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Corn Cheese

Corn Cheese
GFKQ

You don’t see a lot of cheese in most Asian cuisines. But boy does that change in South Korea! Dating back to the war when American army bases would hand out some of their rations like Spam, canned corn, corn meal, and sliced cheese, Koreans started finding all kinds of innovative uses for them. This Corn Cheese is one of the most beloved fusion creations, coming out of their very vibrant street food scene. Combining the sweetness of corn with the richness of cheese (wait until you see the cheese pull!) this dish is a perfect side to warm weather foods like grilled chicken or fish. If ever there were a kid friendly veggie dish, this is it!

Conversely, it also makes a divine snack served as a dip with chips; Corn Cheese belongs to a uniquely Korean class of snacks known as anju which are foods that are served when drinking alcohol. Make some of my Watermelon Soju and you will have an instant party! You are going to love the ooey, gooey, cheesy, bubbly, sweet and salty corn-filled goodness of it all, so let’s get into it.

ingredients corn cheese

When I visited Seoul this past winter, Corn Cheese was everywhere, often as an accompaniment to Korean Bbq. This is such a simple recipe, and relies on basic, inexpensive pantry staples. You could probably make it now without having to make a grocery run. And while you could make corn cheese with fresh or frozen corn, an authentic Korean Corn Cheese relies on canned corn, which is available year round. Both the consistency and texture of canned corn insures this comes out perfectly every time, with sweet and tender kernels. Make sure you drain it well before using.

This recipe is the most familiar version of Corn Cheese but you can put your own spin on it. Try adding a sprinkle of gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) for some heat, some diced sautéed red bell peppers for color, or maybe some finely diced green beans/ snap peas if you want to sneak some other veggies in (too much of a mom suggestion?).

draining corn

As always, I recommend having your ingredients prepped before beginning because it all comes together so quickly and you don’t want to forget anything once you start cooking.

butter onions for corn cheese

add corn

 

Since the corn is already cooked, just stir it into the onion mixture and then move the pan off the heat. If you heat up the corn too much, you’ll need to cool it off a bit before adding the mayonnaise, which will split if added to piping hot corn. Plus, the corn will continue heating in the oven under the broiler. I used low fat mayonnaise because that’s all I have in the house but feel free to use regular or even vegan mayo.

Corn cheese typically straddles the savory/sweet line but I’ve tasted some versions that are just too sweet for me. I scaled back the sugar in the recipe to my taste. It’s just a touch sweet but not cloying. If you prefer a sweeter dish, add more sugar to your liking.

Now it’s time to add the cheese and put it under the broiler for that magic melty browned goodness. If your skillet isn’t oven-safe, transfer the corn and then add the cheese. Mozzarella is king in Korea for all things cheesey, probably because it’s so mild and also because of the melt factor. But you can use other cheeses too. Anything that is mild and melts well will be fine.

mozzarella corn cheese

Remember to keep a close eye when it’s under the broiler so it doesn’t go from perfectly melty and bronzed to burnt. Garnish with the green onions and the Corn Cheese is ready to serve.

Look at that cheese pull! This is perfect served alongside Mom’s Chicken or Teriyaki Meatballs for kid pleasing meals, or with a Kimchi Pancake and your favorite adult beverages for a grownup’s pleasing meal. Let me know how you serve it by dropping a comment below, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

recipe pic corn cheese

 

 

 

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recipe pic corn cheese

Corn Cheese

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3-4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 can corn, drained well
  • ¼ large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • A couple dashes salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese 

For garnish:

1 scallion, trimmed and minced


Instructions

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat for several minutes. Add the butter, onions, and a dash of salt.
  2. Saute for 5-6 minutes until the onion softens and turns translucent. Add the garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Then add the corn and stir to combine. Take the pan off the heat and set aside.
  3. Turn on the broiler and move the oven shelf to the upper middle shelf (if your oven only has 3 shelves, put the rack at the top).
  4. Add the mayonnaise and sugar to the corn and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. If your skillet is not oven safe, transfer the corn to an oven safe dish or skillet. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the corn.
  6. Place the skillet in the oven and broil for several minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Sprinkle with the green onions.
  7. Serve Corn Cheese immediately.

Notes

*If you’re vegan, substitute the mayo, cheese, and butter for vegan products.

*Any leftovers store well in the fridge for several days. Heat in the microwave for a couple minutes before serving.

Keywords: kon-chijeu, corn cheese, Korean, snacks, veggie sides, street food


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