What is Cheese Corn?

Cheese corn is a popular Korean-American appetizer or side dish that combines sweet corn, creamy mayonnaise, melty cheese, and spices.

What is Cheese Corn

This indulgent mix of flavors results in a unique dish that is sweet, savory, and super addictive!

What is Korean Cheese Corn?

Korean cheese corn, also called corn cheese, is a dish that was created by Korean-Americans as a fusion of American and Korean flavors. It combines canned or fresh sweet corn, mayonnaise or butter, shredded cheese (usually mozzarella), sugar, and spices.

This simple mixture is then baked or pan-fried until the cheese melts into a delicious gooey topping. The result is a sweet, creamy, and savory side dish that highlights the natural sweetness of corn.

Cheese corn likely originated in Korean-American communities as a creative spin on elote, the popular Mexican street food of grilled corn slathered in mayo, cheese, and spices. By using familiar ingredients like cheese and canned corn, Korean-Americans crafted a new comfort food that was reminiscent of flavors from both cultures.

Key Takeaway: Cheese corn is a Korean-American fusion dish made by baking or pan-frying a mixture of corn, mayo, cheese, and spices.

Why Does Cheese Corn Taste So Good?

There are several reasons why the combination of ingredients in cheese corn results in such an insanely delicious dish:

  • Sweet corn - The base of canned or fresh sweet corn provides natural sweetness. Corn is already sweet on its own, but cooking it brings out even more sugary flavor.
  • Creamy mayo - Adding a creamy emulsion like mayonnaise, butter, or cream cheese gives cheese corn a rich, smooth texture. The fat also enhances the mouthfeel and carries the other flavors.
  • Gooey melted cheese - Covering the corn in shredded melty cheese like mozzarella gives the dish an indulgent, oozy topping when baked. The cheese provides a savory, salty contrast to the sweet corn.
  • Spices and seasonings - Ingredients like sugar, salt, pepper, Sriracha, and green onions provide seasoning that balances out the flavors. This prevents the dish from being too heavy or one-note.
  • Hot temperatures - Cooking the cheese corn in a hot oven or pan allows the cheese to melt and get crispy on top. This gives it an irresistible texture that keeps you going back for more.

The combination of sweet, creamy, salty, spicy, and crunchy textures and flavors is irresistible. The corn, cheese, and mayo work together to create an insanely savory, satisfying bite.

Key Takeaway: Cheese corn tastes so good because it combines sweet corn, creamy elements, gooey cheese, spices, and high heat to create an indulgent balance of flavors and textures.

How to Make Cheese Corn

Making classic cheese corn is simple, requiring just a few ingredients and easy steps:


  • Canned or fresh corn, drained
  • Mayonnaise or butter
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spices like sriracha or chili powder (optional)
  • Green onions, chopped (optional garnish)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking dish or ovenproof skillet with oil or nonstick spray.
  2. Combine corn and mayo in a bowl. Add sugar, salt, pepper, spices, and half of the shredded cheese. Mix well.
  3. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and corn mixture is heated through.
  5. Broil 2-3 minutes to get crispy, browned spots on the cheese.
  6. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately while hot and bubbly.

The baking step helps melt the cheese into a gooey blanket over the corn. Finishing it under the broiler crisps up the cheese for delicious texture contrast. The end result is a warm, golden cheese corn loaded with sweet and savory flavor.

Key Takeaway: Make cheese corn by baking a mixture of corn, mayo, cheese, and seasonings until hot and melted, then broiling to brown the cheese.

Tips for Making Perfect Cheese Corn

Here are some tips to help you make the best cheese corn every time:

  • Use canned or frozen corn for convenience and year-round availability. Drain canned corn well. Thaw and drain frozen corn.
  • Kewpie mayonnaise has a great flavor, but regular mayo works too. You can also substitute melted butter or cream cheese.
  • Shredded mozzarella melts beautifully, but any melty cheese like cheddar, gouda, or monterey jack works.
  • Add spices like sriracha or chili powder to amp up the flavor if desired. Start with small amounts and adjust to taste.
  • Stir some cheese into the corn mixture before topping with more cheese. This distributes gooey goodness throughout.
  • Watch closely when broiling to get perfect browning without burning the cheese.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions for a pop of color and freshness.
  • Serve cheese corn hot right after cooking for the best texture.

With a few simple tricks, you can make restaurant-quality cheese corn at home any time. Experiment with different cheese and spice combinations to customize it to your taste.

Key Takeaway: Use canned corn, kewpie mayo, mozzarella, and stir in some cheese before topping to make the perfect gooey cheese corn. Watch it closely under the broiler.


Can I use fresh or frozen corn instead of canned?

Yes, you can use fresh or frozen corn. Cut the kernels off cobs if using fresh corn. Make sure to drain frozen corn thoroughly as it will release liquid as it thaws. You may need to reduce the amount of added sugar when using fresh corn.

What kind of mayo is best for cheese corn?

Kewpie mayonnaise is commonly used in Korean cooking and has great flavor, but regular mayo works too. For a dairy-free option, melted butter can replace the mayo.

Do I have to broil the cheese corn?

Broiling is optional but highly recommended. It browns and crisps the cheese, adding delicious texture. Skip the broiler if you prefer a soft, creamy cheese layer on top.

Can I prepare cheese corn ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the corn mixture up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated until ready to bake. Add 5-10 minutes to the baking time if cooking cold from the refrigerator.

Can I freeze cheese corn?

The corn cheese mixture can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking. Add 10-15 minutes of extra baking time if cooking directly from frozen.


Cheese corn is the ultimate hybrid food, merging Korean and American flavors into an indulgent, crave-worthy dish.

With its winning combination of sweet corn, gooey cheese, and spicy mayo, this appetizer is sure to be a hit at your next party or potluck.

The baking and broiling method ensures a hot, melty final product that highlights the delicious ingredients.

AGAH Productions
AGAH Productions