Vetri Cooking Lab

Charred Corn Salsa

This recipe is inspired by the popular Mexican snack, esquites, often sold from street stalls. The name is derived from the Nahuatl word ízquitl, which means "toasted corn."


  • Cooking spray
  • 16-to 20-ounces corn (frozen and thawed or canned and drained)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, plus a pinch, divided
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens divided
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon jalapeño, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat large griddle or skillet to medium high and coat evenly with cooking spray.
  2. Spread corn evenly across surface and cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in garlic, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and scallion whites. Spread mixture around to ensure even browning on all sides of the corn kernels.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by adding remaining salt and pepper, scallion greens, yogurt, lime zest and juice, cilantro, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, jalapeño, honey, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to a bowl or high-sided container. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Remove corn from hot surface and place in a medium bowl. Add dressing to the corn and stir well to evenly coat.
  5. Serve warm or chilled and enjoy as a dip or a side!


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