minutes.
Remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
You can stop after all the cups are finished and store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
While you are cooking the wonton cups make the corn salad.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and the frozen corn.
Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring often until the corn is cooked through and has a charred look to it.
Remove from skillet and place in a large bowl.
Add the red onion, lie juice, lime zest, bell pepper, cilantro, and jalapeno.
Stir to combine.
Add the sour cream and the Cojita cheese.
Stir to complete.
You can serve immmediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To serve, scoop salad out and add to the wonton cups.
Garnish with more cilantro or sliced green onion and a little lime zest.
Enjoy with friends and a margarita!