Easy Kimchi Macaroni & Corn Cheese

Try My special dish – Kimchi Macaroni & Corn Cheese! It’s like a tasty party in your mouth with spicy kimchi, creamy macaroni, and cheesy corn.

It’s a creative and yummy twist on regular macaroni that everyone can enjoy. Give it a try for a new and delicious experience!

Why Kimchi Macaroni & Corn Cheese?

Cheese has not always been part of Korean cuisine. In recent years, Koreans have discovered ways to incorporate cheese into tasty dishes, especially into bar food. Corn Cheese, for example, has taken the world by storm. This snack blends corn, mayonnaise, and tons of mozzarella cheese to make the perfect accompaniment to Korean barbecue or fried chicken (and beer).

I’ve topped a baked kimchi macaroni & cheese casserole with this trendy take on cheesy toppings. My Kimchi Macaroni & Cheese, alone, brings mac & cheese to the spicy next level. The Corn Cheese topping elevates the whole casserole, imparting stringy, pulley, tasty cheesiness into each sweet corn-peppered bite.

The Wasian Cookery Take

A couple of things to note when assembling this comforting, belly-busting casserole:

  • Be sure to squeeze the liquid out of your kimchi to avoid water-logging the noodles. It’ll also help to avoid watering down your cheesy, spicy flavors.
  • Shred the cheese yourself! If you’re in a pinch, pre-shredded cheese will work ok and the dish will taste pretty much the same. But pre-shredded cheese comes with (harmless) additives that prevent it from caking while on the shelf. These additives prevent the cheese from melting fully when making your cheese sauce. Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort.
  • Lazy hack: I dropped chunks of cheese into the blender to chop it up into tiny, meltable bits. You can blend your cheese in a food processor, too. This hack works better with the harder cheese (i.e., sharp cheddar and parmesan).
  • Your Corn Cheese topping might become watery while you assemble the rest of your casserole. Drain off any excess water before adding in your sugar and mayonnaise just before you spread the corn topping over your cheesy macaroni.

My Kimchi Macaroni and corn Cheese will steal the show at your next picnic or potluck. I hope you enjoy it, and please let me know if you try this out!

How To Make Kimchi Macaroni & Corn Cheese

Ingredients  

Corn Cheese Topping:

  • 1 15- oz canned sweet corn drained
  • 3 Tbsp Kewpie mayonnaise Any mayonnaise will do
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly cracked
  • 1/4 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Kimchi Macaroni and Cheese:

  • 1 pound elbow pasta cooked and drained
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4- cup kimchi chopped and drained well, separated
  • 1/3- cup flour
  • 3 cups milk dairy or dairy-free milk both work fine
  • 1 Tbsp gochugaru Korean chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly cracked
  • 1/2- cup shredded parmesan *see notes
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar *see notes
  • 1 1/2- cup shredded mozzarella separated *see notes
  • Corn Cheese Topping see recipe above
  • chopped chives for garnish

Instructions 

Prepare the Corn Cheese Topping:

  • Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high temperature until the butter melts and begins to bubble. Add corn, onion, and bell pepper to the butter and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove the corn mixture from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Top the corn mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Corn mixture may draw out moisture as it sits. Be sure to drain well before mixing in sugar and mayonnaise just before topping the Kimchi Macaroni and corn Cheese with your Corn Cheese Topping.

Make and assemble the Kimchi Macaroni & Corn Cheese:

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. When butter begins bubbling, add in 1/2 cup kimchi and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour and continue to stir for another 3 minutes. Slowly add in the milk until well incorporated and add mustard, gochugaru, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add parmesan, cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup mozzarella to the sauce one handful at a time, ensuring each handful is completely melted before adding the next. Add in the pasta and the remaining kimchi. Mix until pasta is well coated.
  • Pour pasta into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Spread Corn Cheese Topping across the top of the pasta and finish with the remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake pasta at 350˚F for 25 minutes or until mozzarella is melted and bubbly. Then set oven to broiler mode, allowing mozzarella to brown under the broiler for 3 minutes before removing from oven. Be careful not to burn. Allow the dish to rest for about 10 minutes before digging in.

Notes

Notes: Cheese melts best if you freshly grate or shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese comes with additives that, although harmless, result in a chunky mess when melted.

Kimchi Macaroni & Corn Cheese

Recipe by Wasian CookeryCourse: Main CourseCuisine: Korean-inspiredDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Calories

400

kcal
Total time

40

minutes

Top off my spicy Kimchi Macaroni & Cheese with this trendy Corn Cheese topping for a flavor-packed casserole perfect for any potluck or picnic!

Ingredients

  • Corn Cheese Topping:
  • 1 15- oz canned sweet corn drained

  • 3 Tbsp Kewpie mayonnaise Any mayonnaise will do

  • 1 tsp white sugar

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly cracked

  • 1/4 cup white onion finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper finely chopped

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • Kimchi Macaroni and Cheese:
  • 1 pound elbow pasta cooked and drained

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 3/4- cup kimchi chopped and drained well, separated

  • 1/3- cup flour

  • 3 cups milk dairy or dairy-free milk both work fine

  • 1 Tbsp gochugaru Korean chili flakes

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly cracked

  • 1/2- cup shredded parmesan *see notes

  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar *see notes

  • 1 1/2- cup shredded mozzarella separated *see notes

  • Corn Cheese Topping see recipe above

  • chopped chives for garnish

Directions

  • Prepare the Corn Cheese Topping:
  • Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high temperature until the butter melts and begins to bubble. Add corn, onion, and bell pepper to the butter and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove the corn mixture from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Top the corn mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Corn mixture may draw out moisture as it sits. Be sure to drain well before mixing in sugar and mayonnaise just before topping the Kimchi Macaroni & Corn Cheese with your Corn Cheese Topping.
  • Make and assemble the Kimchi Macaroni & Corn Cheese:
  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. When butter begins bubbling, add in 1/2 cup kimchi and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour and continue to stir for another 3 minutes. Slowly add in the milk until well incorporated and add mustard, gochugaru, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add parmesan, cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup mozzarella to the sauce one handful at a time, ensuring each handful is completely melted before adding the next. Add in the pasta and the remaining kimchi. Mix until pasta is well coated.
  • Pour pasta into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Spread Corn Cheese Topping across the top of the pasta and finish with the remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake pasta at 350˚F for 25 minutes or until mozzarella is melted and bubbly. Then set oven to broiler mode, allowing mozzarella to brown under the broiler for 3 minutes before removing from oven. Be careful not to burn. Allow the dish to rest for about 10 minutes before digging in.

Notes

  • Cheese melts best if you freshly grate or shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese comes with additives that, although harmless, result in a chunky mess when melted.
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