Korean Corn Cheese is your next favorite comfort food. This side dish is bursting with the sweetness from the corn, the creaminess of mayonnaise, and the melted goodness of mozzarella cheese. The added crunch of green onions and a hint of heat from cayenne pepper elevate the taste to a whole new level.
Table of Contents
- What is Korean Corn Cheese?
- Why You’ll Love This Korean Corn Cheese Recipe
- Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Korean Corn Cheese
- How to Make Korean Corn Cheese (Step by Step)
- Joyce’s Tips For Making the Best Korean Corn Cheese
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Korean Corn Cheese
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Korean Corn Cheese
- Did You Make This Recipe?
- Recipe Card
Korean Corn Cheese is a unique fusion of flavors - sweet, creamy, and a bit spicy. It is a versatile dish that can be served as a side, a dip for your chips, or even a topping for your baked potatoes. Plus, it is super easy to make!
I tinkered around a bit and combined this classic Korean side dish with the flavors of Elote (Mexican grilled corn) for a more flavorful way to enjoy corn throughout the year. It goes incredibly well with barbecue dishes and drinks. Trust me, you’re going to love it!
That being said, if you don't want to make it elote style, you can just omit the cotija cheese, lime and cayenne and you have the traditional Korean corn cheese recipe!
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious Korean corn cheese recipe today!
What is Korean Corn Cheese?
Korean corn cheese is a popular side dish in Korea that's quickly gaining international recognition for its creamy, cheesy deliciousness.
This recipe uses simple ingredients like corn kernels, green onions, butter, mayonnaise, mozzarella cheese, and a touch of salt and pepper to create a dish that's comforting and packed with flavor.
The corn can be fresh or canned corn, making it a versatile dish that you can whip up any time of the year.
Why You’ll Love This Korean Corn Cheese Recipe
Quick and Easy Appetizer/Snack: In a rush? No problem! This recipe can be prepared quickly, especially if you opt to use canned corn. You can also make this in the oven or the stovetop as well!
Versatile: This recipe is incredibly versatile. You can experiment with the flavors by adding more green onions, use different types of cheeses, lime juice, or cayenne pepper. You can even try grilling the corn for a smoky flavor. Plus, you can use the leftover corn cobs for making soup broths, adding extra value to this dish.
Delicious Crowd-Pleaser: Whether you're hosting a party or a family dinner, this Korean corn cheese recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. The combination of sweet corn, creamy mayonnaise, and melted cheese is irresistible. Plus, it is a great dip for chips, making it perfect for sharing.
Great Banchan for Korean BBQ: If you're hosting a Korean BBQ party, this makes a delicious banchan (side dish), especially if you have one of those special Korean BBQ grills that can keep them warm.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Korean Corn Cheese
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious Korean corn cheese recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Corn: The star of this recipe, corn gives the dish its sweet, juicy crunch. I like to use fresh corn on the cob but you definitely can use canned corn to save time. (Save the cobs for making soup broths!)
- Onion: This adds more flavor to the corn cheese.
- Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise: This mayo gives the dish a tangy and creamy taste. If you can't find it, regular mayonnaise will do just fine.
- Butter: A staple in almost every kitchen, butter adds a rich, creamy flavor to the corn. It also helps in browning when we broil the dish.
- Salt and Sugar: These will add a bit more flavor to your cheese corn.
- Green Onion: Finely chopped green onions give a nice color contrast and a fresh, slightly onion flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese: This is what makes our Korean Corn Cheese so delightfully stretchy and gooey. Grate it yourself for the best melting results.
- Aged Cheddar: Although this is not a traditional ingredient, I find it adds a lot more flavor to the cheese since mozzarella doesn't have much flavor and is mostly great for the cheese stretch. I like to use old cheddar.
Elote Corn Extras
- Cotija Cheese: This crumbly Mexican cheese adds a wonderful salty counterpoint to the sweet corn. If you can't find it, feta is a good substitute.
- Cayenne Pepper: A touch of cayenne pepper gives the dish a hint of heat. Adjust according to your spice tolerance.
- Lime: A squeeze of lime adds a zesty twist, balancing the sweetness of the corn and the richness of the cheese.
How to Make Korean Corn Cheese (Step by Step)
Making this incredible Korean corn cheese recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
Preparing the Corn and Onions
Husk and Clean your Corn: First off, remove the husk and leaves from the corn. This exposes the corn kernels that we'll be using for our dish. If you are using canned corn, you can skip this step, along with the grilling.
(Optional) Grill the Corn: For an extra layer of flavor, if you're using corn on the cob, brush your corn with a bit of oil and grill it on high heat until it is brown and charred.
Shave Off the Corn Kernels: Once your corn is ready, shave the kernels off of the cob and place them in a large bowl. To avoid the corn from flying everywhere, use a big bowl (or a cookie sheet tray) with a smaller bowl upside down inside the large bowl. Rest the corn on the small bowl while cutting. The large bowl will catch all the kernels.
Dice the Onion: Finely dice the small onion and add it into a bowl with the corn kernels. Mix in some salt and sugar as well.
Adding the Ingredients
Chop your Green Onions: Finely chop your green onions and set them aside. We'll be using them later.
Crumble your Cheese (Optional, Unless Making it Elote Style): Next, crumble up your cotija cheese and add it to the bowl with the corn kernels and onions.
Squeeze in Some Lime (Optional, Unless Making it Elote Style): To add a tangy twist, cut a quarter of a lime and squeeze the juice into your bowl of corn. Feel free to add more lime juice if you prefer a tangier flavor.
Season your Mixture: Now, it is time to season your corn mixture. Add in the cayenne pepper and mayonnaise, and mix well.
Cooking the Corn Cheese
Melt your Butter: Set your stove to medium heat and melt some butter in a pan.
Cook your Corn Mixture: Once your butter is melted, add in your corn mixture and cook for about ten to fifteen minutes.
Add your Green Onions: After your mixture has cooked, turn off the heat and add in your chopped green onions. Mix everything together to distribute the flavors evenly.
Prepare for Broiling: Transfer your corn mixture to an oven-safe pan or baking dish and top it with grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Alternatively, you can leave the corn in the same pan on the stovetop, top it with cheese and put a lid on it to 'steam' the cheese. Once the cheese is melty, it's done.
Broil your dish: Finally, broil your dish for about three to five minutes, or until the mozzarella cheese has melted and turned a lovely golden brown.
Your delicious Korean Corn Cheese is ready to serve!
Joyce’s Tips For Making the Best Korean Corn Cheese
Add Aged Cheddar Cheese: Mozzarella alone doesn't have much flavor and is mostly great for its cheese stretch. To give the cheese more flavor, I like to add some aged cheddar cheese to the cheese mixture as well. I like to use old cheddar.
You Can Make This Both On the Stovetop or Oven: To keep it simpler, leave the corn on the same pan you cooked it in, add the cheese near the end, put a lid on it and 'steam' the cheese until it is melted. I like to melt it in the oven because the cheese browns up and gives it more flavor - the only downside is you may need to transfer it to a oven safe pan like a cast iron pan.
Grill or Not to Grill?: Grilling the corn is optional. It can add a deeper flavor to your Korean corn cheese, but if you're short on time, it is not a necessity. Try both methods to find your favorite.
Cut the Corn with Ease: Shaving corn off the cob can be messy. To avoid this, use a big bowl (or a cookie sheet tray) with a smaller bowl upside down inside the large bowl. Rest the corn on the small bowl while cutting. The large bowl will catch all the kernels.
Don't Waste the Cobs: After shaving off the corn kernels, don't throw away the cobs. You can freeze them and use them later to make soup broths, maximizing your ingredients.
This Korean corn cheese goes well with just about any dish, but here are some delicious Korean dishes I highly recommend you try it with:
- Rice Cakes: This cheesy corn cheese goes incredibly well with some easy Tteokbokki (Korean spicy rice cakes) or some stir-fried kimchi rice cakes. The flavors go incredibly well together, and you can enjoy them with some drinks the next time your friends come over!
- Rice Dishes: The cheesy, tangy, spicy flavors in this Korean corn cheese pair beautifully with some kimchi fried rice with spam or some tuna mayo Deopbap (Korean tuna rice bowl). It’s a classic combo that’s perfect for weeknights when you want something delicious and filling.
- Delicious Mains: Who can resist some Korean corn cheese with Jeyuk Bokkeum (spicy Korean pork bulgogi)? The flavors are absolutely to die for and all your friends and family will be asking for seconds!
- Stir Fry Noodles: For a delicious and light meal, pair this savory Korean corn cheese on the side of some Japchae (Korean glass noodles stir fry). It’s a perfect combo that tastes incredible!
- Make It a Dip: Turn your Korean corn cheese into a delicious dip by serving it in a baking dish right out of the oven. Pair it with wonton chips, tortilla chips or bread for a fun, interactive side dish that's perfect for parties or family gatherings.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Korean Corn Cheese
This delicious Korean corn cheese recipe is so flavorful and easy to make, you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Go for Canned Corn: If you're pressed for time or corn on the cob isn't available, canned corn is a great alternative. Just remember to drain the corn well.
Turn Up the Heat: If you're a fan of spicy food, this variation is for you. Simply add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the corn mixture. This will give your Korean corn cheese a spicy kick that balances the sweetness of the corn and creaminess of the cheese.
Use Different Cheeses: For cheese lovers out there, this variation is a must-try. In addition to the mozzarella, you could also add some cheddar or gouda cheese into the mix. The extra cheese will melt, adding more depth to the flavor of your Korean corn cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! While fresh corn is always a great choice, canned corn can be a huge time-saver.
Grilling the corn is optional. It can add a nice charred flavor to your Korean corn cheese, but it is not necessary. The recipe will still taste delicious without this step.
Yes, you can substitute cotija cheese with feta. Both add a nice salty kick that compliments the sweetness of the corn in this dish.
A handy trick is to use a large bowl with a smaller bowl turned upside down inside it. Rest the corn on the smaller bowl while shaving. This way, the large bowl catches all the kernels and prevents them from scattering everywhere.
Adding a bit of salt to the corn mixture and using aged old cheddar cheese to the mozzarella mix significantly adds more flavor to the cheese corn
Don't throw away those corn cobs! You can freeze them and use them later to make delicious soup broths.
Yes, you can use regular mayonnaise in this recipe. However, Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise has a unique flavor that adds an extra touch to the dish. But if it is not available, regular mayonnaise will do just fine.
How to Store Leftover Korean Corn Cheese
To store leftover Korean corn cheese, allow it to cool down first. After it cools, transfer the remaining corn cheese into an airtight container. It is best to store it in the refrigerator, where it can last for up to three days.
When you're ready to enjoy your leftover Korean corn cheese, you have three reheating options. You can either place it in a baking dish and broil it in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned, you can reheat it over medium heat in a cast iron skillet, or the easiest way is to microwave it for a minute until the cheese is melted.
All methods will help make sure that your corn cheese retains its creamy, cheesy goodness.
I don’t recommend freezing this corn cheese side dish since the mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese don’t freeze well and will change in texture and taste. So it’s best to have any leftovers within three days of making it by storing it in the fridge instead.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Korean Corn Cheese (Elote Style)
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- To make this the traditional Korean corn cheese, skip the Elote Ingredients steps.
- Save the cobs (you can freeze them) and use it to make soup broths
- To make this more quickly, substitute the fresh corn for canned corn.
- Grilling the corn is optional
- 2 corn on the cob (kernels removed, approximately 3 ½ cups)
- 1 small onion (diced, approx. ¼ cup)
- 2 ½ tablespoons Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise (or regular mayonaise)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stalk green onion (finely chopped)
- 1 cup mozzarella
- ½ cup aged cheddar (I like to use old cheddar)
Elote Ingredients (Optional)
- ⅓ cup cotija cheese (or feta, crumbled)
- ¼ wedge of lime
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Prepare the Corn on the Cob (Skip if Using Canned Corn)
- 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 with a knife. To keep the corn from falling everywhere, place it on an upside-down bowl and cut the kernels downwards into a large plate or metal cookie sheet tray.(Use a larger plate than I have in the photo, so that your knife doesn't hit the plate while you are cutting downwards 😂)
Making the Corn Mixture
- Add the fresh corn (or canned corn) into a bowl. If you are using canned corn, drain it well before using it.
- Finely dice 1 small onion and place it in a bowl with the corn.
- Add in 2 ½ tablespoons Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon sugar and mix together in a bowl.(you can skip the sugar if you're using canned corned, but if you want it sweet anyway, you can add in the extra sugar.)
Adding Elote Ingredients (Skip if Making Traditional Corn Cheese)
- Crumble up ⅓ cup 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 flavor)
- Add in 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and mix everything well
Prepare the Cheese and Green Onions
- Finely chop the green onions and set aside
- Grate 1 cup mozzarella and ½ cup aged cheddar. Set it aside for later.
Option 1 - Cooking the Korean Corn Cheese (Stovetop Instructions)
- Set the stove to medium heat and melt the butter in a pan.
- Add in the corn mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes
- Add in the green onions and mix together.
- Top the corn with the mozzarella and cheddar cheese mixture, put a lid on it, and let it 'steam' the cheese for approx. 5 minutes until it has melted.
Option 2- Cooking the Korean Corn Cheese (Oven Instructions)
- Set the stove to medium heat and melt the butter in a pan.
- Add in the corn mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes
- Add in the green onions and mix together.
- Move the corn to an oven safe pan and top with grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese mix cheese
- Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted at the top and is brown.
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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