Corn: on the cob, in a cup

Hola! I'm back in Los Angeles after a a long stay in my hometown, and even if it's not freezing in here, it's surprisingly chilly. So today I'm sharing a super simple recipe that'll warm you up, when oddly enough I remember eating most of my corn (both on the cob and in a cup) at the beach, or close by. 

I think I mentioned before that most of my family is from Tampico, a coastal city on the northeast of Mexico, and among the amazingly delicious food you can find there one of the most widely available is corn in a cup, or "trolelote" as they call it there. You can find corn in a cup and on the cob all over the country, but the recipe for corn in a cup I'm sharing today is completely influenced by those amazing golden kernels I had in Tampico while growing up. So go get a bunch of elotes and get ready to get hooked.

You can even add cucumbers and jicama as a topping,   I promise you won't be disappointed!

You can even add cucumbers and jicama as a topping, I promise you won't be disappointed!



Don't skip the lime!

Don't skip the lime!



  • Corncob(s)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lime
  • Queso fresco (or any crumbling cheese)
  • Chili powder*

*CHILI: if you don't have something like Tajin powder, you can mix chili powder with a bit of salt to enhance the flavor.



  1. Choose a pot large enough to fit all your corncobs and fill it with water about 3/4 of it's capacity. Place it over high heat to boil it.
  2. Remove corn husks and clean the cobs, you can chop them in halves if you want to.
  3. Add the corncobs to the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. Boil covered for at least 10 minutes until they cook.
  4. Carefully remove the cobs from the water and let them cool down at least 1 minute.
  5. Spread the mayo on top of the cob, squeeze a bit of lime juice and sprinkle with crumbling cheese and chili powder.




  • Canned corn or corncobs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lime
  • Queso fresco (or any crumbling cheese)
  • Chili powder
  • Extras (add as little or as much of these):
    • Melted butter
    • Hot sauce
    • Chips (crushed)
    • Japanese peanuts (or any kind)
    • Sour cream



  1. If using corncobs, boil as instructed above and when fully cooked use a knife to carefully remove all the kernels from the cob. If using canned, drain all the water from the can, then add it to a pot of boiling water to heat them up.
  2. Once boiled for 5 minutes, you can either drain the water or use a colander spoon to serve only the kernels into the cups.
  3. Dress up with toppings as follows (add only the ones you like): butter, mayo, sour cream, lime, hot sauce, crumbling cheese, chili powder, crushed chips and japanese peanuts.
I used to just stick the cob on a fork or a wooden stick,   but have found corn holders to be real comfy and easy to insert.

I used to just stick the cob on a fork or a wooden stick, but have found corn holders to be real comfy and easy to insert.

If you want to go with a 'lighter' version, I recommend the corn on the cob and add little mayo, just enough to make the cheese stick to the cob. Or you can go crazy and add all sorts of toppings to the corn in a cup, I remember some places in Tampico offered a 'topping bar' with the toppings listed above and also different hot sauces, nacho cheese, tamarind candy,  cucumber, and so on. You can also use a bag of chips (like Fritos) as your cup and make one awesome snack. But I'm trying not to go too crazy after the holiday eating marathon. So maybe just a tiny bit crazy is fine this time.

So, go on, start experimenting and enjoying corn as the delicious and versatile grain plant it is, even if it's mostly indigestible the taste is worth giving it a ride.