Corn with Lime Juice and Chile Powder

  • Serves

    serves 6

This spicy corn snack, popular in Mexico City and its environs, is often topped with mayonnaise. The word esquites is derived from an indigenous Mexican word for toasted corn, izquitl.


  • 6 cups fresh white corn kernels (from about 10 ears)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk fresh epazote (optional), leaves torn
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 12 tsp. powdered piquín chiles
  • Salt


Step 1

Combine corn, butter, chiles, torn leaves from epazote, and 1 1⁄2 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until tender, 10–15 minutes. Set aside to let corn and its cooking liquid cool slightly.

Step 2

Add queso fresco, lime juice, powdered piquín chiles, and salt to taste and toss well. Divide corn and liquid between cups.

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