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Spicy Vegan Elote

Chef Paco Garcia | March 1, 2021

Elote, otherwise known as "Mexican Street Corn", is a grilled corn on the cob, traditionally slathered in a mayonnaise sauce and topped with chili powder and lime juice. In this delicious adaptation, Chef Paco Garcia has made the dish vegan, preparing a pinto mayonnaise and a almond-based cheese. When we say it's finger-licking food, we're not exaggerating. Top yours with jalapenos, cayenne, and even a squeeze of lime juice.

Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Cook it With Our
Spicy Vegan Elote


Vegan Cotija Cheese
  • ¼ cup almonds, slivered
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Vegan Pinto Mayonnaise
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup pinto beans (from a can)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 ears of corn on the cob
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • cayenne pepper
  • epazote powder (optional) *See chef note


Vegan Cotija Cheese
  1. Pulse almonds in a food processor or blender until crumbly. Transfer to a small bowl and add the nutritional yeast and salt. Stir to combine.
Vegan Pinto Mayonnaise
  1. Preheat a small skillet over medium heat. Add oil, garlic, and onions and cook till translucent, 7-10 minutes. 
  2. Add pinto beans and continue to cook, 3 – 5 minutes. 
  3. Transfer the bean mixture to a blender or food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and refrigerate.
Corn & Garnish
  1. Fill a chimney starter with charcoal. Light the coals at the base of the starter and allow to burn until the coals have partially greyed over, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add coals to the base of the Kickoff Grill, spreading evenly with charcoal tongs. 
  3. Place the domed grill grate over the top of the base and adjust the draft to medium. Heat for 5 minutes. 
  4. Rub the corn with oil and place it on the grill. Grill the corn until evenly golden and slightly charred, 10-12 minutes.  
  5. Brush the corn all over with pimento mayonnaise and sprinkle with cayenne (if desired), cotija, jalapenos, and cilantro.
  6. Serve with lime wedges. 
*Chef’s Note:

Epazote powder is an aromatic dried herb that grows wild throughout Mexico and the southwestern U.S. You can find an optional herb to this at a local Mexican store. Dehydrate the herb in the oven at a low temperature for 8 hours, then use a blender or food processor to grind into a powder.

Grilling Tip:

To adjust draft, use the Hook and Carry Handles to rotate the grill clockwise. This adjusts the draft from the four, evenly spaced draft vents. These cross-directional vents create maximum airflow for even heating as you grill. To decrease draft and reduce the grill heat, twist the lid counterclockwise. 

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Contributed By: Chef Paco Garcia

Recognized for his inspired cooking, influenced by his upbringing in Mexico, and refined through his nearly ten years living and training in Kentucky (including a nomination by James Beard as Best Chef Southeast in 2018 and Best New Chef by Louisville Magazine in 2019), Chef Paco Garcia joined experienced restaurant manager Josh Gonzalez to realize their dream with FOKO. This new restaurant concept in Logan Street Market celebrates the power of food to unite a community.

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