Why Korean Corn Cheese Should Be At Your Next Big Party

Dips are the way to any partygoer and party-thrower's heart. Whether it's chilled, spread in layers, or baked to ooey-gooey perfection, it's often one of the first things to go at the food table, and it will keep people coming back for more. Served with a crunchy component, be it chips, crackers, colorful veggies, or even fruit to pair with a sweeter dip, it's not only satisfying, but so easy to make. 

While corn dip is an American classic, often coated in a mayonnaise-based dressing with shredded cheddar cheese, scallions, jalapeño, and red pepper mixed in, Korean corn cheese is the new up-and-coming dip that will have guests questioning what it is and how quickly they can get the recipe (via Homemade Hooplah). The difference between the two? Well, there are a few. Traditional corn dip is typically served cold, whereas Korean corn cheese is baked and served up warm with melty mozzarella cheese (via Kitchn). However, the dressing and mix-ins are not altogether dissimilar.

It starts with canned corn

According to Maangchi, anju is a type of food often paired with alcohol, and Korean corn cheese fits under that category just right. Think fondue, but with corn in the mix, with a sprinkle of sugar for a touch of sweetness. Corn was not always popular in Korean culture, but when American soldiers handed out cans of them to civilians during the Korean War, the country developed a taste for it (via Serious Eats). This introduction led to many creative dishes, and corn cheese was one of them. In fact, for Koreans, it's not technically authentic to make corn cheese using fresh corn, as it all started with the canned variety. Though perhaps they should, as adding sugar is all about trying to capture the flavor of sweet summer corn. 

According to Spoon Fork Bacon, this dish is essential to a Korean BBQ experience. When sitting around the table with a hot grill in the center, it's either prepared in front of you or brought out straight from the broiler, sizzling in a hot dish. And don't let the server whisk it away too soon, as it pairs just as well with the grilled meats as it does with chips and crackers.

It's easy to make

With many of its ingredients being pantry staples, this dip is rather cheap to make. Comprised mostly of just corn, mayonnaise, and cheese, this dish represents how the simplest things in life can be the best. Kitchn's version of the popular dip uses canned corn, pickled jalapeños, shredded mozzarella, scallions, mayonnaise, sugar, salt, and pepper. From there, you simply mix everything in a bowl, transfer it to a baking dish, and bake until bubbling. Feel free to omit or amp up the jalapeños, depending on how much heat you like.  

If you're trying to ease up on the hosting duties, simply prep it the day before, cover it, and let it chill in the fridge; when the party is about to start, pop it in the oven, so it's hot for guests. Whether you're serving the sizzling skillet as a snack or appetizer with dipping chips or as a banchan side dish next to your entree or with a variety of meats, it's a delightfully unique centerpiece for every course but dessert.