Korean corn dogs are a delightful combination of hot dogs, cheese, rice cakes, or fish cakes, coated in batter and fried on a stick. They are then garnished with sugar, ketchup, mustard, and/or mayo. These sweet and savory treats can be prepared in various ways!
The first time I had the pleasure of trying this particular version of a Korean corn dog was in Myeongdong. My sister and I were extremely excited because we had never seen french fries incorporated into the corn dog batter before! The combination of a cheese corn dog, french fries, and the addition of ketchup and mustard was simply heavenly. The sprinkle of sugar on top brought all the flavors together, creating a truly mouthwatering sweet and savory snack!
How does a Korean corn dog differ from an American corn dog?
There are a few factors that distinguish Korean corn dogs from American corn dogs. One of the main differences lies in the batter used. American corn dogs typically employ a batter made with cornmeal and use eggs as a binding agent, resulting in a softer, doughnut-like texture. On the other hand, Korean corn dogs feature a yeasted batter and are coated in panko bread crumbs, yielding a crispier exterior, which many find more enjoyable.
Additionally, Korean corn dogs often incorporate unique variations such as adding potatoes to the batter to create a french fry coating. This innovation is not commonly seen in traditional American corn dogs, making it a distinctive characteristic of Korean corn dogs.
Moreover, Korean corn dogs can deviate from the classic hot dog filling by incorporating ingredients like rice cakes or fish cakes. Some Korean corn dogs also incorporate a sprinkle of sugar for a touch of sweetness, further distinguishing them from their American counterparts.
- The batter for Korean corn dogs typically consists of water, all-purpose flour, sugar, active dry yeast, and salt.
- Panko: The panko breadcrumbs play a crucial role in binding the ingredients together and providing a crispy texture and appealing color.
- Hotdog: You have the flexibility to choose any type of franks or sausages that you prefer. While hotlinks were previously used, beef franks are recommended for this recipe as they pair exceptionally well. Note that most sausage links or hotdogs are already cooked. However, if yours is not pre-cooked, it should be cooked prior to assembling the corn dogs.
- Cheese: Feel free to use your preferred cheese variety. Mozzarella is commonly used and works wonderfully. It is suggested to use cheese slices to wrap around the hotdog instead of using a half block of cheese with a half hotdog. This way, each bite will have a perfect balance of both components. One slice per hotdog is typically sufficient, but if you desire an extra cheesy experience, you can wrap it with two slices.
- Potato: This ingredient is optional but highly recommended! Including small potato bites in the batter will result in crispy French fry-like additions to the corn dogs. While it requires a bit more effort to incorporate them into the batter, the result is incredibly innovative and delicious. Alternatively, you can use packaged frozen French fries as a substitute.
- Condiments: The traditional condiments for Korean corn dogs include ketchup and mustard. However, to enhance the flavor and create a delightful sweet and savory combination, a sprinkle of sugar all over the corn dog is added. While it may sound unconventional, this unique flavor pairing is quite common in Korean snack foods.
Secrets to Crafting Perfect Korean Corn Dogs: Insider Tips Revealed
Cheese: Instead of using a half block of cheese and half block of hotdog on a skewer, opt for cheese slices to wrap around the sausage. Microwave the cheese slices for a few seconds to make them more malleable or let them come to room temperature. Wrap the cheese around the hotdog, placing them seam side down on a tray, and freeze for 20-30 minutes.
Batter: Ensure precise measurements for the batter ingredients by lightly spooning the flour into the measuring cups and leveling off the excess with the back of a knife. Let the batter rise in the fridge overnight for better shape and easier handling during frying.
Skewering the batter: Dip the skewers into the batter and use a twisting and pulling motion to evenly wrap the batter around the skewer. Use your fingers, if needed, to even out the batter.
Getting the potatoes to stick: Coating the potatoes in cornstarch before adding them to the batter will help them stick better and make them crispier.
Frying: Keep the battered corn dogs in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry them to maintain their shape during frying.
These Korean corn dogs offer endless customization possibilities! Consider the following options:
Skewer: Expand beyond hot dogs/sausages and try these alternatives:
- Fish cake
- Rice cake
Cheese: Here are some things to know about the cheese:
- If you’re not a fan of cheese, feel free to omit it and use just sausage.
- Choose your preferred type of cheese. While I often use pepperjack, Mozzarella is commonly used by street vendors.
- Create a skewer with a combination of half cheese and half sausage.
- For cheese enthusiasts, make a skewer using only cheese.
Condiments: These are some popular condiments added to Korean corn dogs:
- Condensed milk
- 4 wooden chopsticks
- 4 beef franks or sausages, rice cakes, fish cakes, or cheese
- 4 to 8 slices of cheese
- 1 russet potato
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Vegetable or canola oil for frying
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 cup warm water, measured by volume (240 ml)
- 1 packet active dry yeast, approximately 2 teaspoons
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
To make the batter:
- Combine sugar and yeast with warm water and allow it to sit for a few minutes until the yeast dissolves and forms a slight foam.
- In a large, shallow container, combine 1 and 3/4 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix in the yeast/water mixture until the batter is smooth. It is recommended to let the batter rise overnight in the refrigerator, but you can also let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour. Check the photo for reference to ensure the batter reaches the desired consistency before allowing it to rise.
Skewer the hotdogs:
- Thread the beef franks or sausages onto the wooden chopsticks. Wrap the cheese slices around the hotdogs, ensuring they are fully covered. Place the wrapped hotdogs seam side down on a tray. Freeze the tray of hotdogs for 20-30 minutes to allow them to firm up and hold their shape.
*Note: Depending on the brand of cheese, it may not be very flexible and could crack when rolling. To prevent this, you can either let the cheese slices come to room temperature before wrapping or microwave them for a few seconds to make them more pliable.
- Take the batter out of the fridge at this point to allow it to continue rising while the hotdogs are in the freezer.
For the potatoes (if using):
- Dice a potato into small cubes and boil them in 3 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of coarse salt for 3-4 minutes. Note: Ensure the potato cubes are small enough to cook through when fried for approximately 5 minutes.
- Rinse the boiled potatoes in an ice bath, then pat them dry with paper towels.
- Toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of corn starch until they are well coated.
- Dip the partially frozen skewers into the batter, using a twisting motion to evenly coat the skewers. You may need to use your fingers to spread the batter more evenly. Note: The batter should have a medium consistency, not too thick or thin. It should be enough to make the potatoes stick, but not excessively breaded.
- Roll the battered skewers in the coated potatoes, pressing firmly to ensure the potatoes adhere. Next, pack panko bread crumbs onto the skewers, using your hands to firmly press everything together.
- Carefully drop the corn dogs into vegetable or canola oil heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry them for approximately 5 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Note: Be cautious while frying to avoid splattering and ensure even cooking.
- Once golden brown, remove the corn dogs from the oil and let them rest on a cooling rack.
8. Finally, garnish your Korean corn dogs with your preferred condiments. I personally enjoy a sprinkle of sugar, along with ketchup and mustard.