Korean Corn Cheese Transforms Canned Corn Into A Masterpiece

During the 19th century, the Winslow brothers were amongst the first to can goods, and canned corn was one of their first products. Fast forward a few centuries and canned corn seems to have had its peak, occasionally making a surprise appearance at our dinner tables. After observing how Korean Oi Muchim cucumbers knocked dill pickles out of the limelight, it's no surprise that more unique ways to elevate our everyday meals continue to emerge. The time to transform canned corn — we've been waiting — is here. Welcome, Korean corn cheese.

Korean corn cheese is a recently incorporated addition to the cuisine, making its debut through rations that were introduced by the Americans during the Korean War in the 1950s. Its creamy cheese flavor pairs sweet and salty elements to create a popular appetizer or side dish that is slightly crunchy and gloriously moreish. Using pantry staples, Korean corn cheese is a simple yet masterful affair. While hot mayonnaise may make you feel a little nervous, this stunning dish will undoubtedly make you reconsider how you have lived for so long without it.

Move aside, corn on the cob

To transform your seemingly ordinary canned corn, start by draining the can and tipping those bright little pieces into a bowl. Combine with mayonnaise, sugar, salt, and pepper. If you like, you can add some extra vegetables or seasoning, including bell peppers, caramelized onion, garlic powder, or Chinese mustard. Transfer this mixture to a skillet and coat with a thick layer of mozzarella. Now broil in the oven until you have a tremendous crispy top (2-3 minutes). The finished plate? A luscious, cheesy corn creation where the addition of mayonnaise only intensifies its creamy texture.

Here are a couple of tips when making this wonderful dish. One, it's always important to buy canned sweetcorn that tastes fresh and has that moist texture. That said, this recipe can easily be made with frozen kernels or fresh off-the-cob too. Some adaptations of this dish will exaggerate the sweeter notes of the corn with condensed milk, which is excellent if you prefer your corn sweet. If you want to lean into the savoriness of it, steer away from the sugar.

A matter of mayonnaise

The canned corn is not the only ingredient you should evaluate — the type of mayonnaise you use is also key. To make this dish as delicious as possible, try Kewpie mayonnaise, a renowned Japanese brand. This mayo has the perfect balance of acidity and creamy fats, producing a slightly sweet taste with a hint of umami.

Its rich, savory taste is partially due to the fact that the mayonnaise uses only egg yolks, unlike Hellman's, which is made with whole eggs. Kewpie also includes a touch of MSG, but there are MSG-free versions if you'd prefer. So why does this work so well in Korean corn cheese? Its depth of flavor beautifully compliments the corn, enriching the basic flavors with a blend of vinegar to produce a subtle tang. Instead of saving your mayonnaise for the usual fries or sandwiches, it's time to branch out and start elevating your canned corn. First stop: Korean corn cheese.