Korean corn dogs are hot dogs, cheese, rice cakes, or fish cakes fried in a batter on a stick and dressed with sugar, ketchup, mustard, and/or mayo. They are a sweet & savory treat that can be made in a variety of different ways!
The first time I tried this version of a Korean corn dog was in Myeongdong. My sister and I were both dying to try it because we had NEVER seen french fries in a corn dog batter before! Cheese corn dog + french fries + ketchup & mustard is truly a bite of heaven. And the sprinkle of sugar really brings it all together- it’s such a tasty sweet & savory snack!
What is the difference between a Korean corn dog and an American corn dog?
There are a few things that make them different- I think the main thing is the batter. American corn dogs are usually made with corn meal and use eggs as a binder, while Korean corn dogs are made with a yeasted batter and coated in panko bread crumbs.
The result is a crispier batter, which I think is much better. American corn dogs usually have a soft, doughnut-like batter.
Korean corn dogs are also known to sometimes have potato added to the batter to make french fries. I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think I have ever seen an American corn dog like that. I could be wrong, but I think that is a Korean innovation of the corn dog.
Another thing that differentiates Korean from American corn dogs is the added sugar, or use of rice cakes or fishcakes instead of a hot dog.
Batter- water, all purpose flour, sugar, active dry yeast, and salt.
Panko– the panko breadcrumbs will help hold everything together and give it a nice color & crisp.
Hotdog– you can use whatever kind of franks/sausages you like. I used to make these with hotlinks but I think beef franks actually taste better with this recipe. Use whatever you like!
*NOTE: most sausage links/hotdogs are already cooked. The one I’m using is precooked and just needs to be heated through, which is done through the frying process. If yours isn’t, you need to cook it first.
Cheese- you can also use whatever cheese you prefer! Mozzarella is what most people use. I recommend cheese SLICES to wrap around the hotdog, instead of a 1/2 block of cheese with 1/2 hotdog. This way, you get both in every bite. A single slice per hotdog is good for me, but if you want it extra cheesy, wrap with two slices.
Potato- this is optional! The little potato bites in the batter will fry up like little french fries- it’s a little more work to pack this into the batter but it’s soooo innovative and good! You can also use packaged frozen french fries instead.
Condiments- the usual ketchup and mustard, but add a sprinkle of sugar all over for a sweet and savory treat! I know it sounds a little weird but it’s actually pretty common for Korean snack foods to have this type of combo.
Tips for making the best Korean corn dogs
Cheese- most places or recipes will do a half block of cheese and half block of hotdog on a skewer. I don’t like this method for two reasons: 1. It’s just too much cheese, and 2. I want cheese AND sausage in every bite. So instead, I recommend getting cheese slices to wrap around the sausage!
You may need to microwave them for a few seconds so they are more malleable, or let them come to room temp. Then wrap around the hotdog and place them seam side down on a tray and freeze it for 20-30 minutes.
Batter– make sure you measure the batter ingredients out exactly- lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cups and level off the excess using the back of a knife.
I tested and tested the batter recipe until I got the perfect measurements for a batter that is easily manageable, and fries to crispy golden perfection. I HIGHLY recommend letting it rise in the fridge overnight so the cold batter can hold its shape better.
Getting the batter onto the skewer- dip the skewers into the batter and use a twisting & pulling motion to evenly wrap it around the skewer. You may need to use your fingers to even it out.
Getting the potatoes to stick– this is probably the hardest part of the entire process. They will stick much easier if you coat them in cornstarch first. This will also make them crispier.
Frying– hold the battered corn dogs in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry them so they can hold their shape.
These corn dogs are completely customizable! Here are some options to consider:
Skewer- hot dogs/sausage are not the only options! You can also use:
Cheese- so there are a few things about the cheese:
If you don’t like cheese, just leave it out! You can use just sausage if you prefer
Use whatever cheese you like. I use pepperjack pretty often, but Mozzarella is what most of the street vendors use.
Make a half cheese and half sausage skewer
For cheese lovers, you can make a skewer with only cheese
Condiments- here are some common condiments that are added to Korean corn dogs:
Korean Corn Dog- 감자핫도그 (Gamja Hotdog)
- 4 wooden chopsticks
- 4 beef franks or sausage, rice cake, fish cake, cheese
- 4 to 8 slices cheese
- 1 russet potato
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups water
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1 cup warm water measured by volume (240 ml)
- 1 packet active dry yeast about 2 tsp
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
Make the batter:
- Add sugar and yeast to warm water and let it sit for a few minutes, or until the yeast has dissolved and becomes slightly foamy.
- In a large, shallow container, mix together 1 and 3/4 cups flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Then mix in the yeast/water mixture until smooth. I recommend allowing this to rise overnight in the refrigerator, but you can also just let it rise at room temp for 1 hour. Refer to the photo for the consistency we are looking for before allowing it to rise.
Skewer the hotdogs
- Skewer the hotdogs on wooden chopsticks, then wrap the cheese around and place it seam side down on a tray. Put in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to harden to it holds its shape. *It depends on the brand of cheese, but sometimes they are not very malleable and may crack when you try to roll them. I recommend letting them come to room temp before wrapping, or you can microwave them for a few seconds.
- Take the batter out of the fridge at this time, so that it can rise a little more while the hotdogs are in the freezer.
For the potatoes (if using)
- Dice a potato into small cubes, then boil in 3 cups of water and 1 tsp coarse salt for 3-4 minutes.Note: the potatoes need to be small enough that they will cook through when fried for about 5 minutes.
- Rinse the potatoes in an ice bath then dry them with paper towels.
- Add 1 tbsp corn starch to the potatoes and toss until well coated.
- Dip the partially frozen skewers into the batter using a twisting motion to wrap around the skewer. You may need to use your fingers to spread it more evenly. Note: You don't want the batter to be too thick or thin. You need enough for the potatoes to stick, but you also don't want too much breading.
- Roll the battered skewer into the potatoes, then pack in panko bread crumbs. You will need to use your hands to firmly press everything together.
- Carefully drop the corn dog into oil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and fry for about 5 minutes in vegetable or canola oil.
- Remove from oil when it is golden brown and rest on a cooling rack.
- Add your choice of condiments- I like sugar, ketchup, and mustard 🙂