Oaxacan Street Corn-MainPhoto

Oaxacan Street Corn-MainPhoto
Most people cook the corn entirely on the grill, which can make the kernels dry and unevenly cooked. I prefer to cook this corn on the cob in a pot of steaming water, then sear them in a hot pan.


4 large ears fresh corn with husks
4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
½ cup mayonnaise
3 oz cotija cheese or queso anejo, finely crumbled
2 TSP chile powder mixed with 1/8 TSP cayenne powder
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Read Related: Traveling Solo in Oaxaca (A Food Diary with Recipes)


  1. Shuck the corn and place the husks and the corn silk into a large pot. Fill the pot with about 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Trim the stalk of each corncob leaving about 2 inches to use as the handle for the corn. Place the corncobs into the pot roughly arranging them on top of the husks. (They can be stacked if they don’t fit in a single layer.) Cover, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the corn and place them on a kitchen towel to cool slightly.
  2. Heat a heavy skillet, griddle, or grill pan to high heat. Make sure the pan is large enough to fit at least 2 corncobs. Brush the corn with some of the melted butter and place on the hot skillet. Cook until the bottom sides of the corn are lightly charred, then turn to char the other sides, brushing with additional butter if needed. If cooking the corn in batches, repeat with the remaining corncobs.
  3. Whisk the mayonnaise to loosen any clumps and brush it generously all over the corn. Sprinkle the corn with cheese, while turning the cob to coat all sides, Repeat with the chile powder mixture. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.