Is there anything more delicious or incredibly fun than a Korean corn dog?! The sweet and savory combination of the crispy outer batter and the stretchy cheese pulls – I’m addicted!
If you’ve watched any K-drama or are remotely interested in Korean culture, you’ve seen Korean corn dogs: beautifully fried, golden battered hot dogs with mozzarella on a stick, dusted with a sparkling sprinkle of sugar.
Korean corn dogs are everywhere street food is a thing and it’s not really surprising that they’re so popular. I had a Korean corn dog way back in the day when travel was still a thing, fresh from the fryer and it was glorious. The cheese was melty and the batter was crisp and savory. I’ve been missing travel like crazy and making Korean corn dogs at home is the next best thing so here we are.
What is a Korean corn dog?
Korean corn dogs are hot dogs, rice cakes, fish cakes, or mozzarella cheese coated in a batter (and sometimes panko, french fry pieces, or ramen) and deep fried. They’re finished with sugar and a signature squirt of your condiment of choice: ketchup, mayo, mustard, or all three. They’re sweet and salty and completely delicious.
Some Korean hotdogs are made with a yeasted batter and some are made with a rice flour batter. There are a lot of variations!
What makes Korean corn dogs different?
There are a couple of differences between the corn dogs you know and Korean corn dogs. The main difference between corn dogs and Korean corn dogs lies in the batter. American corn dogs are battered in a cornmeal batter and Korean corn dogs are battered in a yeasted dough or a rice flour batter.
Korean corn dogs are also finished with a sprinkling of sugar. And last of all, Korean corn dogs don’t actually have to have hot dogs in them. There are plenty of Korean corn dogs that are just mozzarella cheese, fish cake, or rice cakes.
How to make a Korean corn dog
- Assemble. Start by cutting the hot dogs in half. Cut the block of mozzarella cheese into sticks roughly the size of the halved hot dogs. Use a stick and skewer, hot dog, then cheese. Place in the fridge to keep them cold.
- Make the batter. In a bowl, mix together flour, milk, an egg, baking powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt until thick and smooth. Pour the batter into a tall cup so it’s easier to dip the hot dogs. Like the hot dogs and cheese, it’s best to keep this in the fridge so it stays cold.
- Dip. Hold on to the stick and dip the hot dogs, coating completely, making sure that the batter is clinging to the hot dog and cheese.
- Coat. Immediately take the battered hot dog and coat it in panko, being sure to press on the panko gently, ensuring that it’s completely coated in panko.
- Fry. Heat up the oil over medium high heat. You want the oil temperature to be between 350°F and 375°F. When you add your corn dogs, the oil temp will drop, so aim for 375°F to start with. I use an instant read thermometer to make sure I’m in the right range. Fry the coated corn dogs, without crowding until golden and crispy. Use a pair or tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully scoop them out and let them drain on wire rack.
- Enjoy. Sprinkle or roll the golden corn dog in sugar and finish with a squiggle of ketchup, mustard, or both.
Korean corn dog ingredients
- hot dogs – grab your favorite brand of hot dog and cut it into two. I go for standard all-beef hot dogs.
- mozzarella cheese – it’s better to get a block of low moisture mozzarella cheese and cut it into sticks for this recipe, the cheese holds up better when deep frying and gives you a better cheese pull. If you only have cheese string snacks, that will work too.
- batter – I went with a thick batter made from flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and a bit of salt. Some Korean corn dogs are made with a yeasted or a rice batter but I found this recipe on youtube and it looked pretty darn good. The batter worked like a charm!
- panko – Most Korean corn dogs are coated in panko, a fluffy Japanese breadcrumb. Panko is larger and more irregularly shaped compared to standard breadcrumbs. It’s the secret to light and crispy breading. It’s worth it to buy a bag of panko, especially if you love crunch. Panko is sold in most grocery stores in the Asian aisle but it’s cheaper to buy it at an Asian grocery store.
- oil – You need about 2-4 cups of oil to deep fry your Korean corn dogs. Go for a high smoke point oil as you want the oil temperature to be between 350°-375°F. The best oils for frying are, in order of highest to lowest smoke point: safflower, rice bran, soybean, corn, sunflower, canola, or grapeseed. You want a neutral oil that has no flavor. We usually buy safflower because I think it’s cute, but go for what’s affordable.
- sugar – a roll in sugar adds a bit of sweetness and crunch.
- ketchup and mustard – this is up to you, a cute squiggle of one or both is iconic.
- Skewers. The skewers you use matter. If they’re too skinny they won’t hold up your Korean corn dog. It’s best to use a thick wooden skewer (I used these ones) or a disposable wooden chopstick. I prefer the wooden skewers because they have a pointy tip.
- Cold cheese, hot dogs, and batter. It’s important to keep your mozzarella, hot dogs, and batter cold. If they’re at room temp too long or they warm up, the cheese has the tendency to ooze out when you’re deep frying. It’s best if you keep the dogs and cheese chilled for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
- The right mozzarella. Speaking of cheese, using low moisture mozzarella blocks is key. String cheese will work but block mozzarella cut into sticks will be far more stretchy and melty.
- Hot oil. The best temp to fry these corn dogs is 350°F. See the section below to find your perfect deep fry temp.
- One or two at a time. If this is your first time, coat and fry the corn dogs one or two at a time. This makes sure that the cheese and batter stays cold in the fridge. The colder the cheese and batter, the less it will leak when you’re frying. Leaky cheese in hot oil is a mess!
- Don’t skip out on the sugar. The sugar coating might seem extra but it’s that sweet and salty combo that makes Korean corn dogs so good!
- Potatoes. Chopped up fries are another popular coating for Korean corn dogs. They’re called gamja hotdogs and they’re a delicious mashup of corn dogs and fries. Instead of coating in panko, roll your battered hot dog in chopped up frozen french fries and panko then fry as usual.
How to check your oil temperature
I really recommend getting an instant read thermometer so you get perfect corn dogs. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can check if your oil is ready with the thick wooden skewer or disposable chopstick. Place the skewer into the oil.
- No bubbles: the oil isn’t hot enough.
- Oil starts bubbling around the chopstick lightly but steadily: you’re ready to fry.
- It looks like it’s boiling around your chopstick: your oil is too hot.
Also key is having enough oil so the corn dogs can float. This is how you’ll get an even golden brown color.
Where to buy a Korean corn dog
If you don’t want to make these Korean corn dogs at home, don’t worry, I’ve gotchu! They sell frozen Korean corn dogs at Korean grocery stores – especially H-Mart. Just pop them in your air fryer for a couple of minutes and you’re good to go. You can also try Korean corn dogs at popular Korean corn dog chains like: Chung Chun Rice Hot Dog or Myungrang Hot Dog.
Korean corn dog variations
There are about a thousand different kinds of Korean corn dog coatings that you can get in Korea. Here are some ideas for you if you’ve tried the original and want to expand your corn dog world!
- Gamja-hot dog – Gamja hot dogs are french fry hot dogs. Gamja is potato in Korean and what they do is either chopped up french fries to coat instead of panko. The fries are crispy and salty and are amazing with hot dogs and cheese.
- Cornflake dogs – Instead of panko, use crushed up cornflakes for a true play on corn dogs. The toasty corn-y flavor of cornflakes pairs exceptionally well.
- Ramen dogs – Crushed up instant ramen packets add immense crunch. You can also sprinkle on the seasoning packet for extra instant ramen vibes.
- Crispy rice – Crispy rice puffs are a nice addition – you can either crush up rice crackers or search out Korean rice puffs and roll your corn dog in rice instead of panko.
- Hot cheetos – Hot cheetos add crunch and spice. Drizzle some lime and mayo on and it’s AMAZING, especially if you do a mozzarella dog.
- Can you make Korean corn dogs and freeze them?
Deep fry the corn dogs until they are cooked through and then cool completely before freezing individually on a tray then putting them in freezer bags. You can reheat them in the air fryer or oven bake them.
- Can you bake Korean corn dogs?
If you want to reheat Korean corn dogs in the oven, you can place already deep fried frozen corn dogs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping occasionally until heated through and crisp.
- Can you pan fry Korean corn dogs in a skillet?
You can but it takes a bit more skill and heat management. Your corn dog may end up uneven looking and deep frying is superior. To shallow fry, place at lease 1/2 inch of oil in frying pan and heat it up until the tip of a wooden chopstick bubbles around it. Gently place the corndogs in the hot oil and fry, turning as needed until all the batter cooks through and all the sides turn golden brown.
- Can I omit the sugar in Korean corn dogs?
Yes, if you want, you can leave out the sugar in the batter and as a topping, but one of the delicious parts of Korean corn dogs is the mix between sweet and salty.
- Cheese only Korean corn dogs
Some people have asked if you can make cheese only corn dogs and the answer is of course! Just slice your cheese into longer hot dog shaped skewers.
- Do I need baking powder for Korean corn dogs?
In this recipe the baking powder is essential to help the batter puff up and become light and crispy. If you leave the baking powder out, the outside of the corn dog will be dense and tough.
Air fried Korean corn dogs
You can air fry Korean corn dogs that have already been deep fried to reheat them. To air fry, put the frozen corn dogs in the air fryer and fry at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, flipping occasionally, until crisp, golden, and warmed through.
How to make Korean french fry corn dogs
Gamja-hot dogs are super popular and because of frozen fries, they’re really easy to make.
Buy frozen crinkle cut fries and let them thaw on the counter. When they’re soft enough, cut the fries into small 1/2 inch pieces and place them in a shallow bowl or on a plate. You want enough fry pieces to completely cover the bottom of the plate or bowl.
Follow the recipe below, but instead of dipping in panko before frying, dip the battered corn dog in chopped up french fries, gently pressing to make them stick to the batter. Lightly coat with panko (if desired) then fry for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crispy. Enjoy!
What to serve with Korean corn dogs
Korean corn dogs are a street food and usually just eaten on their own as a snack or with fries. If you want to make a little Korean feast, here are some suggestions:
Korean Corn Dog
Is there anything more delicious than the sweet and savory combination of the crispy outer batter and the stretchy cheese pulls Korean corn dog?
- 3 hot dogs cut in half
- 6 sticks low moisture fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar plus extra to finish
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cups milk
- 2 cups panko
- High heat oil for deep frying
- mustard as needed, optional
- ketchup as needed, optional
Skewer the hot dogs and cheese on sticks, hot dogs on the bottom and cheese on top. Place in the fridge to keep cold.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Mix in the egg and milk until thick and smooth. Pour into a tall cup and place into the fridge. Pour the panko onto a shallow plate that you will be able to roll the corn dog in.
In a deep fryer or a deep wide pot, heat up the oil (enough so that the hot dog will float) over medium high to medium heat, until it reaches 350°F. When the oil is almost at temp, take the skewered dogs from the fridge and dip into the batter, making sure it is completely coated.
Roll the coated corn dog in panko, making sure that the panko coats all of the batter, using your hands to gently press it on if needed.
Carefully add the coated corn dog to the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden and crispy, turning as needed. Remove from the oil and let rest on a wire rack.
Roll or sprinkle the corn dog with sugar and drizzle on mustard and ketchup. Enjoy hot!
Korean Corn Dog
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 155
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 7.6g48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.