Korean corn cheese is a popular cheesy, sweet and savory snack typically enjoyed with drinks. I tinkered around a bit and combined it with the flavours of Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn) for a more flavorful way to enjoy corn this summer.
When I lived in the city, I grew up on canned corn and I thought it was the most fantastic vegetable ever made - partially because it was super sweet but mostly because it was swimming in an sugary sweet syrup which I used to love drowning my rice in.
As I grew into my teenage years, I was a bit more curious about food and I ventured onto corn on the cob from the supermarket and I was hugely disappointed, it wasn't sweet like the canned corn and definitely not as flavorful so it was back to canned corn for me.
My adventures in corn didn't end there. My dad took us out of town a lot on the weekends and I started to notice people selling corn on the side of the road in their trucks. Before that, I had the notion that food just magically appeared via food fairies in supermarkets to be bought and had no idea that farmers existed - boy was that an eye opener for me. Mom and dad bought some corn from the farmer and served it for dinner that night, and holy moly bejebus that was the best corn I have ever tasted - this stuff was sweeter than candy. I never turned back to canned corn since.
Now that I live closer the the farms, I do like to buy my corn locally at the farms and it's something that I almost always have in the summer time so I like to get creative with it and have it many different ways.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is to have it Mexican elote style - Grilled with cotija cheese, mayo and lime with a bit of cayenne. So when I discovered Korean corn cheese I was intrigued. Another way to make my favorite dish even MORE cheesier? I won't fight that.
This recipe is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is super heavy and greasy but it was meant to be a snack for drinking so it makes sense!
For this corn cheese, recipe, almost all these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store.
If you can't find cotija cheese, which you can typically find at a Latin supermarket - you can substitute feta in it's place in a pinch.
I used fresh corn for this recipe, however you can use canned corn if you're in a hurry. Just remember to drain out the sugar syrup before using it.
Note about Sugar in the Recipe
Traditionally, Korean corn cheese has sugar in it. I did not add sugar to this recipe, since the corn I get is super duper sweet already and didn't need the added sugar. Make sure to taste the corn and decide if you need the additional sugar. If you find that the corn you have is not very sweet or flavorful, you can add 2 teaspoons of sugar to the recipe. I definitely do not recommend adding in more sugar if you are using canned corn, since it is usually already very sweet.
To Grill or Not to Grill?
I tried both methods and to be honest - I didn't notice a major difference. Mind you, I didn't char my corn til it was black but if you have the time I highly recommend trying both ways to find your favorite.
Shaving the Corn - Less Messy Way
If you have ever shaved corn off the cob, you will know it's a messy task and quite annoying - the corn flies everywhere if you use a cutting board. An easy way I like to do this is to use a big bowl with a smaller bowl up side down inside the large bowl. This lets me rest the corn on the small bowl so that my knife doesn't hit the sides of the larger bowl and the big bowl catches all the kernels. (Make sure the smaller bowl sits high enough inside the large bowl so that your knife doesn't hit the edges of the larger bowl.)
No Waste Here, Save the Cobs!
I like the freeze the cobs for when I want to make a soup. When you are feeling like a soup one day, just throw in the cobs and boil it for 30 minutes and then discard the cob afterwards - it will give your soup a boost in corn flavour!
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
1.) Combine ingredients
2.) Cook it in a pan
3.) Cheese it & bake it! 🙂
This is definitely a snack on the heavier side so I don't recommend downing all this on your own - unless you're a little crazy like me. 🙂
Just when I thought veggies were supposed to be healthy - this happens.
Korean Corn Cheese (Elote Style)
- 2 corn on the cob (kernels removed, approximately 3 ½ cups)
- 2 ½ tablespoons kewpie mayonnaise (or regular mayonaise)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ wedge of lime
- 2 teaspoon sugar (Optional, only if the corn is not sweet on it's own.)
- ⅓ cup cotija cheese (or feta, crumbled)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 stalk green onion (finely chopped)
- 1 ball of mozzarella (260 g, grated)
- Remove the husk and leaves of the corn
- (Optional) Brush the corn with a bit of oil and grill the corn on high heat until brown and charred
- Shave the kernels off of the corn cob and place it in a large bowl (See blog post for tip to easily remove the kernels from the cob, with less mess)
- Finely chop the green onions and set aside
- Crumble up the cotija cheese and add it to the bowl of corn
- Cut ¼ of a lime and squeeze the juice into the bowl of corn (add more lime juice if you like a tangier flavour)
- Add in the cayenne pepper and mayonnaise and mix well
- Set the stove to medium heat and melt the butter in a pan.
- Add in the corn mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes
- Turn off the heat and add in the green onions and mix together.
- Move the corn to an oven safe pan and top with grated mozzarella cheese
- Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted at the top and is brown.
- Save the cobs (you can freeze them) and use it to make soup broths
- Taste the corn and decide if it is sweet it enough for you. Only use sugar if your corn is not sweet. Do not use it if you are using canned corn since the canned corn is usually soaking in a sugar syrup and is already very sweet.
- Substitute the corn for canned corn if you are in a rush
- Grilling the corn is optional