Cornbread

Oksusu-ppang 옥수수빵

Today I’m going to show you how to make a special Korean-style cornbread that I used to have when I was a kid in elementary school in Korea. The school provided this daily snack to the students just before class was dismissed. We looked forward to it every day, so I have fond childhood memories of cornbread, and of the anticipation of waiting for snack time at school!

I learned later that the American government was supporting Koreans’ nutrition by sending us tons and tons of cornmeal. Someone got the idea to make cornbread out of it and to distribute the bread through the school system. I don’t know who came up with the recipe, but I loved that corn bread: it was so flavorful.

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I had almost forgotten all about it until one of my website readers asked me if I knew how to make it. She was Korean, but living in the US for a long time, and really wanted to taste that bread again. Suddenly, I did, too! I remembered the smell of the bread, the slightly gritty texture, the strong corn flavor, everything. I also remembered the excitement of me and my classmates when the bread came, and how happy we were. Sometimes I used to eat half of it, put the other half in the red schoolbag my father bought for me, and brought it home to share with my sisters and brother. All these memories came back to me.

When I started living in America, I saw cornbread being sold in nearly every grocery store. I bought some from time to time. It was delicious but different than the cornbread in Korea. It was usually sweeter and had less of a corny flavor.

So I started experimenting and trying to recreate the Korean-style cornbread I used to eat. It took a while. I’ve been working on this recipe for months, and learned a few tips and tricks along the way. One thing I found was that if I let the cornmeal soak for 20 minutes, like I let rice soak when making rice cake, it softens the gritty cornmeal just enough, so the cornbread I make from it is satisfyingly grainy but not too gritty.

Now I can say this bread is very close to the bread that I used to have in Korea. I love this cornbread because it has an intense corn flavor, and is just sweet enough to be enjoyable, without being too sweet. It’s fluffy like a sponge, and it has a perfectly full corn aftertaste.

I can’t wait to share this recipe with my lovely readers! It’s been a long time in development, and now you can have Korean-style corn bread, too!
cornbread-breakfast

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

  • 2 cups (280 grams) cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened at room temperature
    cornmeal cornmeal

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Directions

  1. Combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt, egg, vegetable oil, and milk in a bowl and mix well. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
    cornbread (oksusuppang: 옥수수빵)
  2. Pre-heat the oven 400 degrees F (about 200 degrees C).
  3. Add the baking powder to the batter and mix well. Brush the butter all over the bottom and the sides of baking pan (8 x 8 inch square).
    cornbread (oksusuppang: 옥수수빵)
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Check to see if it’s fully cooked by inserting a toothpick into the center of the bread. It should come out clean. You can cook a few minutes longer to brown the top of the bread.
  6. Remove from the oven. Turn the pan upside down and let the cornbread fall onto your cutting board. Let cool for a few minutes. Cut into bite size pieces and serve. You can freeze leftovers in a plastic bag and reheat it in a microwave oven, where the fluffiness and moisture will be revived.

cornbread-square cornbread (oksusuppang: 옥수수빵)

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26 Comments:

  1. koreanboba joined 1/10
    Posted April 17th, 2015 at 8:28 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi.

    질문이 있는데… 제가 사는 근처에 빵집 많아요.
    빵집에 갈때마다 그 옥수수빵만 사서 먹어요.
    근데 제가 기억하는 옥수수 빵은 더 딱딱하니까…
    어떻게 딱딱하게 만들지 아세요?
    그냥 더 구우면 되나요?
    감사합니다!

    (3)
  2. annavivian Canada joined 3/15
    Posted March 3rd, 2015 at 6:50 pm | # |

    I have been trying multiple cornbread recipes and they either come out too dense or too fluffy/cake-like. your recipe created a cornbread with the perfect balance, and there’s no flour! i enjoyed that it was semi-sweet but still had a stronger cornmeal taste which i like. this will be my go-to cornbread recipe! thank you maangchi!

    (0)
    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 3rd, 2015 at 6:51 pm | # |

      I’m very happy to hear that you like this recipe! Happy cooking!

      (1)
  3. camillelele California, USA joined 4/17
    Posted April 25th, 2017 at 4:03 am | # |

    Can I use this? I have this at home and didn’t want to buy other product if this is same thing~~ but I wasn’t sure


    See full size image

    (0)
  4. Duchess19784 Newcastle Upon Tyne,UK joined 2/16
    Posted February 3rd, 2016 at 4:50 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi !!

    Thank you so much for your delicious recipes..I have tried several of your recipes and turned out great & often a sellout during family gatherings.I tried baking the cornbread just now but it did not turned out like yours.. :-( yes i did let the batter soaked for 20-25 minutes.Is it because that the cornmeal flour that i used was a coarse cornmeal flour or that i substituted the milk with almond milk? Help Maangchi…I need to bake this gorgeous golden fluffy cake.Thank you.

    Big Love from Brunei xx

    (0)
    • amor Toronto, Canada joined 5/16
      Posted May 13th, 2016 at 10:24 pm | # |

      mine did not turn out as the same as Maangchi too! so i tried another one & add more milk to make it moist.

      (0)
  5. Michele.B.Albuquerque joined 6/15
    Posted June 2nd, 2015 at 5:09 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi.

    I am Michele from Brasil- São Paulo. First of all I would like to tell you that I loved your videos and recipes.
    But my cornbread was not good. I followed the recipe very strict. But I do not know. My cornbread was dried and not smooth.
    What did I make wrong? ^_^

    (0)
    • deathyelle joined 6/15
      Posted June 3rd, 2015 at 11:36 am | # |

      you said that you followed the recipe very strictly so im guessing that you probably did, but did you let it sit for 20 minutes?

      (0)
  6. rebelleanne South Korea joined 3/15
    Posted March 5th, 2015 at 11:41 am | # |

    hello Maangchi, i am so grateful i found your blog. im married to a korean, and whenever i cook korean foods they all like it. and so thanks to you!

    anyway, can i ask what is a cornmeal? im searching on the gmarket but i cant find any. may you please tell me it’s korean name? i wanna make it as a surpise for my hubby, so i dont wanna give him any clue that ill be making that for him. thanks.

    i

    (0)
    • hiscook Monroe, Washington joined 3/15
      Posted March 6th, 2015 at 2:27 am | # |

      Hi. Cornmeal is “coarse” flour from dried maize (corn). In North America, I could easily find stone-ground cornmeal at a grocery store. In Seoul, Korea, I think you may be able to get it at Bang-San Shijang (market) that has a number of stores for baking goods (or at online shopping malls). These stores also carry imported ingredients. If I were you, I would call several stores to check if they have this in stock. I’m pretty sure this word, cornmeal, translates as ‘oksusu garu’ (옥수수 가루) in Korean. However, the ‘oksusu garu’ you normally run into there is more likely to be a finer type. I hope this helps. It is nice of you to try to make your husband happy.

      (0)
  7. Krynauw Otto Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13
    Posted February 27th, 2015 at 3:40 pm | # |

    We also have cornbread in South Africa, we call it ‘mieliebrood’ and we add whole pieces of corn off the cob! It’s so good!

    (0)
    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 28th, 2015 at 2:08 pm | # |

      It sounds very delicious!

      (0)
  8. KatKB Washington, DC joined 2/15
    Posted February 18th, 2015 at 9:28 am | # |

    Maangchi, before I found your blog I was clueless about Korean cooking… now I’ve made so many delicious things! On the other hand, cornbread is one thing I thought I knew all about, but your recipe is better than my old go-to so I’ll be making this from now on. Thanks for the back story that gives the recipe some human context, too. Please keep sharing your knowledge and your fun spirit! 감사합니다!

    (0)
  9. stanford USA joined 8/08
    Posted February 11th, 2015 at 9:12 am | # |

    Wow looks really delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    (0)
  10. FeyDee The Netherlands joined 2/15
    Posted February 10th, 2015 at 4:55 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi,

    Thanks for the recipe! I tried making this yesterday, but I noticed that the cornmeal absorbed all of the moisture after soaking for 20 minutes (I guess the cornmeal here is very very thirsty), so I added more moisture till it had a more liquid consistency.

    I have some of the oksusu ppang left over the next day, but it became very dense instead of the fluffy bread I had the day before. Is this normal? Or is it because of the extra moisture I put it?

    I usually soak my cornmeal in water before I cook with it for ± 1 day and then use it. Could I use this method for this recipe?

    (0)
    • EandE joined 7/15
      Posted July 14th, 2015 at 3:18 pm | # |

      Hello,

      I think the problem is in the measurement. I measured 2 cups which is more than 280gr. My 2 cups came a bit more than 300gr but I used Maangchi’s recipe with 280gr corn meal and it came out good.

      (0)
  11. MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11
    Posted February 8th, 2015 at 9:47 am | # |

    I always use the Instant Pack to make corn bread. It’s really difficult to find Cornmeal in Jakarta :(

    (0)
  12. jubies33 arizona joined 6/11
    Posted February 7th, 2015 at 1:40 pm | # |

    This is gluten free. I don’t even need substitutions. You just made my day:D thanks for the recipe. I look forward to trying it.

    (0)
  13. sl100048 Singapore joined 6/11
    Posted February 6th, 2015 at 9:32 pm | # |

    HI Maangchi –
    This recipe was so much wanted! You must have read my mind. I love the corn flavor and adding this fluffiness and sweetness, it will be my all time favorite!
    I like the idea of coupling up with the fresh yogurt and healthy berries!
    This will be my Sunday brunch, can’t wait to see the result!
    Thanks Maangchi,

    (0)
    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 9th, 2015 at 11:54 am | # |

      Let me know how your Sunday brunch turns out. Exciting!

      (0)
  14. turtleship Laeland, Florida joined 2/15
    Posted February 5th, 2015 at 11:49 pm | # |

    While camping and backpacking in Korea for five years on my weekends in the service I often made Jalapeno Cornbread and shared it with my Korean friends I met along the way. They had never tasted it before but really enjoyed it. I blended up Mt. Olive, Jalaneno slices and mixed it with the cornbread mix. Sometimes I cooked beacon to a crisp, ground it up into bits and mixed it with cornbread mix. Tasted great with eggs and grits out camping in the Land of the morning calm”…………………………………..Alan Webb USAF RET.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 6th, 2015 at 4:55 pm | # |

      Adding jalapeno sounds delicious!

      (0)
  15. charliesommers Nashville, Tn. joined 4/10
    Posted February 5th, 2015 at 4:51 pm | # |

    How wonderful to learn that someone besides us Tennessee hillbillies eats cornbread! When I was growing up my country mama made either cornbread or biscuits for practically every one of our meals. I ate them eagerly not realizing that little kids on the other side of the world were enjoying the same delicious food.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 6th, 2015 at 4:39 pm | # |

      “I ate them eagerly not realizing that little kids on the other side of the world were enjoying the same delicious food” ahh, I’m very touched!

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  16. Justin Pennsylvania, USA joined 9/14
    Posted February 5th, 2015 at 3:10 pm | # |

    Kind of crazy to me to think of cornbread as Korean food, but I will try this version!

    Thanks for the story at the beginning, it was really nice and I can understand how you feel.

    (0)

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