Fried Scallop Tacos with Mexican Street Corn Salsa

One of my favorite snacks from street vendors in Mexico is elote, those ears of tough, barnyard feed-grade ears of corn, steamed or boiled until hot and then rolled in mayonnaise, before being sprinkled with a combination of hot chile, cheese, and a squeeze of lime. Who would do such a thing to an ear of corn, you may ask, who would commit such an indecent atrocity toward a humble vegetable? We all should.

Mexican Street Corn

The combination of sweet corn, spicy chile, and salty, crumbly cheese is addictive, and is something that I thought would translate well to a warm salsa, or can even be served on its own as a side dish. And since scallops and corn are such good friends, I thought combining the two made a lot of sense, with a quick jicama and cucumber slaw thrown in to keep the textures from all being too similar. I serve these on my food truck, ‘Wich, Please, occasionally, and we sell out every time. Here’s how we do it:

Fried Scallop Taco with Mexican Street Corn Salsa

Fried Scallop Tacos with Mexican Street Corn Salsa
Serves 5
Crunchy fried scallops and warm Mexican street corn are the best of friends. This recipe proves it.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
648 calories
101 g
141 g
16 g
28 g
5 g
447 g
1189 g
11 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 648
Calories from Fat 142
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 141mg
Sodium 1189mg
Total Carbohydrates 101g
Dietary Fiber 11g
Sugars 11g
Protein 28g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the scallops
  1. 20 large scallops, halved (about 2 lbs)
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  5. 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 2 cups fine dry breadcrumbs
  8. Vegetable oil, for frying
  9. 10 corn tortillas
For the Jicama Cucumber Slaw
  1. 1/4 large jicama, julienned
  2. 1 english cucumber, peeled and julienned
  3. Lime juice, to taste
For the Mexican Street Corn Salsa
  1. 4 ears of corn on the cob
  2. 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
  3. 1 tablespoon butter
  4. Ground chipotle pepper, to taste
  5. ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  6. Squeeze of lime
For the scallops
  1. Set up your dredging station. Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Working in batches, dredge scallops in flour mixture. Combine eggs and milk; beat well. Dip scallops into egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs. Fry scallops in deep hot oil (350°) until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
For the Jicama Cucumber Slaw
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, tossing to combine until well coated.
For the Mexican Street Corn Salsa
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add corn and cook until water comes back to a boil. Immediately remove corn from water, and toast a few ears at a time in a dry skillet, until char marks appear.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut kernels from each cob into a large bowl. While corn is still very hot, add mayonnaise, butter, ground chipotle, and feta. Stir well to combine, and taste, Add more chipotle as needed for desired spiciness. Serve with a wedge of lime.
Put it together
  1. Warm tortillas in a dry skillet, until soft and pliable, with a few brown marks. To assemble each taco, place four pieces of scallop on each tortilla, followed by a scoop of the Jicama Cucumber Slaw, and then finished with another scoop of Mexican Street Corn salsa and sour cream or Mexican crema, if desired.
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Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm loves Mexico, speaks fluent taqueria Spanish, and totally has Mexican friends. Author of both "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," and food blog From Away, his writing and photography credits include Serious Eats, Down East Magazine, The LA Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. His seasonal food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater, and he finds trying to write this in the third person to be muy chistoso.

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