Mexican Street Corn

Recipe inspired by the book “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel

“Something strange was going on. Tita remembered that Nacha had always said that when people argue while preparing tamales, the tamales won’t get cooked. They can be heated day after day and still stay raw, because the tamales are angry. In a case like that, you have to sing to them, which makes them happy, then they’ll cook.”

Tita had an undeniable urge to escape. To escape from the ancestral ranch which she had always called home, from the confines of her own fevered mind, but most of all, from the tyrannical clutches of her, embittered Mama. She longed to leave this place with Pedro and never return; or perhaps if she had not been cursed by being born a niña. All of these emotions she poured into the corn she was blistering over the fire. The kernels, longing to escape from the enormous heat of fire, burned and threatened to pop, but Tita kept the golden cells just far enough from the heat that they never had the chance to explode. As the the sunshine colored grained charred, so did Tita’s mind. She honestly did not know how she did not burst with all of the thoughts and emotions swirling about her like the dried corn silk blown by wind spirits about her feet. Anger rose to the surface of her being, threatening, like the kernels, to erupt from Tita in a maelstrom of malcontent and bitterness. How dare Mama keep her child from love?!

Yet as she was at the height of her fury, Tita removed the blackened cobs from the hearth and smoothed the cream over the whole length. Whether it was the motion of spreading or the salve of the cream on the blistered corn, Tita began to remember more soothing thoughts of her mother. Mama Elena had been iron-strong and held together the ranch and home after her husband had passed. Perhaps Mama deserved to be obeyed. Perhaps, Tita murmured, she could be content with what she had here at the ranch.

Tita sprinkled the crunchy pepitas onto the corn then took a large bite. The anger and the cream, the blackened kernels and the soothing salve mingled within her, leaving what behind a hardened, logical resolve. Tita could and would change her situation.

Mexican Street Corn

Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Like Water for Chocolate
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 4 cobs of corn, shucked
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise homemade if possible
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup seasoned pepitas
  • ¼ cup cojita cheese crumbles
  • 1 tbsp cilantro roughly chopped


  1. Heat grill or cast iron griddle for 15 minutes on medium heat.

  2. Mix mayonnaise and adobo thoroughly in a small bowl and set aside.

  3. Place cobs directly on grill grates (or griddle) and rotate very couple of minutes while the kernels become slightly blackened on all sides, it will take about 20 minutes.

  4. Pull the corn from the heat and liberally apply the chipotle mayo to all sides of the cobs.

  5. For a little extra char, place the corn back on the grill for about a minute per side to blacken the mayo a bit.

  6. Pile cobs on a big plate and sprinkle with the salt, pepitas, crumbled cojita, and cilantro.

More about Charlotte


    1. As a certified bookworm, I love the idea of recipes inspired by books. That’s genius! And I just want to eat that corn off my screen. (As a side note, I just bought the unofficial Harry Potter cookbook. I don’t know if that fits into your theme but it’s so much fun!)

      1. Ummm… WHAT?! How do I not know about this book?! Jolina, tell me more. What’s your favorite recipe in it? You have just inspired a new month of posts!

      1. Jolina,

        I’m a certified Harry Potter Superfan! I do have the unofficial Harry Potter cookbook and I looove it. My favorite recipe is the Butterscotch Brew. I think we will do a theme in July for Harry’s birthday! That would make my millennium. I can see the wheels turning…

    1. I love corn but get a bit bored just boiling it. This just makes me fall in love all over again.

    1. Oh my goodness this sounds AMAZING! I do love corn. The first time I ever saw street corn was in Paris last year – I was so intrigued!

    1. Oh man this looks so good, we grow corn at home and have marked this to play around with later in the year at harvest time 🙂

    1. YESSS pinning this for later 🙂 I just moved from San Antonio and I LOVED this corn so much, so happy I have a recipe for it now!

    1. I am in for any kind of street food. These corn looks soo mouth watering delicious and absolutely divine 🙂

    1. I’ve had a regular corn on the cob this Mexican street corn looks amazing. I will have to try this as soon as summer corn is in season.

    1. My OH is allergic to corn but it’s one of my favourites. This would be my choice of last meal!!

    1. As an Iowan, I LOVE my sweet corn. I plan on pinning this for this summer

    1. Mica, I love this post! I have a literary bent on my blog, and this is such a great quote from a great story! Of course the corn looks amazing. I’m pinning 🙂

    1. I LOVED that book. How cool that you’ve made a recipe inspired by it!! YUM!

    1. Mica, I love this blog posts and the stories you weave in. I also love corn and have been wanting to try the Mexican street corn recipes I’ve been seeing. Yours looks stunning and I cannot wait to try it when the corn in my garden comes into season!

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