jalapenocornqueso fresco



Recipe Yield

8 servings

Cooking time

30 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.72 from 7 votes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or corn oil
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño chile or more to taste, chopped, seeding optional
  • 8 cups fresh corn kernels from about 12 ears of corn
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh epazote leaves or 1 teaspoon dried (may substitute cilantro, which gives a different flavor, but it also works!)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or more to taste
  • 2 limes quartered, optional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or Mexican crema optional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cotija, or mild feta cheese, optional for garnish
  • Dried ground chile piquín optional for garnish

To Prepare

  • Heat the butter together with the oil in a large saucepan or casserole over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the chopped chile and cook for a minute, stirring frequently, until softened.
  • Incorporate the corn and cook for a couple more minutes. Pour the water over the corn mix, add the chopped fresh or dried epazote (or cilantro) and salt. Stir and bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until the corn is completely cooked. Turn off the heat. You may leave the corn in the pot for a couple hours.
  • Serve the corn in cups or small bowls. Let your guests add fresh lime juice, mayonnaise or Mexican crema, crumbled cheese, powdered chile piquín, and salt to their liking.


12comments inEsquites

  1. Petra T. Perez

    Feb 24

    The esquite I knew as a child was corn kernels sauteed in butter until crispy. My grandfather would make it for us.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 25

      Sounds delicious too Petra, thanks for sharing!

  2. Jenesis

    Nov 08

    About how many ears of fresh corn does this call for?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 13

      Use about 12 ears of corn, Jenesis.

  3. Pilar Flores

    Aug 25

    Como milagro de los Dioses encontré unas matas de epazote en el estacionamiento de donde trabajo y me traje una mata a mi departamento el año pasado. Murió con el frío típico de DC pero volvió a nacer al inicio de la primavera. Ya solo me falta agarrar energías y sacar la hueva para poder ponerme a hacer esquites.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 07


  4. Dionisia

    Aug 22

    That sounds delicious. My dad was the cook in our family, he used to take the cornels off the Cobb and fry it in a bit of lard, and served it with refreíd beans and flour tortillas, he called his dish, esquites. As kids we loved it and would beg him to fix esquite for us, from corn that he grew in our large vegetable garden. Thank you for sharing and bringing back some wonderful childhood memories.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 23

      Your dad’s esquites sounds delicious too, Dionisia.

  5. Leisa Leisa724@yahoo.com

    Jun 06

    Had a dinner to attend and to bring a dish for it. My stepfathers fresh corn had just come in. Made corn in a layered casserole dish for serving a large group easily.
    Corn was cut off cob and cooked with milk and butter and sliced jalapeños. Poured into dish and covered with grated cotija cheese. Cooled. Topped with a Very light layer of mayo and sprinkled with ground Chile guajillo and garnished with fresh cilantro. Refrigerated until serving. The people acted like they had just discovered corn. Not a bite was left. You are such an inspiration for whatever I make. Thanks.

    1. Pati

      Jun 06


  6. Lorena

    Jul 18

    Hola Pati! I made esquites for dinner as a side dish and it was sooooo good. I live in Arizona and we have something similar called coctel de elote. My family loved this recipe. Gracias, Lorena

    1. Pati

      Jul 21


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