No yeast? No problem! You can make this easier version of Korean Hot Dog 핫도그 at home rather than just dream about eating it in Seoul!
One of the most popular Korean street foods on the scene these days is the Korean Hot Dog 핫도그, and it’s not even because it gets featured heavily in K-dramas. (It actually doesn’t– not as much as tteokbokki anyway.) I think the appeal of the Korean Hot Dog is really in the fact that it’s like a junk-food lover’s dream: Deep-fried crispy golden goodness. Mozzarella. Hotdog. On certain occasions, you even get some chopped up fries thrown in.
It’s seriously bad for you, but also seriously SO GOOD. Just the way people like it, right?
If you’ve ever tried one of those imported frozen corndogs from South Korea, then you probably already know it’s different from the street food-style Korean Hot Dog 핫도그. Those frozen corndogs are made in the American-style– as in hotdogs wrapped in soft and fluffy pancake on a stick. The street version also comes skewered, sometimes with a full hotdog, or half hotdog and half cheese, but that’s where the similarities end.
The outside shell of the Korean Hot Dog 핫도그 is more bread than pancake, with a breadcrumb coating that gives you a definitive crunch in every bite. That’s why in most cases, the batter is made with yeast. It is bread, not pancake, that is on the outside of these golden babies.
Since bread tends to be heavier, Korean Hot Dog 핫도그 is also much more filling than a regular corndog. In Korea, they even stick cut-up fries or crushed ramen onto the coating before rolling the entire thing in breadcrumbs. The potato coated Hot Dogs, aka Gamja Hot Dog 감자 핫도그 are actually also quite famous. I’ve scrolled through a lot of people who do mukbang featuring this particular Korean Hot Dog in their videos. Extra calories aside, I still feel that the original version with just the breadcrumbs is my favorite.
I have shared a recipe for Korean Hot Dog before on the blog, but that one uses yeast to proof the dough before it gets wrapped around the hotdogs and cheese. I get that not everyone has yeast lying around in their homes, nor does everyone want to wait around for dough to proof, so I decided I’d try out a no-yeast version. This one is just as satisfying, though maybe just a little less filling than the yeasted version because it doesn’t expand to quite as thick a shell. It’s still really crunchy though! The ingredients required are probably already ingredients you have at home, which is a plus.
Despite being more involved than your normal American corndog, I think the payoff you get once you eat your Korean Hot Dog after laboring over it is also tenfold. And if you eat it hot, the crunch plus the cheese pull from the mozzarella is insane! This is one of those things I actually don’t mind going through the trouble of deep-frying. To serve, Korean Hot Dog is typically sprinkled with a generous amount of sugar, then the ketchup and mustard are squirted on. I don’t like to have mine with sugar, but I do like it with Dijon mustard occasionally, and Sriracha plus ketchup most often.
- WHAT KIND OF HOTDOG SHOULD I USE? Use whatever you like to eat! It doesn’t have to be a Korean brand. We like to use Virginia brand hotdogs, but if you want to be posh and use expensive sausages, be my guest! Make sure they’re dry before coating though so the batter will stick.
- WHAT KIND OF CHEESE SHOULD I USE? Low moisture mozzarella is preferred because it doesn’t melt to a liquid mess and won’t leak out of the batter. It also gives a very satisfying cheese pull. Again, make sure they’re dry before coating so the batter will stick.
- WHY USE A CHOPSTICK INSTEAD OF BBQ STICK? Chopsticks are thicker and sturdier than BBQ sticks, and since these Hot Dogs have some heft, it’s better to use something that won’t easily bend and break as you work with the sticky batter.
- WHAT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO COAT THESE? Some people like to put the batter in a tall glass and submerge their skewered hotdogs and cheese in. This doesn’t work for me because the batter is too thick and sticky, and I end up pulling out a blank chopstick. Having to fish out the hotdog and cheese halves from inside the glass is a hassle, and so I prefer to place the batter into a flat surface then roll them sideways. Using a spoon helps a great deal. Scoop the batter on as you roll your skewers to help it along. It’ll be a little difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll figure out a process that works for you. My own process can be seen on the recipe video I’ve shared above. Keep the coated hotdogs in fridge if you’re not ready to cook.
- WHAT’S THE OPTIMAL TEMPERATURE FOR FRYING THESE? You want to maintain oil temperature of 350°F (180°C) when frying these. Any hotter and any cooler may cause the coating to disintegrate and cause the cheese inside to look. It won’t be the end of the world if this happens though. I had some of my cheese leak out too, but they still tasted pretty amazing.
- WHAT CONDIMENTS CAN I EAT THIS WITH? Typically, Korean Hot Dog is sprinkled with sugar before getting drizzled with ketchup and mustard. While that’s tasty, I like adding some spiciness to mine with hot sauce. There are no rules, guys. Some people even eat this with cheese sauce. I personally think that’s overkill, but you do you!
Korean Hot Dog 핫도그
- 3 hot dogs or sausages of choice, cut in half
- 6 mozzarella sticks, the same length, width, and thickness as the halved hotdogs
- 1¼ cups 150 grams all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons 25 grams granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon 3 grams salt
- 2 teaspoons 8 grams baking powder
- 125 mL cold milk
- 1 large cold egg
- 1 cup 112 grams panko breadcrumbs
- Oil, for frying
- Granulated sugar, for coating (optional)
- Ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, and other condiments of choice
- Use wooden chopsticks to skewer your hot dog/sausage halves, followed by the mozzarella. You should have a combination of hotdog and mozarella on your skewer that's an approximate equivalent to a whole hotdog. Pat dry and place into fridge to keep cold while making batter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder, until evenly blended. Whisk in the milk and egg until smooth. The batter will be very thick, very stretchy, and very sticky. Transfer batter to a loaf pan. The batter should be cold to coat more evenly. If your kitchen is warm, refrigerate the batter at least 20 minutes before proceeding.
- Remove batter and skewered cheese and hot dogs from the fridge. To coat, turn the skewers a few times in the batter, stretching the batter until the hot dog and cheese are completely coated. Don't coat it too thick since the batter will still expand once fried. Use your fingers to remove excess batter or to fill in any gaps you may notice on the coating. Make sure the hot dog and cheese are completely sealed in.
- Place the breadcrumbs in a loaf pan or narrow plate. Roll coated hot dogs in the breadcrumbs one by one. The sticky batter should pick up a lot of the breadcrumbs, but sprinkle and press more on with your hands as needed to coat the entire thing evenly.
- Heat the oil in your frying pan until it reaches 350°F (180°C). Ideally, you want to heat up enough oil to submerge your hot dogs. Keep the coated hot dogs in the fridge while your oil warms up.
- Once the oil is ready, fry hot dogs 2 to 3 at a time, depending on size of your pan. Cook a few minutes on both sides, until batter is dark golden brown. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan and to keep the oil temperature constantly at 350°F (180°C). If the oil temperature drops below that, the coating will not be cooked fast enough, making it crack open and causing the cheese to leak all over the oil.
- Sprinkle hot dogs with sugar, if desired, then drizzle with condiments of choice. My favorite is ketchup mixed with Sriracha, plus a touch of mustard.
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Thank you so much for this recipe. I tried it and it came out delicious. The batter was so nice and thick, it was easy to coat the skewers and easy to work with because it didn’t drip all over the place.