Any partygoer knows that when there’s a dip around — especially a warm dip — it will usually be the first thing to go. Korean corn cheese, a delight normally found at Korean restaurants as one of a number of banchan side dishes, might not be a dip in the most traditional form, but it deserves a spot at your next snack-fueled gathering.
What Is Korean Corn Cheese?
As mentioned, Korean corn cheese is most often found at restaurants or drinking holes as a little snack (a category known as anju) to accompany alcohol and the main dishes. It comes out piping hot in a mini cast iron vessel, and diners will enjoy bites of it (sans chips or crackers) as part of the larger meal. Its components are an easy yet unsurprisingly comforting blend of pantry-friendly ingredients including canned corn, mayonnaise, and mozzarella cheese. The sweetness of the crunchy corn (usually enhanced with a bit of sugar, which also serves to temper the background heat from the chiles) pairs well with the salty richness of the cheese-mayonnaise mixture. Corn cheese is usually enjoyed in a slightly thinner layer than traditional dip. In a 9×13-inch casserole, for example, the dip should be about 3/4- to 1-inch in height.
In this version, I’ve added a bit of freshness from chopped scallions — both in the baked dish and on top as a raw garnish. The pickled jalapeños, while not traditional, also contribute a light hum of heat in the background; feel free to amp up the spice level to suit your taste. You can certainly scoop up the corn cheese dip with corn tortilla chips (doubles the corn fun!) or crackers, but no judgment if you prefer eating it straight out of the pan without a crunchy vehicle.
This cheesy, flavor-packed dip comes together in less than 30 minutes.
- 2 (about 15-ounce) cans
- 1/4 cup
sliced pickled jalapeños
- 10 ounces
low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 4 to 5
- 2/3 cup
- 1 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
Serving options: Tortilla chips, butter crackers (like Ritz), pita chips, lightly toasted pita wedges, baguette slices, crudités
Arrange a rack about 6 inches from the broiling element, then heat the oven to 425ºF.
Drain 2 (about 15-ounce) cans corn kernels in a strainer or colander. Place 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños on top of the corn to drain. Let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Grate 10 ounces mozzarella cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 2 1/2 cups) and place in a large bowl. Thinly slice 4 to 5 medium scallions until you have about 1/2 cup. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dark green parts for garnish, then add the remaining scallions to the bowl.
Add 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl and stir to combine.
Transfer the jalapeños to the cutting board and finely chop. Add the jalapeños and corn to the bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread into an even layer and smooth the top.
Bake until lightly browned on top and bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Switch the oven to broil and broil until the top is darker brown in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved scallion greens and serve with chips, crackers, or crudités.
Corn: You can substitute 3 1/2 cups frozen (thawed and drained) or fresh corn kernels for the canned corn.
Make ahead: The dip can be prepared up to a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated unbaked. It will need a few minutes more baking time.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Hana is a journalist, food writer/editor, recipe developer, and video host based in New York City. She is the former executive editor of Chowhound and senior editor at Food52. She attended the French Culinary Institute, and has cooked in the kitchens of The Martha Stewart Show and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen. You can also find her work on NYT Cooking, Food52, Bon Appétit, and more.