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Elote (Mexican Street Corn) for Vegans

I was lucky enough to have one of life’s truly great meals at Elote in Sedona, AZ. I had almost written Mexican food off entirely (I live in NYC, the situation is dire here. And, no, that joint you recommend to me isn’t going to change my mind. I’ve been burned more times than ODB), until I visited the Southwest—where even the worst taco shacks are better than NYC’s best. With the zeal of a convert, I ate all the Mexican food in Sedona, and it was awesome, but Elote, a chef-y Mexican-inspired joint with a Dorsia-like wait, was the MVP.

Their signature dish was a grilled corn salad, heavy with cheese, chili and mayo, and I could eat a 55 gallon drum of it, but vegans can’t, so I veganized it. You’re welcome.


20 oz Frozen sweet corn, thawed (we’re not doing it on a flame in husks, trust me)

2 T peanut oil

½ C Veganaise

¼ C Nutritional yeast

1 t kosher salt

1 t sugar

¼ t ground chili pepper

½ t black pepper

Juice of 1 lime

1 t Cholula hot sauce

Chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Get your frying pan hot over high heat. Add the peanut oil. Add the corn and salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, constantly stirring until lightly browned.

  2. Remove corn from the heat and allow to cool.

  3. When you’re ready to put the salad together (corn is warm, but not hot), transfer the corn to a medium bowl.

  4. Add all other ingredients and stir well to mix.

  5. Serve with tortilla chips. 

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© 2018 Eddie McNamara