Wash away any dirt on the outside of the corn in its husk. Then, cut off the very tip of the cob and husk to make a vent for steam to escape.
Place the corn cobs on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 4 minutes on high.
Remove the cooked corn from the microwave. Carefully, pull back the husks and remove the husks and silks. (You can leave the husk on the end for a pretty presentation like I did for pictures. Be aware that those husks can burn easily on an open flame, so be prepared with a spray bottle of water to keep the flames down.)
Brush the cleaned corn with vegetable oil and place a hot grill. Allow the corn to brown for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Mix together the mayonnaise, crema (sour cream), half the cotija, chili powder, and juice of 1 lime. Using a knife or a basting brush, spread the Mexican street corn mixture over each ear of corn.
Sprinkle extra cheese over each ear and serve with lime wedges for an extra punch.
Why do you microwave corn in the husk?The idea behind microwaving corn is to steam it without water logging it. The husk keeps the moisture from the kernels trapped inside so that when the corn is fully cooked, the kernels are plump and tender. To do it properly, you need to cut away the tip of the cob and husk to make a small opening for excess steam to vent. Can you microwave corn that came cleaned out of the husk?Yes! Many times, I find ears already cleaned at the store. While I prefer corn in the husk, these convenient packs are hard to argue with. You can still microwave these. Simply mimic the husk by wrapping each ear in a damp paper towel, then microwave for approximately 4 minutes.Can you grill corn instead of steaming or boiling?If you want to maximize grilled taste you can cook corn directly on the grill. My preferred method for grilling is to start cooking it in the husk to create some of the steam effect that you would get in the microwave. Soak the ears of corn in a bowl of water for 20 minutes. Then place it, in the husk, on the grill for 7-10 minutes per side. Clean away the husk and silk, then return it to the grill to brown the kernels and create that great grilled flavor.Can you make Mexican Street Corn off the cob?Yes! Many vendors sell their street corn off the cob as well. On the cob, it is called elotes and off the cob it is called esquites. To make grilled street corn off of the cob, you simply follow the grilling instructions and remove the kernels from the cob and mix in the street corn sauce.Expert Tips
If the corn looks clean, then rinsing isn't necessary. It grows well above the dirt and the husks keeps the delicious kernels inside clean. Only rinse the corn if it has obvious dirt clinging to it.
Microwaving the corn before grilling will make the husks and silk easy to remove.
The microwave cooks the corn kernels in a way that leaves them plump and juicy. Grilling alone leaves you with dryer, crunchier kernels.
Sour cream is a perfectly good substitute for crema, and parmesan a good substitute for cotija so do not fret if you can’t find the exact ingredients.