Korean corn dog, or gamja hot dog, is a satisfying street food in Seoul's night markets. Each one can already be a meal in itself. It's coated with a sweet, crunchy layer of batter and a nice and juicy savoury filling. Top it off with your favourite condiments; you've got the perfect fried food on a stick.
These Korean hot dogs are cheesy, chewy, and fun to eat. Take a bite, and you'll be hooked.
Learn how to make this Korean street food at home with over 9 variations. For our easy Korean corn dog recipe, you won't need any yeast or cornmeal; it will take roughly 30 minutes to make.
In our new and improved version, we've made minor tweaks and added more tips to help beginners replicate our recipe at home much easier. It should make 4 pieces to serve 4 people, but if you want to make this into a full meal, serve 2 per person.
Korean Corn Dog Recipe (Potatoes, Panko, Ramen, Cornflakes)
- 4 hot dog
- 250 g mozzarella
- 4 wooden skewers or wooden chopsticks
Korean Corn Dog Batter
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 100 g panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbps caster sugar
- 1 cup potatoes cubed, optional
- 1 packet ramen crushed, optional
- 1 cup cornflakes crushed, optional
- Ensure the skewer you've chosen can fit into the pot you will use to deep fry. Cut the skewer to an appropriate length if necessary.4 wooden skewers
- Cut the sausages and mozzarella into the sizes that will fit the skewers. Skewer the Korean corn dog fillings, covering the sharp edge of the skewer with the last piece.4 hot dog, 250 g mozzarella
- Pour the panko into a deep tray or plate, and also, pour any additional toppings into a tray or plate.100 g panko breadcrumbs, 1 cup potatoes, 1 packet ramen, 1 cup cornflakes
- Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Then, add the beaten egg and gradually add the milk while mixing. Mix thoroughly until smooth, and there are no apparent clumps. Pour the batter onto a plate and put it side by side with the toppings and panko breadcrumbs.150 g all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoon sugar, 100 ml milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Fill up the pot with enough oil to deep fry your skewers. For a 21cm diameter pot, use 1 litre to 1.25 litres of oil. Turn on the stove to medium-high heat. Heat the oil until it's between 160 - 170 degrees Celcius (320 - 340 F). Once it reaches this temperature range, reduce it to a low heat to maintain the temperature.
- Hold the skewer in one hand over the batter and a chopstick with the other. Use the chopstick to 'scoop' the batter in a circular motion around the skewer. Repeat until the entire skewer is evenly coated in batter.
- Then, quickly roll the battered skewer in additional toppings, such as cubed potato fries. Then, place the skewer into the panko tray and lightly press the panko into the battered skewer. Turn the skewer 90 degrees and repeat.100 g panko breadcrumbs, 1 cup potatoes, 1 packet ramen, 1 cup cornflakes
- Gently drop the Korean corn dog skewer into the hot oil. Let it deep fry for 3 to 5 minutes, flipping the skewers at the halfway mark. Baste the skewers with hot oil using a spoon for 1 minute or so after you drop it into the hot oil. After 3 to 5 minutes, remove the skewers from the oil and place it on a kitchen roll to remove any excess oil.
- Sprinkle over some caster or icing sugar over the Korean corn dog and squeeze ketchup and mustard over them. Enjoy while it's hot.2 tbps caster sugar
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimate.
What Are Korean Corn Dogs?
Korean corn dogs are made from sausage or mozzarella cheese skewered on a stick and coated in sweet flour batter before rolling in panko breadcrumbs to be fried.
However, you can also get other filling choices like fish cakes, squid, spam, Korean rice cakes, or a mix. Typical crust topping choices include french fries, cornflakes, and ramen noodles.
Then, once they fry it, they'll roll the Korean corn dogs in sugar and cover it with condiments like ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
Differences between Korean and American Corn Dogs
The differences between Korean and corn dogs are that the panko breadcrumbs are used, the batter is sweet, and a sprinkle of sugar is added after frying. Unlike traditional American hot dogs, cornmeal isn't used in Korean corn dog batter. In addition, the filling isn't limited to sausages.
Korean Corn Dog Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make the classic version:
- Hot dogs
- 250 g mozzarella
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour (150 grams)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 100g panko breadcrumbs
- 4 wooden skewers or wooden chopsticks
For each skewer, we'll be using half a hot dog, but if you want, you can use the whole thing and skip the mozzarella.
If you want to make our Korean corn dog halal, you can replace it with chicken or beef sausages. Make sure these are also parboiled slim sausages. If they're entirely raw, boil or cook them beforehand. Otherwise, they won't cook in time as the batter is done.
To make the squid legs, you can splice the bottom of the Korean hot dog before you skewer it. The bottom will curl when you cook them and make the squid-like legs.
We have yet to see mozzarella being sold in rectangular blocks. Therefore, we suggest buying mozzarella from the store and cutting it into rectangular blocks roughly 3.5cm long or similar to your sausages. If there are many options for mozzarella in your grocery store, try to go for a thicker block.
While you can also use other types of cheese like cheese strings, it won't melt and give you a satisfying cheese pull like mozzarella would. However, we wouldn't suggest crumbly cheese like feta or paneer if you want the same fried cheese pull effect. These are also harder to skewer on a stick.
You can also use only mozzarella and some Korean fried cheese corn dogs to make this entirely veg-friendly.
Using All-Purpose Flour, Self-Raising Flour or Rice Flour
We're using all-purpose flour in the batter for our Korean corn dog recipe.
You can use self-raising flour as a substitute, but omit the baking powder.
Some people suggest using rice flour as a substitute or to combine regular flour with rice flour. While you can still make our Korean corn dog recipe partly or wholly using rice flour, we don't recommend it.
Korean corn dogs' crust should be airy and fluffy. In contrast, adding rice flour, which doesn't contain gluten, will make the crust denser. Only use rice flour if you prefer something that is less crunchy, has a more solid bite, or just want this to be a gluten-free Korean hot dog recipe instead.
You can skip adding sugar to the Korean corn dog batter if you prefer a less sweet crust. However, we recommend not skipping the caster and icing sugar topping at the end.
It adds a crunch and a zing of sweetness to the snack. We recommend using caster or icing sugar for the topping. Granulated sugar will be too grainy to bite into directly. While white sugar is typically used, you can also use refined brown sugar.
Baking Powder or Yeast for Korean Corn Dog
We're using baking powder instead of yeast for the batter for our recipe, as more people will already have this in their kitchen, and it's more convenient to use.
If you use yeast, you will need to wait a few hours at least for the yeast to leaven the dough. Meanwhile, baking powder acts immediately, reducing prep time to complete the dish. However, there are a few disadvantages to using baking powder over yeast.
Yeast makes the batter more sticky, making it easier to wrap around the skewered fillings. The batter sticks to the fillings less with baking powder and might fall off the skewer faster than using yeast. Yeast also adds a slight acidity and subtle sourness to the batter, which may be to your preferred taste.
You can also use baking soda, but you will need an additional ingredient: lemon juice or white vinegar. To replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder, mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.
Milk and egg
We use whole milk (100 ml) and a large egg for our recipe. It's fine to use semi-skimmed milk, but whole milk will result in a creamier batter, which we prefer. If you use a medium-sized egg, compensate by adding more milk.
What's important is to beat the egg before you add it to the batter, as beaten eggs help provide more volume to the batter and make it more airy. This will help produce a more fluffy and airy batter when cooked.
Coating the skewer in the batter and then a layer of panko breadcrumbs is the classic way of making Korean corn dog. Panko breadcrumbs are essential for the recipe as they help to give you a crunchy crust that plain flour won't give you.
Panko tend to have finer flakes than regular breadcrumbs. As a result, panko will be crispier than regular breadcrumbs once fried. However, if you only have regular breadcrumbs, we recommend putting them in a sealed bag and crushing them into smaller pieces using a rolling pin. This is a good substitute that will mimic panko.
However, to make it more interesting, you can add some popular variations to the panko breadcrumbs, like the ones we've listed under the topping sections.
The thicker the skewer, the better. You can even use disposable wooden chopsticks as skewers if you can fit them into the pot. Try avoiding the thinner skewers or use 2 for more support.
In addition, when we tested our Korean corn dog recipe, we found that while using 1 thin skewer would work, it took more work to dip and wrap the batter around the fillings.
Our Korean corn dog recipe uses an 18 cm skewer. We leave about 6 cm for the handle and the rest of the 12 cm for the corn dog. When cut in half, our sausage is about 8.5 cm, so we cut the mozzarella into 3.5 cm lengths for the remaining skewer.
Korean Corn Dog Fillings
Here are some popular alternatives you can try for Korean corn dog fillings instead.
- Spicy sausage
- Fish cakes
- Korean rice cake
- Chicken sausage
- String cheese
Other than panko breadcrumbs, you can try these for the toppings.
- Crushed ramen noodles
- Hot Cheetos
Korean corn dog with potatoes
When you add small potato cubes or french fries to the crust, this is called a gamja hot dog. It's one of our favourite types of Korean corn dog and the most common one in Seoul's night markets.
Once the potatoes are fried, they become small chunks of French fries on the crust. They add more texture and make this delicious meal more filling on a stick.
We recommend using actual frozen french fries and chopping these up into small pieces to save yourself some time. However, you can also peel and cut 1-2 medium-sized potatoes and dice these into ½ cm small potato cubes. This should be around 1 cup.
Cornflakes or Ramen Noodles
Rolling our Korean-style corn dogs in a layer of cornflakes adds sweetness and crunch, making this dish so moreish. To do this, you need a cup of cornflakes and spread this across a plate so you can easily roll your battered skewers in this.
If you love the crunch but don't want the added sweetness, you can crush a packet of ramen noodles and roll your batter. Fried ramen noodle bits make a nice snack on top of the corn dogs.
Adding hot Cheetos is another favourite we've seen people do to make a spicy Korean corn dog. For us, the spicy Cheetos slightly overpowers the filling inside. We've tried a version adding lime and mayo to it, but it still didn't meet our expectations. So we prefer adding a spicy sauce instead.
Ketchup and mustard are a dream combination on a Korean style cheesy corn dog. But why stop there?
Here are some of our favourites that we think work with this street food:
- Honey mustard
- Korean gochujang mayo
- Wasabi mayo
- More cheese to dip it in!
How to make Korean corn dog
- Ensure the skewer you've chosen can fit into the pot you will use to deep fry. Cut the skewer to an appropriate length if necessary.
- Then, cut the sausages and mozzarella into the sizes that will fit the skewers. Our fillings will be 70% sausage and 30% mozzarella. Feel free to adjust the skewer fillings as you please. Skewer the fillings, covering the sharp edge of the skewer with the last filling piece. We recommend not exposing the sharp edge as it's visually unappealing when you bite into it later.
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and baking powder) in a bowl. Then, add the beaten egg and gradually add the milk while mixing. Mix thoroughly until smooth and there are no apparent clumps. The batter should be thick and sticky. Pour the batter onto a flat plate.
- Pour the panko into a deep tray or plate and also any additional toppings into a tray or plate. Put the batter, toppings and panko side by side on a table.
- Fill up the pot with enough oil to deep fry your skewers. We use between 1 litre to 1.25 litres of oil for our pot that has a 21 cm diameter. You can choose to shallow fry, but the shape won't be nice. See our notes on cooking tips for more details.
- Turn on the stove to medium-high heat. Heat up the oil until it's between 160 - 170 degrees Celcius (320 - 340 F). Once it reaches the desired temperature range, then reduce the stove to a low heat to maintain the temperature.
- Hold the skewer over the plate with the batter with one hand and a chopstick with the other. While holding the skewer steady in place, use the chopstick to 'scoop' the batter over the skewer while gently spreading it all over the fillings. Move the chopstick in a circular motion around the skewer. Repeat this until the entire skewer has been smothered with the batter.
- Then, quickly roll the battered skewer over any additional toppings, such as cubed potato fries or crushed ramen. Then, place the skewer into the panko tray. Quickly use both hands to scoop the panko over the battered while lightly pushing the panko into the battered skewer. Turn the skewer 90 degrees and repeat. This step should be done relatively swiftly, as the batter will gradually drop and spill out from the skewer. No longer than 30 seconds per skewer.
- Bring the skewer to the pot and gently drop it into the hot oil. Let it deep fry for 3 to 5 minutes, flipping the skewers at the halfway mark. As a tip, baste the skewers with hot oil using a ladle for 1 minute or so after you drop it into the hot oil. While frying, make sure to monitor and maintain the temperature of the oil. After 3 to 5 minutes, remove the skewers from the oil and place it on a kitchen roll to remove any excess oil.
- Before serving, sprinkle over some caster or icing sugar over the Korean hot dog. While you can skip it, it's an essential part of what makes Korean corn dogs so tasty. Finally, squeeze over ketchup and mustard (or any sauce of your liking) over them. Enjoy while it's hot.
As we experimented with our Korean corn dog recipe many times and read our readers' feedback, we added minor tweaks to make the process easy for beginners.
Deep-fried street food can be tricky to make if you have little experience working with batter and deep frying. Not to mention, it can get quite messy if you're not organised. Here's what we think would help you make yours at home with some of the common problems that can come up when you're trying to make Korean corn dog at home.
Batter in a glass method
Try the dip method to reduce the mess and keep your hands clean.
The dip method is to add the batter to a tall glass and dip your skewers in. This will keep your hands relatively clean. However, we don't recommend this method for beginners. This is because if you've made your batter a bit too thick, the fillings can easily fall off inside the glass. This is especially the case when your skewer is thin. So, only use this method with a thick skewer or wooden chopsticks.
Rolling the batter
Rolling the skewers in the batter is another method we see many recipes teach you, and Korean street vendors also do it. To do this, you would twist the skewer and the fillings to coat the batter evenly and use your hands to help shape them.
Again, this method is also not beginner-friendly as the fillings tend to fall off or break off the skewer. Your hands also get quite sticky from shaping the batter, which isn't ideal when you need to work fast and haven't mastered the technique yet.
Therefore, we suggest using a chopstick to pull and wrap the dough around the skewer in our easy Korean hot dog recipe.
Korean hot dog fillings falling off
It's quite easy for the mozzarella cheese to fall off or break off the skewer when you're wrapping it in the dough.
We found two ways of stopping this from happening.
The first tip is to add a small sausage piece at the tip of the skewer so that the cheese won't be able to fall off the skewer easily.
The second tip is to use a single chopstick to slowly scoop some of the batter up to wrap around the skewer. By not rolling or dipping the skewer in the batter, you reduce the movement to the Korean corn dog fillings and avoid it from breaking.
Deep frying vs shallow frying
It's best to deep fry Korean corn dogs compared to shallow frying. Deep frying will give you a more cylindrical-shaped corn dog as the oil helps suspend the batter while cooking.
When you shallow fry, the part of the dog that is not submerged in oil will be subject to gravity and cause it to drop to the sides slightly. This will give you a somewhat flatter Korean cheese corn dog and can expose some of the mozzarella directly to the oil, causing the fried cheese to spill out when it melts.
Not holding shape
If the shape of your Korean corn dog isn't holding, it can be for a few reasons:
- There is too little or too much batter covering the skewers.
- You took too long between coating it in batter and panko breadcrumbs and putting it into the oil.
- The oil isn't hot enough.
If there is too much batter on the skewer, this will result in some parts inevitably falling off due to their weight. If there is too little batter on the skewer, you will leave the mozzarella cheese exposed to the oil, and it will melt off, leaving a hole.
A great way to tell if you have too much batter is that the batter shouldn't fall off within 3 seconds of you coating the skewer.
If you take too long between coating the skewers in batter and panko, the shape will change as the batter comes off. To avoid this, while you're coating the skewer in the panko, give it a firm hold or pat it on every side.
Not only will this help the panko breadcrumbs stick better to the batter, but it will also help you shape the skewer before you deep fry it. You can also continue shaping it while it's deep frying by gently pushing the batter around.
Naturally, the oil temperature will drop as you add more and more Korean cheese corn dogs to deep fry. If the oil isn't hot enough when you put the skewer in, it won't hold the shape and will result in the batter falling to the bottom side.
To avoid this, fry one skewer at a time, continue to heat the oil, and measure the temperature with a thermometer if you're unsure whether to lower or increase the heat.
Not golden brown
If your Korean corn dogs aren't turning out golden brown or aren't even in colour, here's why:
- Oil temperature is either too hot or not hot enough
- Skewers were not entirely submerged in the oil
When you're deep frying, the temperature should be at least 160 degrees but not higher than 180 degrees. From our experience, 160-170 degrees Celcius is the best range for producing a golden-yellow crust. Once the temperature exceeds 170 Celcius, the crust will be more brown than yellow.
If you go above 180 degrees, you will lose the golden colour and gain a dark brown colour. The crust will also be slightly hard (not as crispy) and have a charred taste.
While some recipes call for a deep frying temperature of 170-180 degrees, a temperature between 160-170 results in the best golden yellow colour, crispy and light texture and taste.
Some skewer parts might float and won't be submerged in the oil. If this happens, the exposed parts will not fry for the same time as the rest of the skewer, making that part less golden brown. In addition, if a large part of the skewer is not suspended in the oil, it could also change the overall shape.
Therefore, we recommend beginners use a soup ladle to continuously spoon the oil over the skewers for the first 30 seconds to 1 minute. Basting hot oil over the floating part will help cook the batter and result in a more rounded shape. You can also use this trick when shallow frying. A soup ladle is an excellent beginner hack for ensuring that your corn dogs are well-shaped and evenly coated in the oil to get a crispy golden brown crust.
You can also use a soup ladle or kitchen tongs to gently push the batter and encourage it to form a better shape as it's being suspended in the oil.
Korean Corn Dog Recipe using Air Fryer
You can use an air fryer to make a Korean cheese corn dog. However, the outer panko crust won't be as crispy and golden brown. As the batter doesn't immediately touch the hot oil as it would deep fry, the shape of the Korean hot dog will also be flatter. Despite this, it is arguably healthier as you will use much less oil.
As the batter won't be submerged in oil, you need a slightly thicker and stickier batter. However, because the batter needs to be thicker, it won't be as airy and fluffy as our original recipe above.
Here's the Korean corn dog batter to use for air frying.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour or 180 grams
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100 ml milk
- 1 egg (beaten)
Follow the steps below to make Korean corn dog in an air fryer.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then, add the beaten egg and gradually add the milk while mixing. The batter should be thick and sticky. Pour the batter onto a flat plate.
- Skewer your fillings.
- Preheat your air fryer to a temperature of 180 degrees.
- Once you have prepared your skewer and covered it with batter, toppings and panko, immediately place it into the air fryer. Let it air fry for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, remove the air fry tray and add oil over the skewers. Continue air frying for another 5 minutes. Then, flip over your Korean hot dog, add more oil, and fry it for 5 minutes. The total time to air fry is 15 minutes.
- Then, finish by topping the dish with sugar and sauces before serving.
The air fryer is better used for reheating any leftover homemade Korean corn dogs. You can set the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celcius for 5 minutes to reheat.
How To Make Vegan Korean Corn Dog
You can make this Korean hot dog vegan by substituting a few of the ingredients above.
You can replace the eggs with chia seeds or flaxseeds for the batter. Use one tablespoon of chia seeds to three tablespoons of water. Mix this in a bowl and let sit for about fifteen minutes. For the milk, you can use plant-based milk instead. Oat milk works the best as it has a thicker texture than almond or soya milk.
These substitutes can cause the batter to be runnier. Therefore, you should slowly add in the amount of wet ingredients. Add more based on how runny or thick the batter is. You can use Korean rice cakes, vegan sausage, and vegan cheese for the filling. Daiya's vegan mozzarella cheese is an excellent replacement to get the melty, cheesy pull still.
It's best to enjoy these homemade cheesy Korean corn dogs straight away. However, if you want to save some for the next 1-2 days, let it cool, then keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
To reheat, we recommend using an oven or air fryer. To reheat, pop them in the oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius. You can also reheat in the microwave, but the crust might be slightly soggy.
You can also freeze these, but we don't recommend it. The crust won't be as crispy as freshly fried, and the texture of the fried cheese will spoil from freezing.
These gamja hot dogs are almost guaranteed to be present in any street food market in South Korea. For us, they’re an absolutely unmissable fried treat. The fried cheese and savoury hot dog filling on a cold day in Seoul will always be our favourite Korean street food.
Let us know if our Korean corn dog recipe satisfies your cravings. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see more recipe demonstrations.
Next up, learn how to make mochi donuts.