Table of Contents
- 1 The Origins of Corn in Mexican Cuisine: A Deeper Dive
- 2 The Importance of Corn in Mexican Culture: More Than Just Food
- 3 Lime Mexican-Inspired Corn Salad Recipe
- 4 Variations and Add-Ons to Customize Your Corn Salad: Make It Your Own
- 5 Join the Recipe Newsletter!
I love tacos. But tacos are quite unhealthy for you (so are empanadas btw). So I created this festive dish when I want a little bit of Mexican. It pays homage to the bold cuisine of Mexico, combining the freshness of corn with the tanginess of lime. This salad is perfect for that summer BBQ bash, or if you are just craving something a little Mexican. Very easy to make!
The Origins of Corn in Mexican Cuisine: A Deeper Dive
Corn, or as it’s more commonly referred to in Mexico, maize, is more than just a staple food. It’s an integral part of the culinary identity of Mexico, playing a starring role in countless traditional dishes.
The relationship between corn and Mexican cuisine is a long-standing one, tracing its roots all the way back to pre-Hispanic times. Back then, the indigenous people of Mexico had already recognized the versatility and nutritional value of this golden grain, making it one of their primary food sources.
This Mexican inspired corn salad recipe that we’re about to delve into celebrates the humble corn in all its glory.
The Importance of Corn in Mexican Culture: More Than Just Food
In Mexico, corn is not merely a food ingredient; it’s a cultural symbol and an integral part of the Mexican way of life. It’s deeply woven into the social and religious fabric of the country, often used in religious ceremonies and vibrant festivals.
One example is the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. It’s a popular Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors the deceased. During this time, you’ll often see ofrendas, or altars, decorated with food, flowers, and personal mementos. Corn is a common element on these altars, symbolizing the sustenance of life. It’s often presented in the form of cornbread or tamales, traditional dishes made from corn dough.
Another ceremony where corn plays a major role is during the Mayan rain ceremony, or Ch’a’ Cháak. This ritual is performed to ask the gods for rain and a bountiful harvest, especially of corn. The Mayans believed corn was a sacred plant, a gift from the gods, so it’s heavily featured in this ceremony.
Also, in some indigenous communities in Mexico, there’s a tradition of the Corn Dance, a religious ceremony performed to thank the Corn Mother, or Centeotl, for her bounty. This dance is usually done during the corn harvesting season.
- 2 (15-ounce) cans of whole kernel corn, no salt added, drained
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 diced, seeded, and peeled cucumber
- 2 diced radishes
- ¼ diced red onion
- ¼ cup quartered grape tomatoes
- ⅓ cup chopped scallions
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add corn and minced garlic. Sauté until corn turns a light gold. Set sauteed corn aside to slightly cool.
- Add cucumber, radishes, red onion, grape tomatoes, ½ of the scallions, and ½ of the cilantro to a large bowl. Set aside.
- Add paprika, dark chili powder, kosher salt, mayo, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest to a medium bowl. Whisk until all ingredients are fully incorporated and dressing is creamy.
- Add slightly cooled corn to vegetable bowl and give it a quick mix.
- Add ¼ of the dressing to the vegetable bowl and toss. Continue to add dressing to taste.
- Once the salad has been tossed in the desired amount of dressing, add the remaining scallions and cilantro to the salad and quickly toss.
- Chill for one hour.
- If the dressing has too much lime for your taste, add ½ teaspoon of granulated sugar to balance it out or cut the amount of lime juice in half.
- Serve with grilled chicken.
Amount Per Serving Calories 126Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 9mgSodium 625mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 2g
Nutritional values automatically generated.
Roll that beautiful corn footage
Variations and Add-Ons to Customize Your Corn Salad: Make It Your Own
One of the best things about this Mexican inspired corn salad recipe is its flexibility. It’s a dish that welcomes creativity, allowing you to add in other ingredients to suit your personal taste.
- Feel like adding some creaminess? Toss in some ripe avocados (which happens to be my personal favorite addition!).
- Incorporate a touch of sweetness with diced mango or pineapple.
- Add a hint of smokiness by grilling some corn (instead of using canned corn).
- For a Mediterranean twist, toss in some feta cheese and olives.
- Or go for Asian-inspired version, add some edamame and sesame oil.
- Increase the crunch factor with some chopped celery or jicama.
- If you’re a fan of color and crunch, bell peppers are a great addition. Or you can add some jalapeños if you like some heat. Or any pepper, hot or mild, pickled or plain, seeded or not.
- Amp up the flavor with some crumbled bacon or pancetta.
- Want to up the protein content? Black beans, grilled chicken, shrimp, or crab meat would do the trick.
- Substitute the mint for the cilantro. Or toss in both.
The possibilities are endless, making it a dish that’s truly customizable to your palate.