While I never ate Korean corn cheese growing up at home, I’m seeing it mentioned more often these days when it comes to Korean food in America. At its simplest, it’s just a mixture of seasoned corn (even using plain ol’ salt and pepper is fine) and mayonnaise, topped with mozzarella and baked until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. It’s typically eaten as an anju, which are dishes you eat alongside alcohol, so you’ll likely see it on a Korean bar menu.
Some variations also include other components added in for extra flavor. Maangchi’s version has a little bit of bell pepper tossed in, along with rice cake. This one from Serious Eats features a slightly heavier seasoning, including a fermented soybean paste called doenjang, along with Chinese mustard powder. If you’re trying this at home, I wouldn’t stress too much on anything fancy, as corn cheese is a pretty simple dish. If you’ve got fresh sweet corn, which yields the best version, you’re good to go. But if you just have a few cans of corn laying around, I’ve also used that before with a perfectly good result. Don’t stress!
Munchies has a fancier cheffy version which looks delicious. The recipe calls for fire-roasting ears of corn on the stove or grill; it’s also got pickled red onions, a doenjang-miso mayo, and a gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder) and tajín blend for some extra punch on top. This is obviously something to make if you’re looking for something more involved, and it brings in a ton of additional complex flavors. Chef Jae Lee, the host of the video, does mention that this is a much more complicated take on the dish, but he saw a chance to turn a plain cheese-topped baked corn casserole in a more flavorful direction with his version.
Ultimately, feel free to use whatever you have in the pantry with a corn cheese base, because hell, it’s corn. It’s cheese. You know it’s going to be good no matter what.