Elote (Mexican-Style Sweetcorn)

Elote - Mexican style sweetcorn

It is finally time for fresh sweetcorn here in the UK! We don’t often get sweetcorn that still has the husk on and when we do manage to find it, it is sure to be a real treat.

Whenever we get friends over for a braai (bbq) or if I am making steak asada or fajitas, my husband often request this delicious sweetcorn. It is not healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but as a rare treat it can be indulgent and very satisfying. Just make sure you don’t overdo it with the chilli (like I had done this past weekend). Not only will your guests have steam coming out of their ears, but you will also lose the delicate sweetness of the sweetcorn.

I also make this with the use of the Instant pot so there is even less for me to do!

Tips and tricks

  • I have found that it is the easiest for me to stick a corn holder into one end of the cob and stand the corn cob upright (holding it on the corn holder) whilst slathering with the mayonnaise. This is much less messy.
  • Never slather on the mayonnaise when the corn is super hot. The mayo will simply drip off and become really manky. It is best to let the corn cobs sit for about half an hour to cool before finishing off the dish.
  • Which cheese? Obviously we don’t live in Mexico so finding the original Cotija cheese is very difficult. I’ve found that the best flavours can be achieved by using either parmesan cheese, feta cheese or soft goats cheese. They are all very unique in flavour and will provide variety each time you make it.
  • Dried coriander leaves is far better than fresh. Although fresh leaves have a better flavour, dried coriander is much easier to apply.

How to cook sweetcorn cobs in the Instant Pot

It really could not be simpler! The first thing you must to is to check if the corn will actually fit into your pot. Some of mine has been a bit too big, so I’ve trimmed it off on the stem side to make it fit.

Pour one cup of water into your inner pot with a sprinkling of sea salt before adding the ears of corn. You can either let the corn cobs stand upright, or let it lie down, it really doesn’t matter too much. You can add a spoonful of butter on top of the corn so it melts in whilst cooking.

Set the Instant Pot’s timer for 10 minutes on high pressure. Once the time is up you can leave it on Keep Warm until you are ready to eat or you can take them out to cool down.

To serve, chop off the stem part and squeeze the corn out of the husk. This way you don’t have to deal with those pesky hairy fibres and the corn comes out as clean as a whistle.

Elote (Mexican-Style Sweetcorn)

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 ears of corn, cooked and cooled to room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • juice of one lime
  • 4 tablespoons of parmesan, grated
  • ½ teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried coriander leaves


  1. Mix the mayonnaise and lime juice together.
  2. Coat the corn cobs in a thick layer of the lime mayonnaise.
  3. Mix the parmesan and chilli powder together in a bowl and use a spoon to sprinkle evenly over the corn. Ensure all sides have been covered.
  4. Generously scatter over the coriander leaves before serving.

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