We love corn dogs. With their sweet, cornbread coating and their savory center, they’re the perfect portable indulgence and always remind us of childhood visits to the state fair. So when we heard about the Korean corn dog, a popular street food trend, our curiosity was piqued. And when we learned Korean corn dogs are essentially an amped-up version with French fries in the batter, we knew we had to try them. And, with so many favorite flavors in one extra-delicious bite, they did not disappoint! Plus, they’re surprisingly simple to make at home, and you can even cook ’em in an air fryer. Keep reading to discover why this treat’s popularity keeps growing, plus how you can easily make your own Korean corn dog at home.
What is a Korean corn dog?
Though they may sound exotic, Korean corn dogs aren’t all that different from the classic American version. American corn dogs are hot dogs or sausages dipped in a cornmeal batter and deep-fried to golden perfection. A Korean corn dog pretty similar — it’s just a more indulgent version. (Click through to discover recipes for bagel dogs, which are pigs in a blanket made with bagel dough.)
Korean corn dogs come in a variety of flavors, but the most classic kind of Korean corn dog is a hot dog that’s dipped in batter and rolled in diced potatoes or french fry chunks and bread crumbs before frying.
Another popular version of the Korean corn dog involves putting mozzarella cheese in the center, so it gets melty in the fryer. The cheese is either combined with half a hot dog or can even stand alone with no hot dog at all. Either way, it’s like a whole meal on one stick.
You can top it with whatever you like — ketchup and mustard are popular condiments. Many chefs finish off their Korean corn dogs with a sprinkle of sugar to add a sweet-and-salty element, but this is totally optional.
The history of Korean corn dogs
Korean corn dogs started as a street food trend in South Korea in the 1980s. “While corn dogs in American culture are made with cornmeal and eggs, cornmeal isn’t a typical ingredient found in South Korea,” says Jecca Chantilly, creator of food blog Always Be Eating. “Street vendors improvised by using a yeasted batter that’s been coated with panko bread crumbs before frying.”
Thanks to social media, Korean corn dogs have exploded in popularity worldwide, including in the United States. They’re a photogenic food, packed with ingredients that virtually everyone loves. In 2021, restaurants dedicated to the Korean corn dog began popping up in larger cities, but they’ve now spread throughout the U.S.
How to make a Korean corn dog
Thankfully, you don’t need to go to Korea to have a freshly made Korean corn dog. You don’t even need to leave your kitchen, in fact. You also don’t need a deep fryer to achieve golden-brown perfection. Check out the recipe below for Korean corn dogs from Gabrielle Yap, a culinary entrepreneur and writer for food blog Carnivore Style.
Easy Korean Corn Dogs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 6 skewers
- 6 hot dogs
- 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
- 1½ cups cubed French fries
- Vegetable oil
- Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cold water to form a batter.
- Insert a skewer into each hot dog and coat with batter.
- Roll in panko bread crumbs and crushed French fries.
- Freeze for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat vegetable oil to 350°F.
- Fry battered corn dogs until gold brown, 4-5 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve hot with ketchup, mustard and any other sauce of choice.
Yap notes that you can swap in mozzarella cheese sticks in place of the hot dogs. Or try them both together: Simply the hot dogs and mozzarella cheese sticks in half, and add one half of each to a skewer. If you’re going half-and-half, put the cheese stick on top for the most satisfying cheese pulls.
And get creative with the toppings! Once your Korean corn dog comes out of the fryer, you can roll it in just about anything that sounds good to you: potato chips, pretzels or your favorite spice blend.
How to make Korean corn dogs in the air fryer
If you’re not keen on frying your corn dogs in vegetable oil, you can also make Korean corn dogs in the air fryer, says Chantilly. It will still deliver the same crunchy results, but with a little less fat and easier cleanup.
To cook Korean corn dogs in the air fryer, follow steps 1-4 in the directions above. After freezing the hot dogs, preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Spray your hot dogs generously with cooking oil on all sides. Chantilly then says to air fry them for 10-15 minutes, rotating halfway through to ensure even cooking. (Click through to learn how to make bacon-wrapped hot dogs in the air fryer.)
Want to try your hand at a super-authentic Korean corn dog? You can start by making your own yeast-based batter and dicing your own potatoes. To learn more, check out the TikTok below by user @stellanspice.
Where to buy Korean corn dogs
If you’d prefer to get straight to eating, more and more Korean corn dog shops are opening across the country, but you can also find premade versions at Asian supermarkets like H-Mart and even at some Costco stores in the frozen aisle. If you prefer buying them online, you can find frozen ones at online Asian food retailer Seoul Mills.
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