Oaxacan Grilled Corn

Oaxacan Grilled Corn

Grilled corn is a popular street snack throughout Mexico.  It's often seasoned with a mixture of crema (Mexican-style soured cream), crumbled cotija cheese, chile powder, cilantro leaves, and lime juice.  Keep the husks on for this recipe.  After you grill the corn, you can peel them back and use them as a handle. 
Grilling is traditional for this recipe, but you can also use a broiler to cook your corn.  Just be sure to turn the cobs often to ensure they cook evenly. 



  • ½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream 
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup plus 2½ tbsp crumbled cotija cheese (if you can't find cotija, grated pecorino romano or crumbled feta work well) 
  • 1 tbsp ancho chile powder, plus more for garnish
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • 4 ears corn, in the husk
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 4 lime wedges, for serving


  1. Build a medium-hot fire in a grill or heat to about 425°F.  
  2. In a small bowl, combine the crema, mayonnaise, ⅓ cup of the cheese, the chile powder and the salt.  Mix well.
  3. Brush the grill grate and coat with oil.  Put the corn directly on the grate and cook, turning every 5 minutes or so, until the husks are charred all over, 15-20 minutes.
  4. During the last 5 minutes, using heat-proof gloves, pull back the husks to expose the corn kernels.  Pull off and discard the silks.  Grill the ears, turning them frequently, just until the kernels are lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the ears to a platter. Tie back the husks with kitchen string, if you like, or leave them loose.
  6. Brush the corn kernels all over with the crema mixture and then sprinkle with the remaining 2½ tbsp cheese, a little ancho powder, and the cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges to squeeze over the cobs. 
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