8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chile piquín, Corn, cotija cheese, epazote, feta, jalapeno, mayonnaise, mexican crema, pati's mexican table, queso fresco, serrano chiles
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Esquites recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 8 “Street Food Favorites”


  • 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.

10 comments on “Esquites

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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