Oven-charred Mexican street corn with yogurt, chili and lime

Mexican street corn is pretty much one of my favorite summertime snack foods from childhood. It was always a special treat, usually reserved for festivals or long weekends spent with family on the beach. Living in California, I’ve come across similar styles of this street food at stalls around San Francisco’s Mission district and on the menu of certain trendy restaurants.

Traditionally made by slathering cooked corn on the cobs with mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder, lime and salt, Mexican street corn is a snack that should probably be reserved as a special treat. But there’s no reason it can’t be a regular part of your summertime snack repertoire with a few modifications.

Sarah Koszyk, a local dietitian, sports nutritionist and local foodie, would agree. She suggested swapping out the mayo for Greek yogurt and the cotija cheese for parmesan. The Greek yogurt adds a boost of protein and calcium, while the parmesan has fewer calories than cotija. It’s also more flavorful, so you can use less of it.

I recently had Sarah over to Laurel Street Kitchen to talk about building healthy snacking habits. Sarah wrote an entire book on the topic and is a huge advocate of staying fueled the right way throughout the day. Her top snacking tips:

Aim to eat 2 healthy snacks a day.

The afternoon snack it the most critical to fight late sugar cravings, give you a boost of energy and keep you satisfied until dinner.

Snacks should be limited to 300 calories or less.

As a general rule, try to makes snacks a combination of a carbohydrate and a protein for ultimate benefits.

With that, I hope this corn meets your current summer snacking needs. It’s so delicious, I ended up eating three of them myself.

 Mexican street corn

This beloved Mexican street food snack can easily be made at home — guilt free. Made with greek yogurt and parmesan cheese instead of mayo, it's light and full of protein with a spicy, tart, salty and sweet kick. 

COOKING NOTES

If you don't have a broiler, you can stick the corn right over a the flame on your stovetop. Just be careful and use tongs to rotate it!

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

4 ears corn, shucked
½ cup greek yogurt
½ cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder (use less for less spice)
Small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill a large sauce pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, carefully lower the corn into the pot and cook until the kernels are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the broiler in your oven to high and place the rack on the very top. Place the corn on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Cook, rotating once, for about 2 minutes, or just until the corn gets a nice little charring. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, slather the corn in equal parts yogurt. Sprinkle with the cheese, salt to taste, and as of the much chili powder as you’d like. Finish with the cilantro.
  4. Squeeze one quarter of the lime onto each piece of corn. Serve and dig in