If you want a dead simple, blow-your-hair-back meal for your next summer get-together, this Mexican Street Corn Salad is it! Here’s why: you can prep and cook the whole meal in 30-45 minutes, it easily scales to the number of people you’re serving and it tastes like summer vacation served up on a platter.
This combines a couple of recipes on this blog: Grilled Mexican Corn on the Cob and Spicy Grilled Shrimp (optional), but piled on the same plate over a creamy, spicy cabbage and jalapeño slaw. If you’re not a shrimp fan, make Carne Asada or Rosemary-Garlic Chicken Kabobs instead. Vegetarian? Serve as is, an entirely satisfying meal on its own!
If you go for the grilled shrimp version, grilling the corn and shrimp together (and for nearly the same amount of time) makes this meal come together quickly. You’ll let the shrimp rest while you cut the kernels off of the corn cobs – much less splatter than cutting kernels off of raw cobs (though it’s worth it for this Corn Salad!). (Discard the cobs or make corn stock, perfect for summer soups.) If you serve it alongside Carne Asada or Chicken Kabobs, you’ll want to grill them a few minutes before you start the corn.
The cool and crunchy salad base is a mixture of thinly sliced green and purple cabbage, red bell pepper, chopped cilantro and green onions, and minced jalapeño. And the mixture you slather onto Mexican street corn makes a perfect spicy/creamy dressing.
If you’re planning to grill this summer, I hope you’ll give this Mexican Street Corn Salad a try!
Mexican Street Corn Salad
To make this, you'll want to have all of your prep work done before you put your corn and shrimp, steak or chicken on the grill. The whole meal comes together quickly once you pull them off.
Grilled Shrimp (optional - see recipe notes)
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound medium or large shrimp peeled except for the tail and deveined
- 4 ears sweet corn husks and silks removed
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- juice of 1 lime about 1/4 cup
- sea salt to taste
- 1/2 pound purple cabbage thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound green cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño seeded and minced
- 4 green onions finely chopped
- 2 ounces cotija cheese crumbled
- chopped cilantro optional
- finely chopped green onions optional
Preheat grill and a grill pan (for shrimp) on medium-high.
Combine cilantro, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl; whisk in olive oil. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside.
Rub ears of corn generously with cold butter (easier to coat the raw ears of corn evenly). Set aside.
Whisk first four dressing ingredients together (mayonnaise through lime juice) in a medium bowl; add salt to taste.
Mix all slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Add desired amount of dressing (save some to drizzle over corn) and toss to coat.
Grill corn for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender, turning a couple of times to char evenly.
At the same time, arrange shrimp in a single layer on preheated grill pan. Grill 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until shrimp are cooked through.
When done, remove corn and shrimp from grill. (Don't worry if they're not done at exactly the same time. This salad is great at room temperature.)
When corn is cool enough to handle, carefully cut kernels off with a sharp knife.
To serve: spread slaw evenly on a serving platter. Pile corn kernels in one area and grilled shrimp on another. Drizzle dressing over corn. Sprinkle crumbled cotija evenly over salad along with cilantro and green onions if desired. Serve.