Do you remember the Corn dog stand of Seo Dal-mi’s grandmother in the K-drama series Start-Up? Well, who could forget that? That’s the reason why Dal-mi and Ji-pyeong met. But, if you think of it, the writers of this K-drama would not choose Korean corn dogs if they knew that corn dogs aren’t something Koreans love.
It’s impossible not to find Korean corn dogs while roaming around the streets of South Korea. It’s one of people’s go-to Korean street food that is not only delicious but incredibly affordable. Korean corn dogs are famous in South Korea and different parts of the world. So, why don’t we learn about Korean corn dogs?
What Are Korean Corn Dogs?
The Korean corn dog, also known as the gamja hot dog, is a filling street dish found in Seoul’s streets and night markets. You might have recognized it because of K-dramas, movies, and Youtube videos.
The classic Korean corn dogs are hot dogs coated with a chewy and thick batter made of rice flour instead of corn. It is deep-fried in hot oil to achieve the crunchiness it needs. It has different variations like rice cakes, fish cakes, and those that have french fries.
The Korean corn dog is becoming increasingly popular around the world. It is now making its way to different parts of the world. Aside from the variations mentioned above, every country also has its versions of corn dogs.
What Is The Difference Between Korean Corn Dogs And American Corn Dogs?
The difference between American Corn Dogs and Korean Corn Dogs lies in the filling, batter, and coating, making both unique tastes to try. Let’s see the differences in more detail below.
The filling of a Korean corn dog is not just hot dogs or sausages. Korean corn dogs can also be filled with cheese, squid, spam, or Korean rice cake.
American corn dogs use cornmeal batter, while Korean corn dogs use rice flour. As a result, the batter is crispier, which I think is much better. Corn dogs in the United States are often made with a soft, doughnut-like batter.
The Korean corn dog is coated with panko bread crumbs, making it crunchier. Korean corn dogs can also be coated with cornflakes or ramen. After being deep-fried to a golden brown color, it is coated with sugar.
Korean Corn Dog Variations
There are different variations of Korean corn dogs. If you’re used to the regular corn dogs, which we usually see in the streets, prepare yourself because Korean corn dogs have many variations. These variations are also inspired by other authentic Korean food and flavors that locals love. Below is the list of different variations of the Korean corn dog.
1. Gamja-Hot Dog
It’s hard not to love french fries so putting it as an ingredient in Korean corn dogs is a great idea. French fry hot dogs are known as gamja hot dogs. It is a type of Korean corn dog that is topped with diced crunchy french fries. In Korean, gamja means potato, and instead of panko, they use chopped-up french fries to cover the potatoes. Crispy and salty, the fries go great with hot dogs and cheese.
2. Ramen Dogs
This variation of the Korean corn dog is really unique because who would’ve thought that ramen noodles could be added to Korean corn dogs? In this variation, instant ramen noodles packets are crushed up. The seasonings can also be sprinkled to complete the instant ramen vibes.
3. Crispy Rice
If you want a different kind of crunchiness, crispy puffs are also worthy of consideration. Rice puffs can either be crushed rice crackers or Korean rice puffs that were searched out and rolled in rice instead of panko breadcrumbs.
4. Cornflake Dogs
The cornflake Korean corn dog is a variation of corn dog that uses crushed cornflakes instead of panko. It will definitely give you a corny flavor that you’ll surely love.
5. Hot Cheetos
Lastly, we have the Hot Cheetos corn dogs. If you want your corn dog to be extra crunchy and spicy, this is the one to go. You can drizzle mayo and lime, especially if you’re doing a mozzarella corn dog.
Why Are Korean Corn Dogs Popular?
Korean corn dogs are one of the Korean street food that most locals and even foreigners love. Since it is affordable and sold by street vendors, it’s no surprise that many people are grabbing a bite of this delicious street food. But why do many people love Korean corn dogs?
Reason #1: Influence Of The Korean Wave
Korean corn dogs are gaining popularity not just in Asia but also in the US and other parts of the world because of the Korean wave. If you watch Korean Dramas like Start-up, Run-on, and Business Proposal, you can see the characters snacking corn dogs. If you’re an avid K-drama fan, you know that watching them eat food makes us crave their food.
Reason #2: Fermented Flour Over Cornmeal
Corn dogs are not new in the US but what sets Korean corn dogs apart is Koreans use fermented flour instead of cornmeal to make them tastier and crispier. Some people also use gluten-free flour, but this choice is tricky and needs to be mastered first since flour is an essential ingredient in Korean corn dogs.
Reason #3: Variety Of Filling Choices
Another reason why people love Korean corn dogs is that they have lots of options to choose from. This caters to the different diets and tastes of the people. Some of the variations are already stated above. Having to choose your variation is a great thing. You’ll have a choice.
Reason #4: On-The-Go
People who love snacks, especially when traveling, want to have something easy to carry around and eat. This is why Korean corn dogs are perfect. Korean corn dogs are like hot dogs on sticks only with batter coating. With this, you can easily eat it even while walking or standing—no need to sit down or settle in a comfortable place.
Reason #5: Easy-To-Find And Affordable
Just wander along the streets of Seoul and night markets, and you can easily find Korean corn dogs. Since it can be found in the streets, its price is pretty affordable for kids, students, adults, and tourists. If you want to have a ready-to-fry Korean corn dog in your home, you can also buy frozen Korean corn dogs in Korean markets or in groceries. This way, you can easily satisfy your cravings without going through many processes.
Korean Corn Dog Recipe
If you can’t go to Korea and buy a Korean corn dog, or if there’s no Korean snack place near you, you can always make your own by following this Korean corn dog recipe. This recipe includes wet ingredients, dry ingredients, and pieces of equipment.
The classic Korean corn dogs use Korean hot dogs or sausages. You can use all sorts of hot dogs or sausages you like. If you’re a vegan, you can use vegan sausage. Just take note that you should cook them first before putting them on sticks.
For a basic Korean corn dog, 250 g of mozzarella chees is enough. A block of low-moisture mozzarella cheese is better to use. You can also use mozzarella sticks. If you’re making mozzarella dog, you might need more cheese. The cheese holds up better when deep-frying and gives you a superior cheese pull.
In making a batter, the most common ingredients are flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and a bit of salt (you can use kosher salt). For flour, people use different types of flour, but the most common one is all-purpose flour. Some may also prefer the yeasted batter, so they use active dry yeast; just make sure to hydrate it first with warm water for a few minutes before using it.
The secret to the crispy and light breading is Panko breadcrumbs. Panko is a fluffy Japanese breadcrumb with a larger and more irregular shape than ordinary bread crumbs. This type of breadcrumbs can be easily bought in Asian markets.
Since you need gamja hotdog is deep-fried, you need to have 2-4 cups of oil. The most commonly used oil are those neutral oils with no flavor. For oil choices, we have corn, canola, safflower, rice bran, soybean, sunflower, or grapeseed.
Aim for a high smoke point oil, as the oil temperature should be between 350° and 375°F.
One of the things that set Korean corn dogs into different types of corn dogs is sugar. Koreans roll or sprinkle sugar on their con dog to add a bit of sweetness and crunchiness. If you think about it, these ingredients don’t seem to work together, but they do!
Mustard, Mayo, Ketchup
This is totally up to you. If you want to add extra taste and flavor, you can use these condiments. Some don’t want these condiments anymore and eat the corn dog completely.
How To Make A Korean Corn Dog?
Now that you have learned the ingredients of Korean corn dogs, let us learn the step-by-step procedure to make a perfect Korean corn dog.
1. Prepare The Ingredients
The first step is preparing all the ingredients and pieces of equipment. Bring out everything you need. Cut according to how everything is supposed to be cut.
Cut the hot dogs or sausages in half to begin. Cut the mozzarella cheese block into sticks about the same size as the half-hot dogs. This will give you mozzarella sticks. After this, bring out the stick and skewer. Skewer the hot dog first or the half sausage, then the half cheese. Place them in the refrigerator to keep them cool.
2. Prepare The Batter
After preparing all the basic ingredients, it’s time to make the batter. Using a wooden spoon, mix flour, milk, an egg, baking powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl or a mixing bowl until thick and smooth. Pour the batter into a tall cup to make dipping the hot dogs easier. It’s better to store this in the fridge to keep the batter cold, just like the hot dogs and cheese. Remember that the batter is a really important element of Korean corn dogs, so make sure you’ll do it right.
3. Dip The Hot Dogs
The next step is dipping the hot dogs. It’s pretty easy to do. Just dip the hot dogs in the batter, coating them completely and ensuring that the batter adheres to the hot dog and cheese.
4. Coating Completely
After the hot dog is completely coated with the batter, immediately take it and coat it in panko breadcrumbs. Make sure to press on the panko to cover it entirely gently.
Now, let’s move on to the frying part, which is essential for making a perfect corn dog. Put enough oil in a frying pot. Heat the oil to a medium-high temperature. The temperature of the oil should be between 350°F and 375°F. Because the oil temperature will drop when you add the corn dogs, start with 375°F.
You wouldn’t want to burn your corn dogs, so you can use an instant-read thermometer to ensure that you’re in an appropriate range. Deep fry the coated corn dogs until golden brown and crispy, without crowding them. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to take them out and place them on a drain, baking sheet, or wire rack.
6. Satisfy Your K-ravings
After all the processes, you may now enjoy your freshly-cooked Korean corn dog. Depending on how much you like it, you may put ketchup, mustard, and mayo on top. Koreans also sprinkle granulated sugar for extra sweetness.
Tips On Making Perfectly Delicious Korean Corn Dog
- Wooden skewers are best to use. They won’t hold up your Korean corn dog if they’re too skinny. You can also use disposable wooden chopsticks.
- Cheese, hot dogs, and the batter should be cold. It is best to keep them in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Use low moisture mozzarella cheese. Some may use string cheese, but mozzarella cheese sticks are better because it is more stretchy and melty, which most of us love.
- Cook the corn dog at the correct oil temperature. The right oil temperature is 350°F; you can use a thermometer to be accurate.
- A frying pot or a deep fryer is best to use. You can use a skillet, but it requires more heat management and skills in frying. If you’re a beginner, using a frying pan or skillet is not advisable.
- You can also air fry or bake Korean corn dogs. To shallow fry, heat a frying pan with at least 1/2 inch of oil until the tip of a wooden chopstick has bubbles around it. Place the corndogs gently in the hot oil and fry, rotating as needed, until the batter is cooked through and golden brown on all sides.
- Freshly cooked and still warm Korean corn dogs are the greatest. If there are any leftovers, you don’t have to worry about them. Just store them in airtight containers or individually wrapped plastic bags. They’ll last at least three days in the fridge. You can reheat it with an air fryer or oven.
Korean Corn Dog Vocabulary
Want To Enjoy The Korean Snacks More?
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They say that nothing brings people closer together like good food. But imagine how amazing it will be if you’re enjoying good food while having a lovely conversation with these people.