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Chili Lime Salmon with Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salsa Dip)

Chili Lime Salmon with Esquites

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This Chili Lime Salmon recipe is topped with creamy esquites (Mexican creamy corn salsa) and can be ready to go in less than 30 minutes!



Chili Lime Salmon Ingredients:

Esquites Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups whole kernel corn*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayo
  • juice of 1 lime, plus extra lime wedges for serving
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup loosely-packed chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the salmon. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F. Place the salmon filets skin-side-down on a small baking sheet and brush the tops and sides of the filets evenly with olive oil. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and salt, then sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the salmon filets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the thickest part of the salmon measures either 125°F (for medium doneness) or 135°F (for medium-well). Remove baking sheet from the oven and immediately transfer the salmon filets to your serving plates.
  2. Prepare the esquitesWhile the salmon cooks, heat the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add the corn and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it begins to caramelize and char just a bit. Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and transfer the corn mixture to a large mixing bowl. Then add mayo, lime juice, cotija, cilantro, chili powder, and toss until evenly combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Combine. Serve the salmon over rice or quinoa, if desired. Then drizzle each salmon filet with a generous squeeze of lime juice, top with the esquites, and enjoy!


Pan-seared salmon option: If you would like to cook the salmon on the stovetop, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Add the salmon skin-side-up and cook for 4 minutes. Then flip it and cook for 3-5 more minutes until the thickest part of the salmon reaches your desired temperature (I recommend 125°F for medium doneness).

Chili powder: Please note that this recipe calls for American-style chili powder, which is actually a blend of mild spices and is not cayenne. If you are an international reader, please look for an American-style chili powder to make this recipe.

Corn options: Any whole-kernel corn will work for this recipe, so feel free to use canned corn, (thawed) frozen corn, or corn freshly carved off the cob.

Serving suggestions: I recommend cooking 2 cups of uncooked rice (which will yield about 6 cups cooked rice) if you would like to serve this dish over rice. Quinoa, farro, or cauliflower rice would also be delicious alternatives. And as mentioned above, this dish would also be delicious served with some type of beans (black beans, refried beans, drunken beans, etc).