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Mexican Street Foods to Make at Home

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Angie Moser

In Mexico, small plates, or antojitos, are a way of life. They’re little bites of flavor from street carts that Mexicans nibble on throughout the day, on their way to work or after school. And they’re some of the tastiest and most famed contributions to Mexican cuisine, from small tacos filled with grilled or braised meats to fresh fruit paletas. That’s no reason you can’t make them at home though, and enjoy them together in one menu or on their own.

  • Recipe

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob

    Called elote in Mexico, where it’s a popular street food, this grilled corn on the cob is slathered in a smoky, zesty mayonnaise and then rolled in crumbly, slightly salty Cotija cheese. Mexican-style chili powder is a hotter version of regular chili powder.

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  • Recipe

    Pork Tamales with Double-Chile Sauce

    There are different styles of tamales throughout Latin America, but their essential components—masa, a filling, and a wrapper—are the same. Wrapped in corn husks and served with a smoky chile sauce, these are traditionally Mexican.

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  • Recipe

    Grilled Chicken and Charred-Onion Tacos

    Chicken breast might be everyone’s poultry go-to, but thighs are arguably more delicious: meaty, sturdy, and perfect for grilling. The rich, tender meat is fabulous with grilled onions and spicy salsa on fresh corn tortillas.

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  • Recipe

    Classic Guacamole

    Big chunks of avocado are important to the texture of guacamole, so I mash it only enough to hold it together. When seasoning to taste, try the guacamole with the chips you’re serving. They can vary in saltiness, so this is a good way to make sure you add just the right amount.

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  • Recipe

    Red Pozole with Chicken (Pozole Rojo Con Pollo)

    This Mexican stew featuring chiles and hominy is perfect party food: it feeds a crowd and the toppings passed around the table add to the festive nature of the dish. It’s traditional to serve the chicken in whole pieces, but you can also pull the cooked chicken off the bone and add the meat back to the stew, as you might for a chili.

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  • Recipe

    Hibiscus Cooler (Agua de Jamaica)

    The floral and earthy flavor of dried hibiscus flowers may be familiar to you as one of the ingredients in Red Zinger tea. Here the cooler is only lightly sweetened. Add more sugar if you like.

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  • Recipe

    Scrambled Egg Torta

    Tortas are big, flavorful, overstuffed Mexican sandwiches. This one—filled with scrambled eggs, mild cheese, bright cilantro, creamy avocado, and tangy lime juice—makes a tasty and hearty meal for any time of the day.

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  • Recipe

    Crabmeat Empanadas with Grilled Corn Salsa & Poblano Cream Sauce

    These pillows of puff pastry filled with sweet corn and crabmeat, served with a poblano cream sauce are a dressed up version of the traditional antojitos.

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  • Recipe

    Baja Fried Fish Tacos

    A creamy lime-chipotle sauce gives these crispy tacos a bit of smoky heat. Radishes and cabbage are common garnishes on many Mexican foods and add a nice, fresh crunch. A mild fish like tilapia is the perfect vehicle for a beer batter.

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  • Recipe

    Turkey Flautas with Avocado Crema

    Crisp flautas are a Tex-Mex favorite. This version includes a creamy avocado-sour cream dip rich with cilantro and lime juice.

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  • Recipe

    Tacos al Pastor

    These pork-and-pineapple tacos are called al pastor because missionaries came from Jerusalem to Mexico and brought their Middle Eastern foodways with them. Over time, tacos al pastor became one of the most popular Mexican tacos. This version takes its cue from the spicy-sweet-savory flavors of the classic.

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  • Recipe

    Gorditas de Piloncillo (Sweet Fried Masa Cakes)

    The name gorditas is used in an endearing manner in Mexico to describe many small but "fatty" (referring to thickness) foods. Everyone loves gorditas, and there are many different kinds. I tried these in Nuevo Leon and love them because they are fried, which makes them (or me) double gordita. I also like them because of the salty cheese and piloncillo (unrefined sugar) that make them go wonderfully with a hot chocolate.

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  • Recipe

    Mojito Fruit Ice Pops

    All summer long in Mexico, the jangle of paleteros' jingle-bell carts ricochets through parks and neighborhood streets. They're easy to make in big quantities: two ten-pop molds turn out dessert for a crowd in no time. A little sparkling water and some fresh mint gives your pops a sophisticated "mojito" flair.

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