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Everything You Need to Know About Gamja Hot Dogs, or Korean Corn Dogs

They may look like their American counterpart on the outside, but Korean cheese corn dogs are an entirely new take on the popular Stateside snack. They also don’t necessarily involve corn – nor a hot dog.

Sometimes known as ‘gamja hot dogs’, this Korean street food has a delicious mix of both salty and sweet flavors thanks to the range of different toppings, condiments and fillings that customers can enjoy. Crispy on the outside but wonderfully juicy in the middle, it’s a cheap, delicious and entirely memorable snack.

What is a Korean Corn Dog?

In Korea, the term ‘hot dog’ is exclusively used for a sausagey snack served on a stick – there are no buns in sight. The dog itself is usually made from beef sausage, mozzarella or a mixture of the two, which is skewered and dipped in batter.

Unlike typical American corn dogs, which are traditionally made using a batter of cornmeal dough, a Korean corn dog is wrapped in a sweetened and yeasted rice flour dough that rises to a deliciously fluffy consistency once bitten into.

Of course, it’s also deep fried to give that perfect crunch – and just before frying, a Korean hot dog is first rolled in any and every kind of crunchy topping. We’re talking crushed ramen noodles, panko breadcrumbs, crispy rice, diced French fries, or fluorescent Cheeto dust.

J-Basket Panko Bread Crumbs

Once golden brown and out of the fryer, these dogs are finished with a quick dusting of powdered sugar to give them a sweet kick, before being drizzled with toppings like ketchup, mustard or sweet chili sauce.

Where Did Korean Corn Dogs Come From?

Although corn dogs have been eaten on the streets of Korea for a long time, the main spike in their recent popularity can be traced back to a chain store named Myungrang Hot Dog, which began as a single stall at a Busan market in 2016. After three years, Myungrang had expanded to 650 stores across Korea and had successfully turned corn dogs into a nationwide franchise.

Thanks to TikTok, the #koreancorndog has become a huge hit, not least due to the irresistible cheese pull that this snack offers its eaters. With mukbang videos and Instagram-worthy shots, the Myungrang chain has even opened stores across the US in LA’s Koreatown, in Columbus, OH, and in Duluth, GA!

Different Types of Korean Corn Dogs

Korean hot dog ingredients can vary, but places like Myungrang are introducing tourist palates to the very best of Korean flavors. Fancy a corn dog covered in crispy chunks of fried potato? Or how about trying a squid ink mozzarella hot dog, or a fish cake version?

If you’re a vegan, you can have a corn dog filled with deliciously chewy rice cake instead of cheese. Condiment wise, you can opt for typical ketchups and mustards but equally branch out to parmesan seasoning, honey butter powder, cheese mustard or jalapenos to spice things up.

How to Make Korean Corn Dogs

If you’re going to make Korean corn dogs at home, it’s a pretty simple recipe to follow:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
  2. Add egg and cold milk and mix until smooth
  3. Pour your batter into a container and leave in the fridge until use. It’s necessary to keep the batter cold, as warm batter won’t stick properly to your cheese
  4. Grab some wooden chopsticks and skewer hotdogs, cheese, or a mix of both. Dust with flour and place in the freezer for around 10 to 15 minutes. This properly chills the cheese so it will melt more slowly while the batter cooks around it, avoiding any oily spillages
  5. Grab a deep frying pan and heat up enough frying oil to cover the corn dogs entirely once they’re dipped in
  6. Dip your skewers in the cold batter, then roll them inpanko breadcrumbs until they’re completely coated and place into the pan
  7. Cook the dogs on all sides until the batter is cooked through. Make sure the oil temperature stays at around 350’F to ensure a quick cook
  8. Remove when your corn dogs are golden brown and crispy on the outside
  9. It’s not over yet though! Now roll your corn dogs over a plate covered in sugar so they’re evenly coated. For condiments, add whatever you like – the Korean version calls for spicy ketchup and yellow mustard or honey mustard.

Though it’s not recommended to reheat a Korean corn dog, placing it in the air fryer for about five minutes should restore some of the deliciousness to your fridge-stored dogs. We’d be surprised if you don’t finish them in one sitting though!

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