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Fresh corn salad with shishito pepers topped with cilantro on a gray plate.

Fresh Corn Salad with Blistered Shishito Peppers and Lime Dressing

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: cold corn salad, Fresh corn salad recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 161kcal
A fresh corn salad with something a little different! Blistered shishito peppers add smokiness, fresh jalapeño adds some spice. An easy summer salad that's a perfect side for barbecue or tacos!
Print Recipe


  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon lime juice
  • zest of two limes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3 cups fresh corn cut from 4-6 cobs
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced cilantro stems
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 6 oz shishito peppers
  • ½ cup cotija cheese
  • sea salt to taste, for finishing


  • Use a Microplane grater to zest the limes, then juice them.
  • Whisk the olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, salt, and cumin in a mixing bowl. Use a microplane to grate the garlic and mix it into the dressing and set aside. Doing this first will help the raw garlic flavor to mellow out a bit before you toss it with the salad.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the pan and once shimmering add the shishito peppers. Let them blister in the pan, turning when they are brown on one side. Remove to a plate to cool and season with sea salt.
  • Cut the corn off the cobs. To do this, stand the corn on a damp kitchen towel on its wide end. Use a good chef's knife and start with the part of the blade closest to your hand at the top of the cob. Let the blade fall down the corn toward the tip of the knife. This is so much easier than trying to cut straight down the cob with the middle of the blade.
  • Remove the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño and dice it finely. Finely chop the cilantro stems, then roughly chop the leaves. Chop off the stems of the shishito peppers then chop them into about 1-inch pieces.
  • Combine the corn, jalapeño, shishito peppers, cilantro stems, and ¾ of the cilantro leaves in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix until thoroughly combined. Taste and add a bit of sea salt if needed.
  • Break the cotija cheese into large boulders and measure it out. Add to the corn mixture and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate and top with remaining cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and additional cheese if desired.


  • Always zest fruit before you juice it! You just can't get the zest off after you've squeezed it. At least not without also getting some of your finger zested, too. EW!
  • You'll know the shishitos are done when they are getting blistered on all sides and they start to puff up with air like they're going to pop open.
  • I like to keep the cotija cheese in big boulders. It will crumble down to nothing, so keeping it in big chunks gives you nice big bites of cheese instead of having to hunt for it amidst everything else.
  • If you like it spicier, leave the seeds and ribs in the jalapeño and/or add more than just one.
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Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 353IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1mg